Social media marketers have turned the world upside down. Video marketers have more often turned it inside out. And that, almost literally, is happening to the idea of what marketing should be.
The traditional view is that marketers rely on the media to get their story told. That you have to hire expensive public relations agencies to persuade journalists to write about your business. Sometimes you get lucky, a few publications write about your product and most of the time it’s positive. But those same publications won’t write about you for another year or until you have a major, press worthy announcement. There are a lot of companies with a lot of stories which means a lot of competition for a journalist’s time.
Yet some marketers have quite literally taken the initiative to create their own media. And a subset of those have started to create their own branded video (video produced by the brand). Even a much smaller subset have started to experiment with live video.
But I have yet to run into a chief marketing officer that not only uses live branded video, but is the host and star of the program – until now. Most shockingly, he is the senior vice president (SVP) of a publicly traded company.
If Red Bull gives you wings, then Callaway gives you drive.
Harry Arnett, SVP of Callaway isn’t your typical head of marketing. He doesn’t sit back in the corner office dictating memos to subordinates or holding long, agonizing meetings about marketing theory. He’s actually hosting and running a live golf TV program on the web, and it’s remarkably good programming.
Watch my interview with Arnett, then read below for my commentary on what’s actually going on.
Sure, he’s spending a lot on the set and equipment, but as Arnett told me in our interview, Callaway isn’t paying him double for taking on the role of talent. So the costs are reasonable and he believes the return on investment easily justifies the spend.
Arnett understands the enormous opportunity in branded content as well as the challenges. He cites Red Bull as the trailblazer for branded video, but I’d cite Arnett as the CMO archetype of the future. “Who else,” as he put it, “understands the brand better than the head of marketing?”
Yet getting people to choose Arnett’s content over millions of other options is a real challenge. He’s competing with ESPN, Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, and thousands more sports news sites around the web. As with any form of content, brands need to create extraordinary content to gain attention and engagement.
Still, as Arnett puts it, “The best place to learn about golf is from the golfers. Not from ESPN or other media once removed.” Of course Callaway employees are intimately involved in golf and Arnett has a major line up of golfers appearing on his program.
Arnett also cites the ability to move fans of his program into branded communities. He believes sports teams and brands have surrendered their fans to third parties or media owned communities which is a big miss. He predicts that within five years, most teams will take back control of their fans and be producing their own media.
For most organizations, I suggest simply starting with video as a slice of your marketing program. You can take the 30-day video marketing challenge (produce a short video every day and post it) to get better at developing episodic video. Create extraordinary content and you’ll find it more rewarding than one-off articles and ads on Facebook. Remember, if you’re producing your own media, you don’t need to rely on anyone but yourself to get your story told. I’d also strongly recommend that organizations move the most passionate fans of their content to branded communities. These are communities that you control and are not subject to the whims of social networks like Facebook. Let’s face it, the one thing we can count on is that anytime a third party controls our most important asset (our customers and fans), they will find a way to charge us for access.
That’s not a business model to count on.
This article was written by Mark Fidelman from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.