Suki Thompson’s comment piece (MW May 19) was highly perceptive. It did bring the late 1990s internet boom to mind, when the branded content debate raged in the context of the “stickiness” of different websites. The debate has now moved on to the event and experiential channels.
Content is critical today because of two interlocking trends: relevance and targeting. Mass media’s decline has been hastened by the explosion in media choice. And targeting is all about understanding how, when and why individuals choose to consume certain media, events or entertainment at certain times. The implications for brands may be to think smaller, as in entertaining or appealing to smaller segments, or to think about customers before prospects – points implied by Thompson’s examples of Sony PlayStation and Lynx.
One medium that can tick the boxes of relevance and targeting is customer magazines – strongly
branded content which entertains customers and keeps them loyal. No surprise, then, that it’s the second-fastest growing medium.