By Andrew Davis published December 21, 2012

Content Creation: Who Could You Partner with on a Million Dollar Weekly Budget?

Content creation Geico_JPCycles

In 2010, GEICO spent $745 million on advertising. You know — the ads featuring the talking gecko urging us to save 15 percent by switching insurance companies. What if GEICO spent more on supporting content creation than on buying ads?

You may already know this (I didn’t), but GEICO sells 19 different types of insurance. Even if you divided its ad spend across all 19 lines, each product would still get $39 million to produce content instead of advertising.

Who already owns the audience Geico wants to reach?

J&P Cycles is the “world’s largest aftermarket parts and accessories superstore.” Motorcycle enthusiasts love J&P Cycles. Not only does it sell aftermarket parts for your motorcycle, it has support technicians who will help you install whatever you buy.

They already create content

J&P Cycles creates tons of content (it’s worth checking out the blog,) including “how-to” videos designed to help customers install everything from a luggage rack to a lens grill. On average, J&P Cycles creates about 100 videos a year and distribute them freely on YouTube. The most popular how-to video has been viewed over 200,000 times. I know the team at J&P Cycles would love to produce more video for its customers and leads, but that gets expensive and it’s time consuming. This is where GEICO fits in.

A $39 million content budget for the right audience!

If GEICO is serious about getting its motorcycle insurance product in front of avid cycle enthusiasts, imagine what J&P Cycles could do with a $39 million video content budget. That’s almost a million dollars a week that could go toward content creation of video that’s valuable to the audience GEICO is hoping to attract.

What if?

What if GEICO invested in every single one of J&P Cycles videos on YouTube? What if GEICO and J&P Cycles worked together to create a compelling half-hour web series for motorcycle riders everywhere? J&P Cycles would serve its customers’ needs and GEICO’s consumers would find the company’s product to be more relevant, more often, and at the right time in their lives.

J&P Cycles’ videos could be distributed to every one of GEICO’s motorcycle insurance customers and all of J&P Cycles’ existing client base; not to mention the exposure the videos would generate on a platform like YouTube. Both brands would benefit. It’s a perfect symbiotic marketing relationship. (By the way, this is Brandscaping in action!)

Ask yourself…

Who already owns your next customer? What kind of content could they create for their audience, and how can you help? What resources do you have (it doesn’t have to be money) to create valuable content that your partner’s audience would love to consume?

For more ideas on creating powerful content partnerships, read Andrew Davis’ book, BrandscapingFor CMI readers, you can also buy a signed copy for $20: (a limited quantity is available). 

Author: Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis’ 20-year career has taken him from local television to "The Today Show". He's worked for The Muppets in New York and marketed for tiny start-ups as well as Fortune 500 brands. In 2001, Andrew Davis co-founded Tippingpoint Labs, where he changed the way publishers think and how brands market their products. For more than a decade, as Tippingpoint’s chief strategy officer, Andrew rallied his team to change the way content creators think, authentic talent is nurtured, and companies market their products. Today, he’s traveling the globe sharing his insight, experience, stories, and optimistic ideals through his wildly fascinating speaking engagements, guest lectures and workshops. His most recent book, "Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships" hit shelves in September, 2012. Andrew is also an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Follow Andrew on Twitter @TPLDrew.

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  • John F. Hunt

    Hey Andrew – nice concept, but I would guess, as a direct-response marketer, Geico tracks the ROI on their ad spend and probably judges the performance of their campaigns accordingly. The question should be: Would content marketing provide them the same or better ROI than their DR ads? If so, they should allocate additional dollars to it, rather than take away dollars from a program that already has a positive ROI, or replace underperforming DR campaigns with higher ROI content campaigns if that is the case.

    • tpldrew


      Good point. However, you could take the exact same DR approach in the content marketing world. I’m willing to bet $1MM that my DR rate and conversion rate would be a magnitude higher for relevant content delivered through a partners channel with highly-relevant content than a television spot would be. In fact, I’m also willing to be the CPM might be higher, but the ROI would certainly exceed the cost per acquisition.

      The problem with so much of my content marketing efforts is finding a budget to create great content. Essentially, we have to stop doing things that aren’t as efficient or effective and start looking at opportunities to create value, drive demand and build quality relationships with the right audiences. For me, that means taking money out of advertising and putting it into creating an asset- some content we can own.

      Anyway, I really appreciate your point and I’m sure you’re right – Geico finds it hard to give up something that works – for something that MIGHT work better (which I think it would.)

      Thanks again!
      – Drew