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CNN: A Classic Case In Marketing


Whenever I hear of a real case of marketing, it inspires me. I want to tell everyone who thinks marketing is just a synonym for advertising and promotion.

Television network CNN ranked 23rd last year in advertising revenue among basic cable networks. Spending $379 million dollars placed it behind networks such as Syfy and Bravo. It turns out that most people tune into CNN only in the case of big news events.

So CNN’s new president has a new programming strategy to attract new viewers to attract more advertisers: he’s adding some celebrities and new program topics, such as travel, that open the door to new categories of advertisers.

To be consistent with most people’s definition of marketing, he would just spend more money to advertise the CNN brand, add more salesmen to sell its advertising, or hire a new PR agency for more publicity.

Instead, he is maximizing CNN’s assets. The key element of marketing in TV is programming, so, he is changing programming. Now, he’ll use those marketing tools to help promote his marketing changes.

The problem with defining marketing as merely the use of its sales, promotion, and advertising tools is that then nobody takes care of real marketing: maximizing the company’s assets. In this case, changing programming.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.

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