What Are The Learnings From The Death Of Bauer Works & King Content?

What Are The Learnings From The Death Of Bauer Works & King Content?
SHARE
THIS



Here, managing director of Hardie Grant Media, Nick Hardie-Grant (pictured below), casts an eye – and looks for learnings – in the sudden demise of two local content marketing businesses – Bauer Works and King Content…

It could be easy to think that the death of King Content and the closure of Bauer Works are reflective of an industry-wide trend in Australian content and publishing. But they’re not. So how can two of the biggest players in a growing market both stumble so spectacularly in the same year?

Nick Hardie-Grant

Content marketing isn’t new. In fact, it pre-dates traditional advertising. What’s new is the increasingly important role it plays in a brand’s marketing mix. This year the Content Marketing Institute reported that 82 per cent of Australian marketers use content marketing. And, on average, content accounts for 30 per cent of the total marketing budget, and this is forecast to increase in 2018.

So with so much opportunity and growth in the market, it’s confounding that some of Australia’s major content agencies are struggling. King Content’s ongoing financial woes have been widely reported, Bauer Works has ‘integrated’ into the wider Bauer stable and Pacific+ has scaled back its focus on custom content. Granted they’ve all had their own specific issues – some of which are bigger than others – but sitting here, as a content and publishing agency, there’s a recurring theme that’s hard to ignore.

As Bobbi Mahlab wrote recently, King Content’s approach to business and its subsequent unravelling should not reflect badly on the content marketing industry as a whole. In the same way, the moves at Bauer Works and Pacific+ are not reflective of the custom publishing and content sector as a whole. However, there are some approaches in the broader content and marketing industries that continue to be repeated, which, I believe, can explain some (although not all) of the recent changes in content and publishing. These are a) quality of content, b) adapting commercial models and c) client service.

Firstly, the volume of competing ‘content’ out there means quality is more important than ever. When I say ‘content’, I’m referring to a growing list of formats – from editorial to video, photography, and audio, across a range of industries, from health and finance to fashion and travel, tailored for certain channels from Facebook, to magazines to email. As a brand, or as a media or PR agency, being skilled enough to deliver quality content with all of those factors in mind, while focusing on your core business, is not easy. And we know that over-promising to get a client over the line or attempting to force cookie-cutter approaches across all channels can result in poor quality and ineffective content, which is highly visible.

Secondly, the shifting media landscape has completely changed the commercial models behind a lot of these contracts. Commercialising content is no longer just selling ads in mags – it needs creative and integrated solutions, data insights, digital expertise, increased production and management, and all for a more competitive price. There’s still a lot of value in the media assets and audiences of strong brands but even those traditionally successful models are being challenged, meaning the client-agency relationships need to keep evolving. As much as media brands like Pacific and Bauer are experts in media, and there are perceived client benefits of that media such as added value and reach, when it comes to delivering quality and effective content to a brand’s audience, this has very little real impact. Commercialising client content and channels requires a fresh and innovative approach.

Lastly, client service and delivering results is more important than ever. As an agency, we aim to work as an extension of our client’s team – whether it’s the marketing team, digital team or commercial team. Continuing to consistently deliver results for your clients is what client service is all about. There’s communication, proactivity and net promoter scores, but if you over promise and under deliver, if you’re more accustomed to working on a consumer facing brand than a client’s, or if your client teams are constantly changing, then it’s going to take a toll over time.

The daily headlines in the industry press about struggling content and custom publishing agencies doesn’t, in my opinion, point to the death or the weakness of the industry as a whole. What it does in fact reveal is that content agencies face many challenges around their role and how they work with clients. Conversely this shows the value in getting the client-agency relationship right from the outset and where the opportunities lie for content agencies to add value, produce results and really help clients.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Officeworks Makes Christmas More Meaningful In Fresh Campaign Via AJF
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Officeworks Makes Christmas More Meaningful In Fresh Campaign Via AJF

