Week in Content Marketing: 6 January 2012

This week sees Publicis Blueprint be named Marketing's Customer Publishing Agency of the Year, The River Group smashes sales records with the Co-operative magazine, key branded content trends for 2012 by the APA, Coca-Cola unveils its Content 2020 marketing strategy, and how to host exclusive brand events while still giving the wider public access.

We kick the new year off with the news that content agency Publicis Blueprint has been named Customer Publishing Agency of the Year by top trade magazine Marketing. The agency, which works with brands including ASDA, Cath Kidston, Hewlett-Packard and Orange, was praised for its turnaround and its offer of ‘compelling branded communications and content across platforms'. The judges were impressed by Publicis Blueprint's ability to work both as a lead agency and collaboratively with other agencies and suppliers globally.

Meanwhile The River Group could announce that the Co-operative Membership Magazine, which it publishes, has smashed records for electrical shop sales in the run up to Christmas. The magazine was partly responsible for the best ever week of sales in the time before the holidays, with sales up by 22% year on year. The result is a testament to how content can drive sales, revenue and profit, River's CEO Dr Nicola Murphy commented.

As is the norm with a new year we will take a look at what might be to come and some key branded content trends for 2012. The year just gone was a landmark year for the media, and one that saw customer publishing agencies continue to go from strength to strength in both established formats like print and the new digital platforms like apps. There are of course many lists, some of which we will mention later, of what is likely to happen in 2012 but here are five:

  1. Digital magazines will evolve and extend beyond apps and PDFs
  2. Brands will be focusing more on content than on apps
  3. Old fashioned editorial values are back in vogue
  4. Print is not dead
  5. It might be the year of the Kindle...

What do you think the content trends for the coming twelve months will be?

If you are interested in finding out more on measuring digital content, our next Digital Breakfast looks at this topic. You can find all of the 2012 dates and topics here but if you are interested in attending the first one it takes place on 7th February 2012 at IAB. For more information and to book you place click here.

In our search for what others have written about the content trends for the year ahead we came across this article named print lives and 10 other content marketing trends for 2012 - from a PRs point of view - on, the online outlet for The Boston Globe. They list creative ownership, increased spreading of videos, curation will not be just for museums, content marketing budgets will increase and print marketing reemerging as a tactile, creative and multidimensional way of sharing stories among the trends for 2012. 

Popular content marketing blog has also looked into the crystal ball and offer over 150 content marketing and social media predictions for the year ahead. Themes include that Google+ will become a force to look at, video and mobile will finally both take centre stage and original, long-form content will make a comeback.

One brand that is betting big on content marketing is soft drinks company Coca-Cola who has unveiled its marketing mission statement: Content 2020. Joe Pulizzi of has spent some time reviewing the brand's strategy plan and has been left with the notion that Coca-Cola's marketing future rests on the ideals of content marketing. Read more about it here.

Marketing Week has written a feature on how tech-savvy marketers are maximising the impact of closed events by employing digital tools to give the wider public access to related content while still maintaining exclusivity. Exclusive events can as we know earn brands love and loyalty when done well, but the proficient use of social media and digital tools mean that marketers can also widen an event's impact. The article lists several brands that have done this well including Swarovski, Lynxx and Clarks.

The mix of offline and online marketing activity is essential these days for brands to succeed, but how can brands win consumers' digital hearts and minds asks WallBlog. According to Gartner's latest figures, smartphone sales now account for 26% of all mobile phone sales. It goes without saying that brands ought to follow their customers in the digital world. But as the article notes, unfortunately many brands are racing ahead without really having pinpointed how their customers are connecting to them, their services and one another on mobile devices. The article highlights four considerations that one must address to create real customer engagement in today's digital arena: relevance, collaboration and co-creation, connecting the digital and physical worlds and touch-based interactions.

And lastly, in social media news, car brand Toyota is to launch a social media initiative that invites fans to create a personalised pop video alongside the animated stars of its recent Yaris campaign. Taking place on Facebook and Twitter, fans will be able to submit a personalised ‘shout out' that will be created as a video starring the ad's characters: rapper Gadget and Slick the puppet. 

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6thJan 2012

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