Think like a publisher. That’s the call of the content marketer. Exactly what product and service providers are being told to do, if they wish to remain relevant in our post-industrial world.
With companies such as Nike, Red Bull and Coca-Cola leading the way, brands across the world are taking steps to increase capacity in content creation, community management and analytics.
But if the future is content, and brands are all beginning to think like publishers, then what are publishers doing?
Generally they’re trying trying to figure out how to remain relevant in the face of ever decreasing profits. It’s fair to say the publishing industry is under serious threat.
Harry Potter, Rocky and Luke Skywalker were also. And as I sat on the long flight from Melbourne to Bangkok I realised, the rebellion has begun.
Enter Monocle. A lifestyle magazine covering global affairs, business, culture and design. Or as Hamilton Nolan, editor for Gawker, described it, “a lifestyle magazine for young, stylish, business-oriented jetsetters.”
The beauty of Monocle is it has openly refused to produce online editions, other than the archives on its website available only to subscribers. Yet that’s just the start.
While Monocle does not publish an online version, it has quickly become a content marketing powerhouse. Their website houses films and documentaries. It also has a radio station. Yes, not a podcast or even radio program… Radio station – Monocle 24 – with various programs consistent with their audiences interest. Don’t forget the television program that aired internationally on Bloomberg.
All this is impressive in its own right, and something other publishers should learn from, but it gets better. While product and service providers are learning how to be more like publishers, Monocle has started selling fashion and lifestyle products which they design through collaboration with various brands. I’m not talking cheap merchandise. Rather, beautifully designed products that sit perfectly with the magazines aesthetic and brand values.
Think about that for a second. Publishers have the audience. They certainly have the skills and resources for content marketing, as well as relationships with those brand advertising with them to leverage relationships for collaboration or partnership.
Rather than being collateral damage in online (r)evolution, publishers are in a prime position to become ecommerce power players.
I may be struggling with jet lag, but it seems like less of a leap for a publisher to become a product producing, content marketing powerhouse than it is for most enterprises to become publishers.
If I were working for a large publishing house, I’d be investing in bring the right people on board to help identify opportunities and push into new markets, all while maintaining the brand essence.
It’s only a matter of time before other publishers follow Monocle’s lead; they probably already are.
So begins the take of the publisher’s revenge.
- This post was written with a iPad on my lap. I promise to fix links, spelling, grammar upon my return to sunny Melbourne next week.