Office and stationary supplier Officeworks has launched its Christmas campaign for 2017 that encourages Aussies to think more about what they choose to gift loved ones this festive season. The campaign TVC shows a modern extended Aussie family unwrapping presents such as a camera for a new ‘point of view’, an art set to ‘open […]

Pringles Unveils New-look Cans To Celebrate Release Of Justice League Movie
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Pringles Unveils New-look Cans To Celebrate Release Of Justice League Movie

To mark the release of the newest superhero action flick Justice League, Kellogg’s-owned chip brand Pringles has redesigned some of its cans. ‘BBQ Batman’, ‘Salt & Vinegar Aquaman’,’ Sour Cream & Chives Wonderwoman’, and ‘Original Cyborg’ Are now gracing the supermarket shelves. Furthermore, Pringles fans who buy two participating cans and enter the advertised competition, […]

The Selfless Art Of Putting Your Self First
  • Opinion

The Selfless Art Of Putting Your Self First

Typically at B&T our columns are about industry stuff – issues, reviews, problem solving and a dash of futurism. However, in this guest column, the managing director of GPJ Australia, Caleb Bush (pictured below), takes an all the more holistic approach and says you’ll be an all-round better human if you start finding time for your self. […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Leo Burnett UK Study Finds Generation X Have Become “Generation Stretched”
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Leo Burnett UK Study Finds Generation X Have Become “Generation Stretched”

Adults aged 35 to 55 have always found themselves bearing the brunt of family responsibility – caring simultaneously for pre- and school age children as well as ageing parents. But according to new research from Leo Burnett in the UK, today’s Generation X-ers are ‘Generation Stretched’ – struggling under more pressures from more directions than […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Honda Unveils New Digital Content Driven Campaign Via Leos
  • Campaigns

Honda Unveils New Digital Content Driven Campaign Via Leos

Honda Australia has launched a new digital content-driven campaign showcasing the brand’s all-new hatch, the Civic Type R, that features a number of Australian athletes. The digital campaign – produced by advertising agency Leo Burnett – defines what it means to be the quintessential ‘Type R’ personality by experiencing the extensive shift to an athlete’s […]

Study: 65% Of Australia’s Largest Listed Company CEOs Are Snubbing Twitter
  • Media

Study: 65% Of Australia’s Largest Listed Company CEOs Are Snubbing Twitter

New research has found that many Aussie CEOs are snubbing social channels despite there being more than 2.4 billion active social media users globally, and ongoing evidence that social media significantly impacts people’s buying decisions. Just 35 per cent of the CEOs of Australia’s 20 largest listed companies are active on Twitter, and only half […]

Projucer Unveils Content Production Slate For 2018
  • Media

Projucer Unveils Content Production Slate For 2018

Australia’s purveyor of original programming, Projucer, has announced an array of new multi-platform TV shows, digital content and exponential production studio growth. From Jack Stein (yes, Rick Stein’s son) taking British cuisine across 10 different countries on Inside the Box, to a Veterinarian operating out of the remote Western Australian desert for Desert Vet, Projucer […]

Blue 449’s Sonia Pitchuev Recognised In Google’s Performance Honours Comp
  • Advertising
  • Media

Blue 449’s Sonia Pitchuev Recognised In Google’s Performance Honours Comp

Blue 449 is celebrating Sonia Pitchuev’s recognition in the Megastar category of the Google Performance Honours. Google Performance Honours is a competition aimed at spotlighting our next media superstars and highlighting the online campaign work by agencies across Australia and New Zealand. Each individual competes on their own merits by submitting a case study of […]

MLA Forced To Pull Latest Lamb Ad By The Monkeys After Ad Watchdog Overturns Decision
  • Advertising

MLA Forced To Pull Latest Lamb Ad By The Monkeys After Ad Watchdog Overturns Decision

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) has spectacularly U-turned on its original decision regarding the latest lamb ad put out by The Monkeys for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). The ad, which features a number of historical religious figures including the Hindu god Lord Ganesha, was cleared by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) in September following […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Hardys Wine Stokes The Ashes Fire In New Campaign Via The Station Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Hardys Wine Stokes The Ashes Fire In New Campaign Via The Station Agency

