Should Your Company Adopt the Cosmo Business Model?

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The Future Business Model for Content Marketing and Media Are Identical

The Cosmopolitan media brand engages a monthly audience of over 14 million women via the print magazine plus over 50 million via varied digital channels. About 60% of the audience reads at least three out of every four issues, and when they do, it’s for an average of 75 minutes.

Yes, 75 minutes.

Cosmo’s Mission Statement is: “Empower young women to own who they are and be who they want to be, and we’re focused on propelling her into her fun, fearless future. No excuses, no bull@#*%, no regrets.”

The Content Business Model

Cosmo is completely focused on the audience. There isn’t one word about what it sells to make a profit. Good for them.

Cosmo has made Content its business model.

It is the strategic use of Content that will not only build audiences and drive the creation and retention of customers, but it can do so at a profit.

Sounds like a media company, right?

While traditionally Cosmo’s go-to revenue strategy is based on selling advertising, Cosmo has a number of flexible options to make money from its Content.

Cosmo’s business model is:
Create a loyal audience. Once we learn the deep-rooted needs of that audience, and deliver value to them consistently and the audience (reader) becomes a fan (subscriber), we monetize that relationship in multiple ways.

And Cosmo does it well. From books to beauty packages to native advertising to syndicated Content to promotions. If Cosmo leaders are innovative, they’ll see how many products they could sell directly to their readers (instead of mostly just selling access to advertisers). When that happens, watch out!

Media or product brand?

Dennis Publishing is one of the largest media companies in the United Kingdom. Its big titles are Men’s Fitness and The Week as well as large Content platforms in the automotive sector that features brands like Car Buyer and Auto Express.

Over the last 10 years print advertising continues to die a slow death. But this hasn’t affected Dennis. According to The Guardian, Dennis Publishing has increased revenue 63% from £59 million in 2009 to £93 million in 2016. How?

In 2014, Dennis acquired the online car dealer BuyACar, which now generates 16% of the media company’s total revenue. This little media company sells over 200 cars per day. Dennis has the audience (interested car buyers) and formed a loyal relationship with them over time. It was a smart move for Dennis to buy an online car dealer or e-commerce company.

Is Dennis a media company or a brand that sells products and services? How about Johnson & Johnson (which runs Babycenter.com)?

If you had to choose between creating an audience and then directly selling to that audience versus renting outside channels that you don’t control and don’t own, which would you choose? Most likely, you’d go direct. It’s an easy decision to make, and yet, most companies choose to rent year after year.

The purpose of this Blog is to get you to rethink your purpose as a marketer. As such, we become so focused on leads and funnels that we sometimes forget what’s possible.

Maybe, instead of promoting a product or service, you shift your goal to build a relationship with your buyers, which then has the potential to make markets.

The new media business model and the Content Marketing business model are exactly the same.

A new Content Marketing mindset is that marketers (as well as media executives) should adopt the Cosmo model that features an open mind to expanded possible revenue opportunities. If you don’t, your competition will. Right now there is a clear opportunity for your company to make this happen.

Will you?

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