Joy Parks

Posts Tagged ‘The Martha Rules’

Why Martha Rules

In What works on February 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I have to admit I am a shameless fan of Martha Stewart. But while I like smart-looking storage as much as anyone and if you need to kill an afternoon and have something beautiful and delicious to show for it, I recommend the carrot cake with cream cheese icing, the bulk of my admiration is due to the perfection of her branded content—it’s genius. And then there is the fact that when the boys in charge of the glass ceiling tried to break her, she bent beautifully and came back even stronger. It’s hard not to love that.

A few years ago, I found her guide to business-building, The Martha Rules on Amazon’s bargain book page (unfortunately paired with Christopher Byron’s mean-spirited Martha, Inc). It’s simple but terribly impressive. In fact, I think if it had been called Building a Business Through Strategically Integrated Branded Content, the book would have received a lot more notice (and plenty more respect).

The thing is, Martha gets it. She gets it so well that she’s managed to create a content empire and multiple delivery systems that draw revenue—and lots of it—while basically creating desire for her products. Think about it. If you need to buy a pan to make those cute cupcakes you watched Martha make on her television show, her brand of baking equipment is the first that comes to mind. When you read about a beautifully decorated bedroom in one of her publications or online, which brand of paint or sheets stick in your mind? Advertisers pay to have their products associated with the level of quality she represents. Consumers pay for her information—which in turns sells them on her products. Any marketing that you can get someone else to foot the bill for can’t help but offer an excellent return on investment.

I was leafing through Martha Stewart Living in the grocery checkout line the other day and realized that if you ripped out all the non-Martha ads, you’d have the perfect branded content print vehicle for housewares, decorating items and gardening products. Here was loyalty-inspiring credible information of value created to lead me to buy her products, register at her website and watch her television show. A thick package of perfectly integrated branded content designed to sell me on everything and anything Martha makes—and there I was, quite willing to pay the cover price to be sold.

That’s brilliant marketing.