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Joe Pulizzi, founder of Junta42 Match, recently spoke at our Web Content 2008 conference on why online content marketing is the future of marketing (check out his presentation here).  I caught up with Joe to ask him a few questions about his free online service for marketers, Junta42 Match.

TCW – Junta42 Match is a service that matches marketing professionals with content providers, sort of like eHarmony for content. Where’s the need?

JP – As you know, businesses need content, or valuable, relevant and compelling information targeted to customers and prospects in order to survive.  The problem is, creating and executing that content is extremely challenging for businesses that have been set up to sell products and services. Whether custom magazines to web content to white papers, businesses need professional help to make sure that the content is “best of breed.”

We created Junta42 Match to “hook up” marketing professionals with expert content providers (publishers, agencies, journalists). All the marketer has to do is complete a quick five minute form. After we make sure the project is real, the marketer receives content providers that match their project, content and audience needs precisely.

TCW – Can you explain a bit why the current process for finding a content vendor/provider is broken?

image JP – Here’s a quick example.  I talked for a while with a marketer professional who used the service the other day.  She said she was up all night trying to find possible vendors for her eMagazine project. She said she’d gotten no where, even with using the search engines. Then she found our service, spent five minutes completing the form, and we delivered her matches immediately. Needless to say, she was thrilled.

Normally, finding relevant content providers for custom magazines, newsletters, enewsletters, websites, white papers and video projects can take from two weeks to two months. Now a business can get down to creating projects faster and easier by getting their perfect vendors immediately and without hassle. It also helps that the service is free for marketers. The publishers and content providers in the system pay the freight.

CW – Do you feel the trend toward businesses creating their own valuable information will continue?

JP – Junta42 recently completed a study with BtoB magazine where the findings showed that b-to-b marketers spend about 30% of their marketing budgets on the creating and execution of their own content.  We see this number growing to about 50% in the next five years.

Technology has changed so much in the past few years. Today, according to a Forrester study, 90% of buying decisions start on the web. Without compelling content, a business won’t be a part of that buying decision search, whether through the search engines, blogs or their own website. Businesses must take on the mindset of publishers and consistent produce great editorial content in print, online and in-person. It’s the new reality.  The problem is, most businesses still struggle with it, and need help.

TCW – Tell me about your book.

JP – We developed the book, Get Content. Get Customers. to help businesses grow their revenues through the creation of relevant and compelling content. It’s the same issue we’ve been discussing, but the book takes a marketer step-by-step into how to create a content marketing plan, and gives 15 examples from small and large companies as to how to succeed in it.

This issue is too important for businesses today. We are continuing to develop as much information as possible to get the word out, including our breakfast event on content marketing in NYC in a few weeks.

TCW—Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to chat with me about Junta42 Match. Best of luck on all of your projects.

JP—Thanks, Scott. It’s been a pleasure.