BBC marketing to showcase genres rather than individual shows

The BBC has overhauled its on-air marketing strategy to showcase the variety of content it produces rather than focusing on pushing programmes individually, as the broadcaster looks to cut its marketing budget by 25%.

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On air advertising will focus on the five editorial priorities set out by the BBC’s “Delivering Quality First” proposals: journalism; knowledge; culture and music; UK drama and comedy; children’s programming and “events that bring communities and nations together”.

Director of marketing and audiences Helen Normoyle told Marketing Week that as a public service broadcaster, it is important the BBC tells a bigger story around what it does for categories, such as producing original British drama or its work for the community, rather than solely promoting popular shows, such as Sherlock or Strictly Come Dancing.

“As much as it is important to navigate people to the specific shows they want to watch, we want to spend time telling the broader genre stories because they’re such an important part of our remit,” she says.

Normoyle adds that the marketing department is scrutinising how it approaches efficiency and effectiveness to determine how it can “do more with less”.

“We are streamlining processes to work smarter and reduce the amount of time it takes to do something, so a 25% cut in budget doesn’t equate to 25% less work,” she says.

The marketing and audiences division underwent a restructure in April last year as part of the BBC’s drive to cut down costs across the entire organisation by 20% – a result of the six year freeze of the licence fee.

The restructure saw the brand marketing and creative marketing personnel separated into two teams, with brand marketers now linked to specific channels and genres and the creative division working to a more general central unit.

Normoyle says the new structure allows “greater focus” on the BBC’s editorial priorities but also the creative flexibility to move people around the organisation and work on a number of different brands at once.

Read the full interview with Helen Normoyle – her first since being appointed director of marketing and audiences at the BBC – in Marketing Week magazine on 2 February.

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