To coincide with the Ashes cricket series, Hardys Wine has delivered the opening salvo in what is sure to be a keenly contested battle on field, with a little bit of fun at the expense of the Poms off it, in a new integrated campaign. For five generations, the Hardy family has made it their […]

Salesforce Launches Data Studio With Southern Cross Austereo & Mamamia
  • Marketing

Salesforce Launches Data Studio With Southern Cross Austereo & Mamamia

Salesforce has announced the launch of a data sharing platform with partners Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and Mamamia designed to connect data owners with buyers and create new marketing opportunities for audience discovery, sharing and activation. Part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Data Studio enables marketers to expand targeted reach with valuable audiences, provides […]

Pedestrian.tv Partners With Domain To Launch Home Content Vertical
  • Media

Pedestrian.tv Partners With Domain To Launch Home Content Vertical

Aussie youth-focused publication Pedestrian.tv has bolstered its lifestyle offering with the launch of its Home vertical, with Domain signing on as launch partner. Pedestrian Home will deliver content focused on homewares, hacks for sprucing up your space, a peep inside the amazing homes of well-known Aussies, as well as covering the real estate news and […]

Zenith Makes Two Senior Appointments
  • Advertising
  • Media

Zenith Makes Two Senior Appointments

Kylie Sneddon & Mark Johnson stamped Zenith 'movers & shakers' after promotion. Not like to their forehead or anything.

Photoplay Signs Director Frazer Bailey
  • Media

Photoplay Signs Director Frazer Bailey

Boutique production company Photoplay has announced the signing of award-winning comedy performance director Frazer Bailey for representation in Australia and New Zealand. Bailey won Gold for Direction at the BADC Awards for the hilarious Air Asia escapism campaign ‘Come Back Refreshed’ via Publicis and Silver for Millionaire’s Run ‘Prince of Nigeria’ through Brainheart. He has […]

Cornerstone OnDemand Appoints FORWARD Agency As PR Partner
  • Marketing

Cornerstone OnDemand Appoints FORWARD Agency As PR Partner

FORWARD Agency announced that they have been appointed by Cornerstone OnDemand as its PR agency of record for Australia and New Zealand. Cornerstone provides cloud-based human capital management software to help organisations realise the potential of the modern workforce. The appointment will see FORWARD working across all of Cornerstone OnDemand’s PR activities, including media relations, […]

Brisbane Agency P4 Group Celebrates Growth With A Rebrand
  • Marketing

Brisbane Agency P4 Group Celebrates Growth With A Rebrand

Brisbane-based PR and marketing agency P4 Group has today launched a new look and feel to align with its recent growth, with its team and client base almost doubling in the past year. Expanding its service offering to genuinely deliver on the integrated agency promise, P4 Group has grown its team of 15 to 26 […]

Retail Software Player Vend Moves Into AI As Part Of Platform Revamp
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Retail Software Player Vend Moves Into AI As Part Of Platform Revamp

Point-of-sale (POS) retail software company Vend has taken its first steps into AI to help retailers grow and compete as part of a major platform refresh. Dott aims to help retailers make better decisions about their stores and how to grow, bringing the much talked-about promise of AI to life for retail. Neither male nor […]

Enough With Your Shitty Videos Already
  • Opinion

Enough With Your Shitty Videos Already

Is a cat wearing a party hat filmed on your phone the extent of your video production? Read this for all our sakes.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Bauer’s Christian Fricke Resigns As MD Of Xcel Media
  • Media

Bauer’s Christian Fricke Resigns As MD Of Xcel Media

Further to today’s news that Bauer Media will close three of its magazine titles, the publisher has announced the resignation of Christian Fricke, managing director of Bauer Xcel Media. According to a statement sent to media, Fricke, who had been in the role a mere 18 months, will return to Germany for family reasons. Commenting on Fricke’s departure, Bauer Media […]

Former Aussie Cricket Captain and photography enthusiast Steve Waugh for SnapSydney.  Picture: John Appleyard
  • Campaigns
  • Media

