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Competition and Cooperation

  |  December 7, 2012   |  Comments

Are successful publishers and brands really B2B companies?

When I look at some of the branding stories in the news lately I see some convincing evidence of positive change. A lot of change in the publishing, digital marketing, and branding business has been geared toward programmatic buying. Campbell Soup put 40 percent of its budget into digital media. Gap made a comeback from a branding disaster, using digital media as a key strategy. American Express made a commitment to digital content marketing for 2013. And publishers like The Economist, Atlantic Media, and Hearst are committed to digital integration.

Driving digital success for all of these brands is possible because each of these companies has found a way to take the core elements of a strong B2B strategy and implement them into a very consumer-oriented world. Have you thought about it this way?

Content and aggressive distribution of content across all platforms are extremely important. Search and brand support the content experience that engages the audience. The Atlantic Media company believes that disruption is the key to success (download this great PDF here). But, behind it all are key success strategies that are focused on traditional B2B relationship-building and communication elements.

Content plays to the new middleman. We used to call them distributors. Today's distributors don't ship products, they ship content. Content is the driver behind lead generation, retail management, and even customer relationships. Content and advertising executions need to tell a story. They need the story to include their key business partners. Embrace digital marketing in the right digital context and you can do no better service to the companies that get your brand in front of consumers.

As I look back on this year it has been one of conflict and cooperation. We are all struggling to find the magical approach to digital publishing and content marketing digital success. We have competing operating systems in this business. We have patent fights. No nook or cranny of digital publishing has a quiet corner. We all compete. Look at any LUMA chart for proof.

If you are looking to drive high impact for your programs in 2013, focus on taking your top B2B strategies and implementing them in a B2C world. Part of American Express' digital success is a result of its ability to build content distribution and digital media relationships with vendors. Gap's comeback has been helped by better awareness, perception, and customer experience often core to B2B success. At the end of the day, it very well could be that your best B2B strategy will drive your B2C digital success. Consider that in your B2C decisions.

B2B image on home page via Shutterstock.


Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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