Beyond PR

Sep 05, 2012

How a Clown Fish Can Unlock Your Company’s Content Marketing Budget

When Drew Davis of Tippingpoint Labs first brought up how Finding Nemo could act as the rationale for securing added budget for content marketing I thought something was fishy. Why would a Pixar fish flick – albeit the most successful DVD ever – provide suitable ammo to change the budgetary habits of a CMO?

Here’s why.

Most companies invest a huge percentage of their budget in buying time and space – advertising, PR, and so forth – but much less on creating the actual message. Consider the Geico example that was shared in the session.

  • Geico has a $745mm marketing/advertising budget.
  • Geico has 19 types of insurance. That’s $39mm (and change) for each insurance type if they were to divide the budget equally.
  • $35mm goes to buying time and space – blank pages, air, and so forth. Only $4mm for the messaging.

Now invert that budget allotment.

Finding Nemo had an $87 million budget. 80% of the budget, according to Drew, was spent on making the film. The remaining 20% was spent on marketing the film.  Again… 80% for creating the actual content. 20% on marketing it.

The results? Great content triggered significant action and created a demand. Finding Nemo is the #1 selling DVD of all time and a term, “The Nemo Effect” – a rush to purchase clown fish that depleted clown fish counts worldwide (this really happened!) – was coined.

Geico has been wildly successful – you can’t swing a gecko without hitting some form of Geico outreach. Is this attributed to deft messaging or massive amounts of placement? But how much better could it be? What if Geico invested $35mm in ongoing content creation/messaging and $4mm in marketing/advertising? What if your company inverted this kind of messaging vs. marketing/advertising spend and invested in content creation for your audience(s) that creates demand?

Drew’s message to a CMO is this: If you want to increase awareness, buy ads. If you want to increase demand, create content.

I’d put my money on demand.

What do you think?

Author Malcolm Atherton is one of PR Newswire’s account partners with long expertise in social media, PR and multimedia content distribution.

At PR Newswire, content marketing is powered by an agile communications approach – built on effectively listening to online conversations, targeting of active influencers, creating content based on the insights gleaned and syndicating content that is relevant, compelling and trustworthy on an ongoing basis to drive visibility and deliver results.

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