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June 20, 2019

Content to Commerce

MHT Partners  | Consumer Investment Bank

The content-to-commerce revolution has begun. A new breed of enterprising businesspeople have started to “crack the code” on a powerful alternative to both the traditional media content model and the traditional wholesale/retail model. Content to commerce (c2c) is a hybrid model that recognizes the flaws and challenges of the traditional content model (relatively large upfront creative costs, reliant on creating or obtaining distribution) and of the traditional wholesale/retail model (crowded product spaces, concentrated power with certain large brick & mortar players, and the unrelenting inertia of Amazon’s online dominance), and through combination accelerates growth of both “content” and “commerce.”

Initiating and executing a c2c model can be challenging and doesn’t happen overnight. The content side of the equation must be firmly established, and the content viewed as industry leading however that may be defined – though typically involves some combo of unique and original content, value-add dynamics to viewers, credibility and trustworthiness. Needless to say, a c2c company doesn’t want to be viewed solely as pushing products or services, as that is a fairly commoditized tactic with no shortage of players in any given space pursuing this approach. Products or services showcased or reviewed by the c2c player need to be presented in a perceived balanced and fair way – which by definition means not all products or services meet the quality standard to be promoted with negative commentary or reviews levied at times too.

Recognizing that the passionate and engaged readership or viewership of a given editorial or TV series is a captive audience of potential consumers already likely somewhere on the “journey of the consumer” (discover, evaluate, buy, experience, advocate), c2c operators provide these readers/viewers the opportunity to purchase desirable, relatable products in what amounts to a win-win for both parties. Attracted by content, readers and viewers represent the “top of funnel” from which related products and service revenues can flow. Other services and products can include paid podcasts, live events, and importantly, the promotion of relevant and related products. For online players, the virtuous circle created by the aforementioned helps drive metrics across all facets of the model –be it viewership, visits, conversions (initial and repeat) and attachment rates (all of which, in turn, drive important KPIs such as CAC and LTV), data capture and analysis, customer engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, revenue and profits.

MHT Partners, a leading consumer growth investment banking firm, will continue to follow the content-to-commerce movement as innovative companies emerge, potentially changing the “journey of the consumer” forever.

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