Neal Anderson, group account and digital director, Publicis Blueprint
You raise some interesting points in your feature on branded content (nma 17 February 2011). Particularly poignant is the issue around who’s best placed to create it.
It’s a discussion I’m sure every agency has had with a brand recently. Each will have promoted its unique skillset and ability to connect with customers. But there’s one sector that has successfully provided branded content for decades.
Customer publishing agencies are experts at conversing with consumers in an interactive, engaging and credible way. Importantly, they also act as brand guardians, highly skilled in delivering effective editorial and video content, minus overtly commercial messages. Plus they provide a useful and protective buffer between brands and customers. Our credentials are well established and our effectiveness in our traditional print heartland has been proven time and time again. However, we weren’t first to shout about repurposing this branded content via digital channels.
That’s no longer the case. You only have to look at recent case studies to see how customer publishers are actively promoting, producing and managing joined-up, crafted and successful online and social campaigns for major multinationals as well as smaller, niche brands.
Crucially, customer publishers have always focused on an area currently in the spotlight: how to measure and monetise content for brands.