“Marketing is broken. Social media won’t save it. Online ads won’t reinvent themselves. Google’s acquiring. Public relations is changing. The music industry is reinventing itself. The movie business is struggling. Newspapers are dying. Your email inbox is full. Your mobile device is always on. Your DVR is recording. Your iPad apps are updating. I don’t need to tell you that the media business is in flux.If you’re going to survive in a world where everything’s changing, you’re going to have to think differently.” Hard to argue, right?
As Andrew Davis book Brandscaping is a very interesting take on how we should approach marketing. Rather than the current fad of creating loads of content much of which is seen as a commodity he states we should all be acting more like producers and try to find the right content for our audience. “Brandscaping is bringing like-minded brands and their audiences together to create content that increases demand or drives new revenue for the products and services you sell.” I really like this approach because it is based on supporting those who actually create the content that your audience will love and support them.
There are four great reasons why I love this approach.
1. Most of us aren’t brilliant writers. Let’s face it we don’t run a copywriting business. So it makes sense to focus on what we do really well which is our product or service offering.
2. I don’t think outsourcing this to a marketing team or copywriter is the answer either because often they are good writers but don’t understand our business or don’t have the passion or creativity for sustained engaging content.
3. By aligning your business with a someone or an organisation that is already providing content for the audience that you serve. Support them. A perfect example of this is Ducttape Marketing support Hubspot because they create a lot of How too documents. The opportunity to build a brandscape is to position your business with a undiscovered talent that can create content to drive demand for the products or services you sell. Think like a producers not a marketer.
4. Just because you are creating content don’t assume your audience is consuming it! In fact if you create poor quality content it could have the opposite effect to consumption. The amount of information created is created at an unbelievable pace. The key is to find the most effective channels for reaching your own particular audience and to get them to consumer on a regular basis. You want a relationship, so focus on reach and quality and relevance.
I ask myself this question: If I stopped by blog today would anyone notice?
It would be fair to draw the comparison between films like the latest Bond Movie Skyfall and their obvious product placement to sell more of a brand but the distinction Davies makes is that the alignment needs to be authentic and have the same set of values for the audience to buy into the partnership and for the association to work as a marketing tool.
So if you want to leverage content as an asset rather than an expense. Creating content relationships and sharing audiences, tapping into multiple niches, pooling your resources with other brands that value the same audience makes sense.
Davis describes three elements to a successful brandscaper:
1. Confidence to back the content of others with a belief in them and their audience no matter how small, is valuable.
2. Show humility by understanding that your customers care more about just your products and services.
3.Willingness to pool resources and share your audiences will allow your marketing budget to go further.
I will add one more
4. Choose your partners carefully. Think “what would your customers also like.” Align around values.
Some potential partnerships:
Nespresso store in Chadstone and Apple. They both have the same audience and could work together around topics like convenience, design and quality.
Dan Murphy could have a wine TV show like Gary Vaynerchuk’s.
Business Bank with Marketing Critique of small businesses plan as a TV channel (just putting it out there!)
Lorna Jane fitness clothing and chef Justine Schofield
How to make a start
1. Join a LinkedIn group that your audience is participating in and contribute frequently.
2. Seek out the best tools or resources share them with your audience. (name the source and get permission always)
3. Brainstorm a good hook. It could be critiquing something, creating interviews with industry experts, 10 top tips.
4. Identify and explore content holes in your market.
5. Look for a great idea to serve your market. Someone might have built and app your audience would love. Share it, promote it. Underwrite it. A start-up looking for a partnership?
6. Who already owns our audience?
7. Where does our audience live online?
8. What sort of talent can we work with to make our brand more relevant, more often?
9. What content does our audience already have a relationship with and how can we embrace it?
10. What products/ services do our customers buy before they have a need for us?