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Innovation Updated: 21 Aug 2017

The digital era is turning brands into media

Every day more and more brands have their own informative blogs or webs; but they are not places for advertising and placing their own products: they are turning into the media, with information of interest to users.

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On April 21, a panel discussion was held as part of  Futurizz, the go-to digital business event in Madrid. The discussion was moderated by Virginia Huerta, Managing Consultant at Text100 Madrid, and dealt with issues such as how brands are transforming themselves into the media.

Brand content:

Fernando Ruíz Antón, Head of Communication Strategy at BBVA Inbound, explained that "content is an important asset for the bank. Only 15-20% is viewed via the home page, the rest is through specific searches on Google or through the social networks. He added that "in 3 months we have achieved our target: we have a million people viewing our content."

María Abad, New Cars Marketing Communication & Social Media Leader at Ford Motor Company, said that "one important element is content and another is how you promote it", to which Pedro Muñoz, brand and agency manager at Outbrain, answered: "It would take you 700 years to read the content published in one day on the Internet, so how you promote it is really important.”

Rosalía O´Donnell Baeza, head of, Telefónica's innovation blog, said that “in Blogthinkbig barely 5% of content is Telefónica information... we talk about what we really think interests users."

How to work on the "new media":

On this aspect Fernando Ruíz wanted to highlight the importance of reputation, while María from Ford is more concerned about generating a favorable opinion, and Rosalía O'Donnell about positioning. He also highlighted the importance of positioning Telefónica as one of the leading companies in the area of technology.

On another track, Pedro Muñoz said that "we personally work on all the communication cases. What really helps generate reputation is that media such as El País, El Mundo and The Times are the ones to recommend the content of our brand. It has been demonstrated that if the content is good and not stealth advertising, this is possible."

Strategy for distributing content:

Pedro Muñoz highlighted the importance of giving a specific message to each person, "not using a sledgehammer to crack a nut."

Rosalía O'Donnell explained that "The Z generation is looking for content where speed and transience is key; content that even destroys itself, as in the case of Snapchat. I believe there is an enormous world of possibilities out there, everything is still to be done, with different content and formats."

Pedro Muñoz added that “the capacity for segmentation is fundamental. You have to measure user behavior on the Internet."

About the future:

Fernando Ruíz of BBVA explained that “for me, the goal is to become a real media outlet. To know the trends at any time and create content about them, to be at the cutting edge." He added: "Data are the oil of the 21st century."

María Abad, of Ford, indicated that "this has arrived to stay. We are increasingly committed to it, we continue to use advertising and other things, but the content is increasing its weight."

Rosalía O'Donnell explained: "we are trying things out, feeling our way forward, I don't know what this department will be like in 3 years, the only thing I can be sure of is that it will be more multimedia. We are committed to young talent, the millennials, the digital natives."

For Pedro Muñoz: "there are studies indicating that we like the media to know what interests us. We like them to recommend content." And he concluded: "Where is the future heading? I don't know, this is only beginning."