Content: The Publishing Plutocracy

Peter Weedfald discusses the influential power of ubiquitous publishing with Greg Keys and Eric Schwartz at CES 2015 in Las Vegas.

“When you eye and strategize the market as a publisher, you advantage team productivity, celerity, efficiency, channel dominance, brand power and most importantly, consumer engagements.”

I am a Publisher. For nearly a decade I was a magazine and on-line publisher at Ziff Davis Publishing company across such market-towering hit brands like PC Magazine, Computer Shopper, MacUser and Windows Sources. I spent 80% of my time hop-scotching across our fruited plains meeting with hardware and software CMO’s from nearly every brand within our industry. I traveled to sell and market ZD’s urbane and bestofbreed publishing positions. I traveled to learn, earn and build CMO juxtaposed perspective on which marketing strategies worked in our business and which did not. I asked the same simple question to each and every marketing head with 100% declaring the same emphatic answer: “No.”

During my recent Channel IQ high-tech keynote presentation in Chicago (entire keynote video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVVL8h7hiX0 ), I specifically asked a room of several hundred attendees the same question: “How many of you in the room today are publishers?” Their squinting eyes and surprised expressions foretold the results. Less than 10 people raised their hands. I immediately declared to an un-expecting room: “You are all publishers, of one of a kind content or another. And beginning in 2015 your brand and product success will either hyper-accelerate or hyper-hibernate.” Those who create and mature a publishing construct will be hyper-fueled to scotch formidable competitors, gain market advantage. In 2015 you must think and act like a publisher – or you must think about a new career.  

Why do so many in CE sales and marketing define publishing in such a narrow-cast way: only within the context of print editorial, advertising or internet (email, text, blogs) communications? We as manufacturers publish content defined as hardware, software, services and of course cloud based apps. Whether you’re selling a magazine, a web site, apps, products, software or even an idea, you are, indeed, a publisher of content. Content, in my opinion, is everything and anything produced, purchased and shared. To extend this thinking, yes indeed, even product cosmetics, tooling design and exterior packaging enveloped around your product are valuable published content.

YOU ARE A PUBLISHER

Editorial publishing is declared as having: “a unique editorial or USP (unique selling proposition) franchise that attracts relevant, highly active buyers (through CRM – circulation) that allows a brand to invite sellers to meet buyers, to enjoy revenue and profits for future investments and market growth.” If you are a manufacturer of content – again products, software, apps and or services – then in fact, you are a publisher. Not an editorial publisher rather a product publisher. When you eye and strategize the market as a publisher, you advantage team productivity, celerity, efficiency, channel dominance, brand power and most importantly consumer engagements.

As a declared publisher you also recognize and capitalize on the essence of a unique product and brand position, the absolute need to build a valued circulation through CRM and SCRM (Social Consumer Relationship Management), and navigate the power circulation affords you to engine revenues and profits. At the core of any publishing model is frequency consistency, size, color and location. Our consumer electronics sales, advertising and PPLM (profitable product lifecycle management) chores need to mirror  and market-express the same: to best unleash capacity, accelerate shelf pull, build tightly  knit brand and product engineering and to punish and subjugate competitive  productivity. 

As example and in contrast, content publishers view each consumer engagement as a potential, time based subscription-annuity to be fawned, matured and fueled towards accelerating future product introductions and desired market demand. They seed mature and commanding CRM and SCRM data lakes at the heart of their content strategy, as the future and protracted value of their products and brands. These databases act as successful harbingers for next-gen content demand. Content publishers are highly creative as well as smartly focused on datamining consumers from a psychographic, geographic and content-graphic relevant perspective. Publishers drive emotional appeal, they service consumer imagination; they pull brand and product desire, never push it. They crosspollinate relevant products to their customer base under the ribs of their brand posture, their brand personality.

Finally, publishers know that simplicity rules. Content whether realized as a product, as software, as apps or as a physical newspaper like USA Today, needs to be simple to engage with, simple to navigate and socially share.

Just imagine if your brand acted with a flinty crosscompany mindset and charter under the ribs of a savvy publishing umbrella. Your hard-earned CRM circulation would be big, mature, robust, assiduously engaged and conflated to: your brand and products – to your channel partners, to your factory forecasts, your retailers: to ambient push and pull efforts. Indeed, with a united and smartly galvanized publishing environment your leadership team will begin to benefit from the plutonic power and speed of content publishing versus the worn legacy of sluggish product marketing.

Peter Weedfald is president of Gen One Ventures and author of Green Reign Leadership

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One Response to Content: The Publishing Plutocracy

  1. Tara says:

    Another great article and a very productive way of thinking. I also love the use of hopscotching … a beautiful visual of the day to day demand.

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