Diversified Marketing

The phrases “diversified portfolio” and “shareholder value” have been interchangeable for some time now. But, some developments over the last few days remind us that “diversified marketing” is just as important.

Comcast made news when it announced it wanted increased fees from Level 3 – a company that has been hired by Netflix to deliver video through the web. The story is here. This is similar to the earlier attempts by Comcast to limit those companies that chew up the most bandwidth on the Comcast system which added fuel to the net neutrality battle.

But, it makes perfect sense to Comcast. Cable charges content providers by subscriber so the logic says the existing metric should apply to increasing broadband content demand. If costs and viewer tastes are shifting, the ability to shift the collection of revenue will maintain “shareholder value.” I discussed the battle over system subscriber value in my earlier blog entry regarding Fox and Cablevision.

Others are looking elsewhere. Involvement, investment and partnership in Russia, China and even Israel is not new. But, an interesting collision of headlines lately put this top of mind.

Shell announced a partnership with Gazprom – the major natural gas provider to Eastern Europe on Nov. 30. The same day, Pepsi announced an increased stake in a Russian beverage maker. The story is here. With U.S. domestic revenue challenged,  companies – especially consumer driven ones like Pepsi – are looking to diversify.

A couple days later, FIFA passed on bids from the U.K., Spain/Portugal, Netherlands/Belgium and the U.S. to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to Russia and Qatar respectively.

This means that Russia will have the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup. Qatar continues the trend of FIFA to connect with the Muslim world and diversify soccer interest based on the new economy. While the article above discusses the Sochi 2014 games as a help to Pepsi’s investment, surely the World Cup announcement made it look better.

What does it have to do with marketing diversity? Well, from a world view, there is the potential in 2011 for work stoppages in two domestic marketing juggernauts – the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. Both leagues are looking for revenue for different reasons. Both leagues are also looking to change the split of revenues with players to ensure future growth.

With those two in flux, companies may look to dabble in some other marketing platforms if they are not spending on NBA or NFL programs. Imagine what companies could do with marketing dollars if there wasn’t a big final game in February, 2012. Maybe two delivery drivers will be listening to Russian folk music while trading tastes of Coke Nyet and Pepsi Maxmillian in a commercial elsewhere.

I mentioned Israel above and there is no doubt that there has been an increase in manufacturing and technology investment there. This is due to many advantages the government has put in place to encourage that investment. A review of a book that talks about Israel’s moves, “Start Up Nation,” is here

So, Wall Street is “following the dollar” and going to where the opportunities may be as the U.S. economy tries to rebound. How does this influence marketers and Main Street?

I believe that businesses should always look at diversifying their efforts. But, having a grasp of your customer bases will keep you ahead of the curve. Some businesses chase customers for the sake of it. But, if these new potential customers cause you to put too many resources in too many places, it may weaken your “value.” Dabble, but do it with knowledge. What do you think? Leave a comment and thanks for reading.

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About catchdrivermarketing

Catch Driver provides marketing and communications services/consultation for small to medium size businesses and non-profits. The "Your Ideas...On Track" slogan means helping organizations and business owners with projects they want to do, but lack staff and time to execute themselves, and working to drive them to a successful outcome. See more at www.catchdriver.com.
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