Creators, Advertisers and Curators: Who Is Who in the World of Owned and Rented Media

I was fortunate to attend the Innovation Congress by Social Fresh on July 19 at The New School in New York City.

The content at #innocon was focused on helping businesses stay competitive in the next few years within the categories of digital trends, technology innovations, and societal shifts.

One of the speakers I was very impressed with was Adrian D. Parker, Vice President, Marketing for Patrón Tequila. His presentation, entitled “Shots, Bots and Emoji: How Patrón, Pairs Tequila and Technology” had some truly stand out thinking, such as Adrian’s analysis of the relationship between owning and renting your content and your audience.

This is a struggle for many brands, as they wrestle with the allure of branded content to cut through the advertising clutter. Adrian takes it one step further by saying, “Building a brand on advertising is like adopting a new kid every time.” A great way to think about buying advertising space.

The content and audience combinations to evaluate are simple yet fraught with many pros and cons. Depending on what you feel is most relevant to your brand, you can start by owning your audience and owning your content and, on the opposite end, you can rent both audience and content buy operating like a traditional advertising and solely buying media.

 The audience and qontent business model matrix as presented by Adrian Parker at #innocon

The audience and qontent business model matrix as presented by Adrian Parker at #innocon

Depending on which quadrant you are in, the content business model changes. Curators own their audience, typically in their social channels, and rent their content. Publishers also own their audience but are different because they own their content and are considered to be “story sellers” as they try to monetize their content and audience. Creators also own their content but instead rent their audience through distribution partnerships while maximizing the value of their content IP. Advertisers operate by spending and sponsoring as they rent both the content and the audience because they are the ones buying the advertising inventory made available by the publishers.

 The various content business models - curators, publishers, advertisers and creators.

The various content business models - curators, publishers, advertisers and creators.

In each quadrant, there are very specific themes that you must maximize. For curators it’s about the competency of curation, how much, how often and how relevant to your audience. Publishers attempt to build and leverage their own unique content culture and value proposition. Creators must have the capability to create true intellectual property (IP) that has a perceived value to an audience. And for advertisers, it’s all about managing costs and increasing efficiencies so you can do more with less.

 An analysis of each quadrant in the content audience business model matrix.

An analysis of each quadrant in the content audience business model matrix.

This quadrant matriz is such a simple way to understand your options as a brand marketer. Do you want to become a publisher? Building a culture is a massive proposition and you have to be ready to invest and have patience. Or will your brand become a creator, develop and produce original content, build a new revenue stream and transcend from products to IP, big big proposition that very few brands have succeeded at. Remaining an advertiser can seem the simplest but with audiences leaving traditional TV networks, ad blockers and the crashing performance rates on ads on mobile, the challenge is ominous.

Learn more about Adrian Parker on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter and check out the Patrón Tequila bot-tenders. (By the way, I like my Patrón Tequila Anejo straight on the rocks.)