For this week’s show I wanted to get a publisher’s perspective on content marketing.

So, I tracked down Conor McNicholas – former editor of NME and Top Gear Magazine and CEO of content marketing agency AllTogetherNow for a chat in a London juice bar (rock ‘n’ roll!).

conor mcnicholas

Conor has used his publishing background to create a new kind of content agency that treats people like audiences, not consumers. He knows what it takes to switch on an audience enough to pay for his content – and he applies that knowledge to help brands create relationships beyond just ‘buy my product’.

We talked about:
•  Conor’s journey from NME to Top Gear and now AllTogetherNow;
•  Why publishing companies struggle to innovate;
•  What makes a successful content marketing campaign;
•  The one rule you can use to work out if you’re doing content right;
•  Content’s role in creating seamless multichannel journeys;
•  Why Conor loves misfits;
•  ‘Data love’ and demonstrating ROI;
•  And why the power of the brand rests with the consumer.

The brand exists at the permission of the audience - therefore, you have to engage them. - Conor McNicholas, CEO, AllTogetherNow -

Conor McNicholas on…

The value of marketing:

If you can make your marketing good enough, that somebody would be prepared to pay for it, and then you give it away for free, that’s where you know you’re in a golden spot.

The relationship between brands and their audience:

The brand exists at the permission of the audience, and therefore you have to engage them, and you have to have the confidence to open your organisation and let them in.

The importance of breaking down silos:

By linking up strategy, creative execution, smart distribution, and data and analytics, that we can then feed back into the creative, and continually test and learn. It optimises stuff; that’s great.

The difficulty of ROI:

Marketers feel like they’re really pushing their agencies, when they’re saying, you know, what’s the ROI on this, how are you going to make a case for ROI? As if, somehow, that’s our job in isolation.

I always say back to them, I can give you an absolute guaranteed ROI case for this, but you are going to have to let me inside your data. Because, unless I can join up the engagement that I’m delivering through social, with a view of the customer from a data point of view, and a view directly into your e-commerce platform, without that full 360 degree view I can’t deliver you an ROI.


People Tell Richard Stuff: Episode 17
Conor McNicholas, CEO, AllTogetherNow

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Conor McNicholas, CEO, AllTogetherNow