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.

Latest News

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

M&C Saatchi Group has partnered with documentary makers, writers, producers and digital content pioneers Michael Lawrence (left in photo) and Nicholas Cook (right in photo) to launch film and television production studio THIS. Lawrence and Cook have established an enviable track record creating story-driven content and feature documentaries based on The Human Indomitable Spirit (THIS) […]

The ‘Business Of Busyness’: How Productivity Keeps Us From Preparing For The Future
  • Opinion

The ‘Business Of Busyness’: How Productivity Keeps Us From Preparing For The Future

Jeff Schwisow is a Melbourne-based strategy specialist, speaker and the author of Projectify – How to use projects to engage your people in strategy that evolves your business. In this guest post, he argues that our obsession with being busy right now is what’s holding us back from planning our futures tomorrow… To survive in today’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Host/Havas Creative Chief Darren Spiller To Depart
  • Advertising

Host/Havas Creative Chief Darren Spiller To Depart

Creative agency Host/Havas has announced that its chief creative officer, Darren Spiller, will be leaving the agency. Spiller joined Host as its chief creative officer in January last year and then assumed the same role when the agency merged with Havas in October 2017. Host/Havas has received of a long list of creative accolades this […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Creative Agency Launch Project Management Tool Hassl
  • Media
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launch Project Management Tool Hassl

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning Melbourne based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.

businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Smartly: The Future Of Martech Is Automated

Automated ad buying platform, Smartly was at the centre of the tech innovation stage at the Online Retailer conference 2018. Smartly head of ANZ Marta Bonzanini (pictured below) discussed the integral role automation plays in the future of marketers and creatives. “If an ad is not performing as well as planned, you probably have some […]

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games
  • Technology

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time […]

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo
  • Media

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo

Sphere snares Stockdale & Leggo business, which is a real estate group & not a simmer sauce as first reported on B&T.

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation
  • Technology

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation

With Aussie farmers facing so many challenges, could the answer be Blockchain technology? Ranking top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world, Aussie start-up Agunity are leading AgTech innovation. Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to […]

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci

Facebook's Carolyn Bollaci is the latest to sup at B&T's truth serum we prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency

The Fuel Agency has launched the new ‘TAFE + Jobs’ campaign, aimed to promote and drive applications and enrolments for courses starting in 2019 There’s a lot happening in Victoria, with record investment in road and rail projects, and in the health, community and disability sectors. As a result, there’s greater demand for skilled workers. […]

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO

Rakuten has a new CEO. However, judging by the tired handshake photo, B&T doesn't have any new ways of illustrating it.

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising
  • Advertising
  • Opinion

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising

Who better to explain why your ads are getting blocked than a real ad blocking expert. As B&T has done right here.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman

B&T has spared no expense with today's top Women in Media profile, save for suit hire, corsage and dry-cleaning.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner
  • Technology

Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner

The announcement designates Kantar as an approved third-party measurement provider for brands looking to verify their media spend performance on Google owned platforms. Kantar is approved globally to provide both Brand Lift Insights for evaluation of brand impact from campaigns and for independent measurement of audience reach from campaigns on Google properties. Kantar CEO Eric […]

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Final Call! B&T Late Entries Close Today!

B&T Award entries officially close at 5pm today! Good news if you've almost finished, bad news if you haven't started.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off
  • Campaigns

Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off

“It’s 2018”, is something you hear a lot when you talk to the players, coaching staff and fans involved in Rugby AU’s bid for the ‘Rugby World Cup Women’s 2021’ tournament. There is this sense that they are not only ready for a greater stage, but raring to go. As one player said “Ready?! We’re […]

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power
  • Marketing

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power

Shhh Silk is an Australian brand that quickly grew in popularity among celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Kim Kardashian West. Shhh Silk has just received a $1.8 million order from a very large brand in the US, and CEO Olivia Carr’s projections is for this to be a $50 million business in five years’ time. […]

SaaS Player Taps oOh!media Chairman Tony Faure To Lead Its Board
  • Media
  • Technology

SaaS Player Taps oOh!media Chairman Tony Faure To Lead Its Board

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) company ReadyTech has announced the appointment of Tony Faure as its new chairman. Faure is the chairman of outdoor giant oOh!media and data intelligence platform PredictHQ. He is also a non-executive director of digital mortgage company Uno Homeloans, content platform Stackla and specialised media company Medical Media. Faure is regarded as being one […]