This Is What Separates Time From The Huffington Post

Time vs. Huffington Post?  What’s the difference? Quality of journalism? Intelligence of writers and staff? The former is struggling for relevance, while the latter is growing leaps and bounds and now is a core part of AOL.


Time is geared operationally to produce content every seven days, while the Huffington Post curates, if not produces, content minute by minute.  Today’s digital consumer demands a cadence that traditional media companies are not architected to deliver.  What’s trending? Why?

While Time’s weekly cycle seems an anachronism, brand marketers are paleolithic. Today, brand marketers operate on seasonal cycles. It takes roughly six months to go from creative brief to the in-market campaign.  We laugh at Time, but six months is 24 times worse.  In fact, six months in today’s digital world is horse and buggy-whip bad.

Let me ask you a few questions?  24 weeks from now, what will be the headline on the Huffington Post? Where will the S&P 500 close? What stories, concerns, passions will matter to your customers?

Why does that matter? It matters because marketers want to resonate and be relevant to their target customers. Given the six month brand marketing cadence, it is no surprise that brand messaging fails to resonate, drive engagement, or value. In fact, it should be a shock if it ever does.

Rather than focus creative and marketing dollars on abstract messages designed to persist in resonance across months, I believe that marketers need to rearchitect their organisations and systems to operate on a daily cadence. It is time to move passed the big creative bet and instead to focus energy and resources on becoming newsdesk marketers. Newsdesk marketers produce marketing messages on a daily cycle and work to ensure the brand message operates in context of their customers’ daily lives.

Four best practices

Newsdesk marketers invest in four best practices:

  • Listening – What does my customer care about today? What concerns them, motivates them, interests them?
  • Programming – Updating creative on a daily basis. Programming choices need to move beyond artifacts – videos, images, taglines – to content and be functionality representative of today’s web experience.
  • Update – Daily updates to all marketing creative in-market
  • Measurement – optimising and analysing what’s working and what’s driving brand ROI

Flite enables brands to become newsdesk marketers. It is time to demand that brand marketers operate on the same cadence as their customers and that today’s marketing messages are literally today’s messages – daily, curated, engaging content that’s in context with the memes of the day and the interests of the target customer.

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