Media Company Strategy

Aug 23, 2021
The lines between content and commerce are blurring. Consumers want to buy from Brands they identify with. Rich media experiences are the cornerstone of our marketing plan because we believe that every brand should be treated as a media company.

Why did Red Bull spend $30M to sponsor a record setting skydive?  Why does Taco Bell have a hotel in Palm Springs?  World records have as much to do with energy drinks as hotels do with mexican fast food yet these were brilliant marketing campaigns for both brands.  Modern brands today understand that there are two paths to consumer attention: paying an intermediary for it or earning it with content.

Advertising costs will always and forever rise.  A century ago it was the New York Times, decades ago was NBC, ABC, and CBS.  Today it is Facebook and Google.  There will always be intermediaries that have consumer attention that you can pay to siphon off that attention to your brand.  The costs for that attention will always rise and the platforms will always shift.

The only true path to long lasting customer relationships is for brands to become media companies and to own that consumer attention directly.  Kylie Jenner launched a line of makeup on top of her personal brand.  Does anyone actually think Kylie is a great makeup artist or chemist to devise the best cosmetics?  Of course not, but she is a trendsetter and influencer with massive reach.  Dollar Shave Club launched with a viral video and today publishes Mel Magazine.  Sure the original viral video was great but when they needed a new way to reach consumers they understood the psyche of the 20-40 something male and launched their own magazine targeted at that demographic.

The concept resounds with all of us because we’re living it out.  Everybody can think of a brand they know and love that crosses the line between content and commerce and back again.  Within our portfolio at 365 we have a few key strategies that we believe are not only affordable to execute on but are effective in today’s environment.

  • Community - We focus on owning market-based brands.  Communities give the customers within these markets a place to gather and discuss their shared experiences.  The key for brand sponsored communities is to make the community about the problems and goals of its members - not about the brand or its products.  The easiest execution of community building today is through facebook groups.
  • Thematic Content - The best written, visual, and audio content is thematic and episodic in nature.  Consumers are trained to watch seasons of TV shows and read series of books.  Whatever the medium may be leveraging strong themes is the key to success in publishing content.  Our favorite executions of themetatic content are podcasts, behind the scenes videos, and documentary style storytelling.
  • Customer Success - The key to brand building is having experiences that make your customers successful.  As the adage goes “People don’t buy hammers and nails they buy hung photos on their wall”. Brands seeking to operate as modern media companies need to publish content in every format that will help their customers be successful.  This typically takes the form of Who/What/Where/When/Why/How style long form educational and problem solving content.
  • Brand Media - All other content should simply hold customer attention through education or entertainment. Memes? Great!  Inspiration Quotes? Sure!  All in service of informing or entertaining the target market in the brand’s voice.

In a world where commodity products are an Amazon order away the ability for a brand to differentiate itself depends on more than just the products that it makes and the packages they are in.  It depends on the brand itself.  Becoming a media company in your target market segment is the surest and strongest way to build a brand.

Influences: Web Smith at 2PM, Gary Vaynerchuk at VaynerMedia, Ezra Firestone at SmartMarketer, Ryan Deiss at Digital Marketer.