At American Business Media’s Spring Meeting last week, I had a discussion with the CEO of a large business-to-business media company. I specifically asked how his company was preparing, or dealing with, their own customers launching media efforts that could be considered competitive. I gave him an example of one of his 12x print advertisers launching a content web portal and a print magazine in their space covering the same industry topics.
The answer not only surprised me, it floored me. He basically stated that in his experience with these types of corporate media, custom publishing initiatives were second-rate content at best. He also discussed how he is more than happy to partner with these companies to promote their white papers on his websites and other properties. Other than that, these custom media initiatives were nothing to be bothered with.
Now…this is one of the most progressive (I thought) CEOs in the business. If this is the general mentality among these business leaders, then marketers have a bigger opportunity than I initially thought.
To be fair, though, he’s probably right about the quality of the content. He probably has only run into examples of content marketing samples that were only sub-par. Marketers have been waking up to this fact for years though, so this has been changing for quite a while.
Wake up now
If media companies don’t see content marketing as a significant threat to their long-term financial viability now, they are going to be in BIG trouble. Today’s publishers need to offer these types of marketing services for their customers, or face watching this large revenue stream go somewhere else.
All in all, I came away from this conference thinking that most publishers are dismissing the importance and impact of content marketing. It’s going to really get interesting.