Hero, Hub and Hygiene: Where Marketing Meets Publishing

Q: When should a brand act like a publisher?
A: Ad blocking software

You find yourself watching an entertaining series starring your favorite celebrity and Jerry Seinfeld. Or maybe it’s your favorite internet cat celebrities joining forces in a holiday themed music video. Or it’s a *satirical article from The Onion showing up in your Facebook feed. What the above have in common is the fact that none of them are the advertising most of us grew up with on our televisions or even desktops for that matter — but they are all working in the service of brands and organizations.

Welcome to the age of brands as publishers — designed for mobile screens, Google algorithms, social news feeds and driven by essential success metrics: “sharing and subscribing”.

A brand marketing meets publishing model is nothing new, nor is the Hero, Hub, Hygiene approach coined by Google originally as an approach for YouTube. But as many brands are finding out, adding the nimble publishing approach to your existing global behemoth marketing machine is a daunting task. Just like any significant shift organizations must make to any part of their business — marketers both at the brand and agency level must find common ground in how they define major components:

Hero, Hub and Hygiene all have two things in common:
1. Activations across all three must be coordinated.
2. Increasingly, they require a blend of a “marketing meets publishing mindset” in order to scale and operationalize.

And it is here where many organizations will face challenges. Integrated marketing is an apple while publishing is an orange. Increasingly brands will need both in order to remain relevant in the search engines and social news feeds of consumers and customers. To do this — marketers will have to genetically splice that apple and orange together to create an entirely new fruit, designed to work around the ad blockers and entice consumers to pause, take a bite and pass it on.

David Armano

CMO, strategist, thinker and doer. I write about human behaviors and the relationship we have with technology and brands

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store