Bravo’s Buzz Marketing

TV’s big success story that you never heard

Did you see the interview with Ellen Stone, the Senior Vice President for Marketing for the TV channel, Bravo? Here’s the LINK in Advertising Age.

The first point worth noting is that Ms Stone doesn’t consider Bravo a TV ‘brand.’ She describes is as a “buzz-marketing organization.”

Since Bravo has achieved 5 consecutive years of record ratings growth, including its best quarter ever, the just completed first quarter of 2011, Ellen is on to something.

In our home, TOP CHEF rules with my 50-something wife, and 26 year-old son (when he lived here last year), which is a pretty good demographic and gender spread, and Ellen did something really clever, using social media to connect with the show’s fans: She used GroupOn to offer discounted dinners at the Top Chef‘s home restaurants in all 12 markets where they live.

Isn’t that something your radio station could have done — could still do?

BTW, Bravo also now has an emerging consumer products business based on the popularity of TOP CHEF, and the passion its fans have for the show. They sell everything from TOP CHEF knives and cookbooks to a TV-on-DVD partnership with Target.

Do any radio stations take advantage of the passion of their listeners for some of their talent?

Sure we do. We sell endorsement spots.

I work with a Morning Show where one of the cast is a fabulous, award-winning pastry chef. Has his company thought to partner with him on a cookbook and/or set of instructional videos? If so, they haven’t acted on it yet.

I know you’re busy, so if you don’t have time to read the interview, at least take note of this: her 5 tips on using social media:

  1. Call out things that don’t fit your brand before your consumers do it for you.
  2. Start branded conversations.
  3. Look for first-time opportunities, but don’t spend a fortune.
  4. Incorporate social media feedback into your strategy.
  5. Be succinct. If your idea can’t be summarized in a headline, it’s probably not ready.

Truthfully, are you doing even one of these?

Read her interview. Check out their Facebook page.

Devote some real resources to forging deeper connections with your most passionate fans. Listen to them. Invite their opinions and ideas.

And then share your success stories with us. Become an industry leader. God knows we need them these days.