News Corp Expands ‘Snap Australia’ Campaign To Regional Titles

News Corp’s award-winning Community Media’s ‘Snap Australia’ campaign continues to build momentum. ‘Snap Australia’ is a social media movement that celebrates what Aussies love about where they live. The feel-good factor of the initiative has extended into each capital city and into News Regional Media, with an additional 18 regional publications joining the initiative. Today […]

Virgin, Yellow Brick Road & GoSwitch Flock To Sports Content Platform PlayersVoice
  • Marketing
  • Media

Virgin, Yellow Brick Road & GoSwitch Flock To Sports Content Platform PlayersVoice

Six weeks after its launch, sports content platform PlayersVoice is winning the hearts and minds of consumers and brands. Established as a platform for rich and raw first-person sports storytelling, PlayersVoice has created an environment where elite sportspeople feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears, shining a light on ‘The Human Behind the […]

Red Agency Grows Partnership With The Whiddon Group
  • Marketing

Red Agency Grows Partnership With The Whiddon Group

NSW aged care specialists The Whiddon Group – a longstanding PR and social client of Red Agency – have widened their remit to include content, paid social and SEO in line with the evolution of the aged care sector. Whiddon, which celebrates its 70th birthday this year, delivers care services that enable quality of life […]

Image lead story Toby’s Estate Taps Influencers To Launch First Concept Coffee Range
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Toby’s Estate Taps Influencers To Launch First Concept Coffee Range

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters has launched its first ever concept coffee range – the Underdog Series. The series shines a spotlight on the world’s relatively unknown, but emerging specialty coffee producing regions. The Australian business leads the local market in selling specialty coffee from regions including Uganda, Malawi, Mexico and Myanmar. For the first time, […]

Image lead story Our Revolution Shows Off Packaging For New Smallgoods Player The Smokeman Brothers
  • Marketing

Our Revolution Shows Off Packaging For New Smallgoods Player The Smokeman Brothers

Locally-sourced Australian brand The Smokeman Brothers, has hit shelves with packaging mastered by independent creative agency Our Revolution. The Smokeman Brothers is different to your average deli meat. It is a range of premium crafted meats, made in Australia, and authentically smoked using sustainable timber sourced from the Victorian Highlands and The Riverina regions. Our […]

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign

Yarra Trams has appointed Icon Agency to deliver a new passenger safety campaign, following a competitive three-way pitch. The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of slips, trips and falls on trams via Melbourne’s latest safety ambassador, ‘Tram Coach’. Commencing today, Tram Coach will be travelling the Yarra Trams network throughout the week. His mission […]

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager
  • Marketing

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager

The Red Republic has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Mai Aristoteli (pictured above) as general manager. Aristoteli joins The Red Republic from Talk PR in London, where she has worked for nine years as a board director. The appointment of Aristoteli follows The Red Republic managing director Lynn Mooney’s relocation to head-up […]

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network
  • Marketing

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network

Sydney-based agency PR Deadlines has extended its global reach after inking a partnership agreement with the GlobalCom PR Network. The agreement gives PR Deadlines’ clients access to some 70 independent agencies covering all European Union states, as well as 60 more in countries worldwide. In turn, clients of affiliated agencies will have access to PR […]

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador
  • Marketing

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador

InstaReM, which offers international money transfers to individuals and businesses, has signed on Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as the sports face of the brand. InstaReM lists Australia as its founding market, having begun life here in 2014. Since the company’s modest start in Australia, InstaReM has since successfully spread its wings to other corridors by […]

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?

As Australia continues to grow and the population becomes more ethnically diverse, it is important that marketers ensure digital environments are more inclusive, especially for those who don’t speak English as a first language, writes Siteimprove’s Haley Doel (pictured below). Having a readable and accessible website is no longer just a high priority for large […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign

Pepsi MAX has partnered with PHD and Time Out to not only inspire Australians, but also enhance their ability to ‘MAX’ out their summer this year. Through the use of a live dynamic data feed, consumers will be served ads by the brand on events taking place around them that are relevant to their personal […]