Be the Advertiser, Lower Marketing Costs with Partnership Marketing

January 22, 2013

Brands Are Becoming Newsrooms

We talk a lot about Create Your Own Branded Media here at the Urbane Lab, where ideas are tested on our own businesses first, so we know what works and what doesn’t. We have deployed our own capital on testing ideas first, before introducing them to clients. Big brands are way ahead of the Branded Media game. Many have organized news rooms. Brands are Becoming Publishers. Small business should step up to the plate as well. You can lower your marketing costs and increase leads.

What Is Branded Media

Branded Media is a marketing term referring broadly to the development, production and delivery of media (print, digital, audio, video, events) designed to strengthen the relationship between the business and their audience or prospects. It is also called custom media, customer media, member media, content marketing, and custom publishing. In-flight magazines, sponsored by airlines, were one of the first custom media. 

Branded Media is designed to reach a tightly focused audience of customers, members, alumni or other constituency. Branded Media can be produced “in-house” by organizations. The best and most wildly successful example is Red Bull Media. One of the earliest forms of Branded Media content is the eight part BMW film series The Hire starring Clive Owen from 2002. All eight films featured popular filmmakers from across the globe, starred Clive Owen as the driver and highlighted the performance aspects of various BMW automobiles. Viewed 11 million times in four months on BMW’s site, according to BMW Blog. What’s most amazing about this campaign was that this was pre-YouTube.

Shift From Buying Advertising to Being the Advertiser 

Some companies sell advertising space within their custom publications to third parties; this subsizes the cost of publication; creates a more authentic editorial environment; and allows third parties to purchase and publicizes an association with the businesses audience, (e.g. food suppliers may purchase advertising space within a supermarket’s custom media). This drives down the expnding cost of advertising. We have advertisers at our Urbane Life online Magazine that pay us for banner ads and sponsored stories. What was an expense to the parent company, slowly shifts toward a revenue stream.    

Branded Media aims to build a relationship of trust and loyalty with the sponsor’s customers, so they regard the sponsor as the vendor of choice when they make purchases. This is accomplished by providing information and, often, advice, that meets the needs and suits the preferences of the sponsor’s target market. It serves the interests of the audience, rather than overtly plugging products and services the way ads do.[

At Urbane we have been working at Branded Media for a number of years and we have developed a significant following, friends and fan base across several of our digital platforms. You must Extend Your Social Reach. This last week I received a call from a local event marketer, Jon Witz, whom Urbane has partnered with several times. Our Urbane Life Brand has served as a  Media Partner for an array of local events, averaging eight to ten a year. We have redefined Partnership Marketing, which has crated significant opportunity for us. There are some people that you always take there calls, this guy is one of them. He is the guy that Roger Penske tapped to coordinate the Super Bowl when it came to Detroit, he organized things for the NCAA basketball Final Four when they were in Detroit. 

Jon was calling top see if we were in as a Media Partner for his upcoming Winter Blast in downtown Detroit next month, and to check in about his ever popular Arts, Beats and Eats event that garners in excess of 500,000 people over the Labor Day weekend. What he said though made me smile, that our social outreach was of significant, measurable value, even more so than some of the traditional media outlets. We like that, a lot. 

Remember friends, we are just a small boutique apartment apartment operator, turned Branded Media Company. We choose to not be a commodity and have built a social outreach on par with the local news and media companies.  Do we have the same outreach, not exactly, but we have enough to be in the game, and to get folks talking about our brand, and you can to. Start today building your own Branded Media. You can do it, and will find the investment pays back compound dividends. 

Eric Brown

Eric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established Urbane Media, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine. You can connect with Urbane_Media on Twitter. Eric also writes regular articles for the following publications;  Multi Housing News Social Media Examiner Search Engine Guide

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