Agencies to Media, Digital Content Disruptions in 2022 | Webinar Recap

Today’s always-on digital climate brings a seismic shift to a quickly evolving market and accelerated meaningful shifts in customer behavior. Customers are increasingly interested in engaging with brands and the competition for their attention has never been higher.

Now is as good a time as any to evaluate how we communicate, both to addressable markets and the experiences that help build trust and engaging relationships with them.

A few weeks ago,‘s Head of Marketing, Dave Cardiel, joined The Content Advisory‘s Founder and Chief Troublemaker, Robert Rose, for a webinar led by BRAND United‘s President, Chris Lyons. Robert gave his thoughts on the state of the content landscape today and shared some powerful examples of the disruptions that he’s been tuned into. Here are a few of the highlights:

Disruptions in digital media

What are companies focused on accomplishing through content these days?

“Usually, we see lead generation being the number one driver, but the other one that we’re starting to see a lot more growth in is that brand experience, that brand purpose and brand differentiation.”

“The thing is, when we think about content marketing and content strategy, I’d like to have you start to think about an audience journey. As we start moving back into that brand-­oriented differentiation, one of the key goals shifts slightly, which is ‘how do we actually start to pool audiences together so that when they are ready to purchase, we are top of mind and differentiated?’”

“Whether you’re a nonprofit or a product company, a service company or a publishing media company, no matter the nature of your business, things are changing.”

“Agencies, service companies, professional services companies are all looking a lot more like media companies these days.”

“I want you to remember back and think about Gary V, independent of what you think of his opinions and advice on marketing. Gary V was a wine blogger only about 10 years ago, and then launched an agency, and his agency today is 160 people and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.”

“Media companies are changing too, and becoming much more like agencies. We can see companies all over the planet becoming much more agency-like in what they’re offering, and we’re seeing product companies adopt content marketing and looking a lot more like agencies and media companies.”


“We look at a company like BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed’s a media company, its where you got your cat videos. So you get your cat videos from BuzzFeed, but guess what, $260 million of their revenue will now be product.”

“If you’re in the cookware business, or if you sell cookbooks or anything in the cooking space, BuzzFeed is your new competitor.”

“They’ve now doubled their product revenue for their TASTY line, which includes everything from pressure cookers that they sell in retail, to cookbooks, to content on cooking, to cookware, to all kinds of elements around cooking that keep them in that ecosystem of their wonderful publishing and media organization.”

Dennis Publishing

“You look at a company like Dennis publishing, which made $81 million of revenue doing what? Selling cars.”

“They used to and still do, publish auto enthusiast and selling magazines, but then they bought in the UK. With the ability to finance automobile purchases, they’re now making $81 million.”


“Then on the big side, we look at Netflix. Netflix literally launched an e­commerce store.”

“We expect a media company to productize their marketing and get into dolls and keychains and clothing and all those kinds of things, but Netflix has launched a billion dollar division to not only launch an e­commerce store, which they’re now beta testing in various parts of the world, but also a physical presence.”

“They’re creating physical stores, retail stores to sell the different kinds of goods they’ll be producing, creating that multiple platform company.”


“Or we look at a company like Facebook, which has spent the last 10 years denying it was a media company, and now of course, is selling products like its Oculus hardware and some of the other hardware they’re creating to actually compete in the tech space.”

Disruptions in the agency space

“Even in the nature of agencies where we get our services and where we get our content, that’s changing.”

T Brand Studio

“You’ve got T Brand Studio now, of course, as an adjunct of the New York Times, approximately $50 million of revenue, and by the way, they’re not just creating content for people to run on the New York Times, they’re a full-­service agency now.”

“They’ll offer you strategy, media planning, creative, technology, all manner of things to offer up a full-­service agency experience. So if you’re an agency, your new competitor is the New York Times and T­ Brand Studio”

Turner Ignite

“You’ve got Turner Ignite down in Atlanta, offering up services for things like media buying, media strategy, and demographic research into sports enthusiasts.”

“Turner IGNITE is now providing those services to help you get better penetration and audience building across all of the Turner Broadcasting and cable networks that they manage.”

Accenture, IBM, Deloitte PwC

“Four in 10 of the largest agencies now on the planet are no longer what we would consider agencies. Accenture, IBM, Deloitte PwC, they’re all winning Cannes Lion Awards, they’re all winning creativity awards, they’re winning agency of record deals with our clients that are actually trusting them to be the advisor of their creative and storytelling strategy, not just running
around in three­-piece suits solving accounting problems.”

Shift towards creating content in-house

“Then you’ve got the in-­house trend where businesses are starting more and more to in-­house content as a function, content as a strategy, to start to become this type of storyteller. We can see that becoming a core competency in what businesses are starting to do.”

“Today’s blogger is tomorrow’s hot product company. Let’s not forget that Glossier started as one woman and a blog. Now it’s making hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue as a product company in the cosmetics industry, one of the main competitors in there.”

“So if you’re L’Oréal, or any other large cosmetics company, tomorrow’s blogger is your next competitor, or tomorrow’s hot product company might be next week’s hit media platform. This is all shifting and changing underneath our feet, not just at the big tectonic level, but also at the granular level.”

“So how are you starting to evolve the way that you use content? Not just as a means of driving more leads, more generational leads, more revenue, but also how are you starting to build an audience that you can depend on monetizing in multiple ways?”

Measuring content in its full life cycle

“The hinge for all of this making it work is our ability to measure content in its full life cycle. We need to get much better at measuring the pre­-purchase part of that audience journey, the brand awareness, the affinity, the creating of fans.”

“That’s what will enable us to build an audience that ultimately can be monetized in multiple ways, and it’s what’s enabling this trend that we’re seeing of all these businesses expanding into building audiences.”

“This is a design challenge, not an engineering challenge. It’s the challenge of designing our experiences and the way that we measure them from the beginning, not engineering how to get the data.”

“It’s about designing the experience so that we get the right data, the right measurement and the right information to give us the insight that we actually need.”

Chat with one of our content analytics experts here at or check out the rest of the webinar to learn more about measuring content along the entire audience journey and putting these insights into practice for your business.