Why This Former CMO Believes „Owned Media” Is The Future Of Marketing

The pace at which people consume content is rapidly evolving, and for both consumers and B2B brands, adaptation is critical to staying competitive.

06 September 2023 14.18

The rate at which people consume contents rapidly evolving and, for both Consumer brands As for companies B2BAdaptation is key to maintaining competitiveness.

I recently sat down Anthony KennedyFounder and CEO Audience Plus. According to his post on X, he’s a „B2B marketer trapped in a B2C marketer’s body.” This makes sense since his company focuses on bringing the same tactics used in consumer marketing to businesses.

His company, AudiencePlus, focuses on proprietary media. In this interview, Anthony argues that this channel is critical to succeed in today’s business, as the way people consume content is evolving.

Gary Trenick: Tell us about your career and how your stint as Marketing Director at Keynesit led you to where you are today.

Anthony Kennedy: My first role in marketing was the CMO position at Gainsight – not informed by demand generation or product marketing or tenure through any other segment of the industry.

Without the benefit of operational experience, I looked to consumer brands like Airbnb and media personalities like James Gordon for inspiration on how to “market”. Fortunately, those early starts paid off.

gain
gain

We built a $1 billion+ brand at Gainsight by creating and monetizing thought leadership in the customer success industry. We use tactics that B2B corporate marketers classify as branding – like content marketing, social and events.

We found these programs useful in not only starting a movement behind customer success and positioning our brand as market leaders, but they also helped us generate sustainable revenue growth and build a competitive edge around the business.

I created AudiencePlus to deliver the same results to other industries by building and monetizing their audience.

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Audience Plus
Audience Plus

Trenik: What problems does AudiencePlus solve for businesses today?

Kenya: We marketers have lost control of our impact on revenue. For years we have paid to reach our audience through search marketing and digital advertising or to rent access through third-party algorithms on social networks, content networks or search engines.

Due to a lack of marketing resources, new data privacy laws, and our changing relationship with social media, companies today are investing in building their own direct relationships with their audiences through a well-understood, but somewhat marginalized, strategy.

Marketing generation
Marketing Gene’s Alpha

AudiencePlus helps companies build, engage and monetize their audiences by allowing brands to become their own distribution channels.

We’ve built a pioneering SaaS platform that transforms a blog and resource center into a modern media asset, helping businesses distribute media like articles, videos and podcasts, build an audience of subscribers, and understand the engagement and revenue nexus. Individual and account level.

Trenik: The way people consume information is changing faster than ever with the advent of new social platforms. What does this mean for both businesses and consumers? How can companies adapt?

B2B
B2B

Kenya: For most B2B companies, social media is part of a social strategy. We hire a junior marketer to „be active” on social media and measure her ability to grow her following on each platform.

But until now, social media has not played a major role in generating income, at least outside of paid advertising.

Given the evolving landscape, B2B marketers must follow the lead of consumer media and make social media the tip of the spear for global marketing management. They consider the marketing funnel through the lens of rented, owned and monetized audiences. At the top of the consumer media funnel are rental channels like social networks, where content distribution and audience engagement begin.

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Social networks, companies, marketing
Social networks, companies, marketing

Our teams have to learn the ins and outs of each algorithm and figure out how to maximize distribution among an audience of followers.

They should test short video clips owned by the source to know when to relink their media property to drive engagement and convert a follower into a subscriber.

It’s a new muscle that many of us have to develop, but it’s critical to reducing our dependence on algorithms we can’t control and establishing a direct relationship with our audience.

Social networks, companies, marketing
Social networks, companies, marketing

Trenik: How should companies consider the „native media” they create to stand out and gain attention?

Kenya: What I see as a new approach to content marketing is a focus on creating content for humans, not algorithms. Traditionally, content teams spent too much time writing blog posts for Google’s search algorithms, not for what humans want to use.

According to a recent survey Prosper Insight & AnalyticsLess than 25% of people start an online search after seeing an ad, so it’s not a dominant habit.

Prosper - Survey B
Prosper – Online search survey

People watch videos, listen to podcasts, read editorials and participate in live broadcasts. Media is evolving and our teams are starting to invest in emerging content formats.

Historically, we have not been able to track the impact of these programs, especially when content is distributed on YouTube, Spotify, etc. We are at the other end of a campaign with an arbitrary number of views and listens left.

That is the advantage of own media. Not only can we deliver content that cuts through the noise and captures attention, but we can also demonstrate the impact of these programs on business results with our proprietary first-rate engagement data.

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People watching computer port
People are looking at laptop

Trenik: Many speculate that AI will completely change the way we consume information and shop. Is this something companies should already be paying attention to, and if so, how can they get ahead of the curve?

Kenya: There is no doubt that AI will have a transformative impact on marketing. The downside is that creating „good” content to distribute online already happens, and these tools add even more noise to an already noisy market.

According to Prosper Insights & Analytics, 23% of professionals use ChatGPT for content creation. With the bar for creating written content now lower than ever, the pressure to create content that cuts through the noise to truly engage audiences and create value is greater than ever.

Prosper Survey Chat GPT
Prosper Survey Chat GPT

But the potential for AI to replicate beyond the hype is exciting.

Imagine if machine learning could sort through a pipeline of first-party engagement data to understand which content topics or formats resonate with specific cohorts of our audience.

or if the interaction with a particular property is highly correlated with the acceleration of the tube. Or which distribution channels are best used to drive engagement.

Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence

Kenya: While the first wave of AI focused on generative use cases, I believe the next (and long-term) wave will be powered by companies running ads on internal data systems.

Companies that invest now in collecting first-party data will be well positioned to take advantage.

Trenik: Thank you for taking your time to discuss this topic which is definitely important for marketing professionals and companies who want to stay up to date. We’re excited to see how AudiencePlus develops its product in new ways to support the growth of businesses around the world.

Note issued Forbes US

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