The Future Model for Content Marketing and Media Are Identical. Yes, you read that correctly … 75 minutes. The content business model Cosmo is completely focused on the audience. Exxon, on the other hand, has a clear mission around what it sells. If Cosmo leaders are even half-innovative, they’ll see how many products they could sell directly to their readers (instead of mostly just selling access to advertisers). You may be wondering to yourself, “But Joe, Cosmopolitan is a media company and Exxon sells a product. Is Dennis a media company or a brand that sells products and services? Today, if you had to choose between creating an audience and then directly selling to that audience versus renting outside channels that you don’t control and don’t own, which would you choose? For the upcoming Killing Marketing book, as Robert and I studied our research on large enterprise marketing departments as well as media companies over the past few years, both of us kept coming to the same conclusion: The new media business model and the new marketing business model are exactly the same. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc.
A few months back I wrote about Cosmopolitan magazine in my letter for the CMI weekly newsletter (hey, don’t judge … this is for work).
In looking through its media kit, I saw that Cosmopolitan reaches a monthly audience of over 14 million women via the print magazine and over 50 million including digital channels. About 60% of the audience reads at least three out of every four issues, and when they do, it’s for an average of 75 minutes.
Yes, you read that correctly … 75 minutes.
Cosmo’s stated mission is: “to empower young women to own who they are and be who they want to be, and we’re focused on propelling her into her fun, fearless future. No excuses, no bull@#*%, no regrets.”
Let’s take a minute to compare that to one of the largest companies in the world, Exxon Mobil, which states its mission as: “Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to being the world’s premier petroleum and petrochemical company. To that end, we must continuously achieve superior financial and operating results while adhering to the highest standards of business conduct.”
Notice the difference?
The content business model
Cosmo is completely focused on the audience. There isn’t one word about what it sells to make a profit. Exxon, on the other hand, has a clear mission around what it sells. Oil … and lots of it. Good for them.
Cosmo has made content its business model.
In our upcoming book, Killing Marketing, Robert Rose states that, “It is the strategic use of content that will not only build audiences, and drive the creation and retention of customers, but it can do so at a profit.”
Sounds like a media company, right? It should.
While traditionally Cosmo’s go-to revenue strategy revolves around selling advertising, Cosmo has a number of flexible options to make money from its content.
Cosmo’s model looks something akin to this:
Create a loyal audience. Once we learn the deep-rooted needs of that audience, and deliver value to them consistently and the audience (reader) becomes a fan (subscriber), we monetize that relationship in multiple ways.
And Cosmo does, from books to beauty packages to native advertising to syndicated content to promotions. If Cosmo leaders are even half-innovative, they’ll see how many products they could sell directly to their readers (instead of mostly just selling access to advertisers). When that happens, watch out!
Robert and I know a number of wonderful people who work at Exxon, but we don’t envy them their task. It’s very challenging for a marketing professional to leverage content with a mission that revolves around the product (and not the customer).
Media or product brand?
Exxon is one of the largest, most valuable companies in the world. It leveraged every bit of traditional marketing and a traditional business model, and came up roses. But if Exxon wants to grow substantially bigger and become a growth company (if that’s even possible), it…