What strategies might scripps and food network use

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Reference no: EM13975706

CASE STUDY Scripps Networks Interactive & Food Network-


Food, cooking, and social media seem like natural ingredients to stir together in the same stew pot. The portfolio of Scripps Networks Interactive-a leading developer of lifestyle content for media platforms-includes well-known television brands Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV, DIY Network, Travel Channel, and Great American Country (GAC). The food category of Food Network and Cooking Channel specifically brings consumers mouthwatering programming as well as online video, social media, and e-commerce opportunities.

With 2,000 employees based in Knoxville, Tennessee, Scripps generates about $2.1 billion in revenue each year on content viewed around the world. These numbers aren't chicken feed-they reflect an understanding of the target market and careful strategic planning. "We have an audience that knows us for ideas and inspirations around food and cooking," says Susie Fogelson, senior vice president, marketing, creative services, and public relations for Food Network and the Cooking Channel. Identifying this group of people helps Scripps and Food Network-one of its major brands-design content and develop a customer-driven marketing strategy to attract loyal viewers. "At Scripps we are constantly evolving and iterating how we deliver content," says Chris Powell, executive vice president of human resources. For Food Network, this involves three variables of the marketing mix: product strategy, distribution strategy, and promotion strategy, all designed to engage viewers who want to be inspired and educated about food.

By its very nature, social media lends itself to relationship building. Scripps marketers understand this and tailor the marketing strategy for Food Network and its other brands to use social media effectively. "Social media gives us a really great place to identify who our brand advocates and brand fans are and then message them" with relevant content, says Jonah Spegman, director of digital media and database marketing for Scripps. "Our brands are intrinsically social," he adds. Viewers love to talk about favorite dishes they've made themselves or enjoyed at restaurants-and they do it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr. When viewers are talking at these sites, Scripps and Food Network want to be there. "Wherever consumers are, we want to be," says Powell.

Despite what appears to be the obvious connection between culinary entertainment and social media, Scripps hasn't taken a first-mover strategy of adopting specific social-media sites or tools. Instead, the firm prefers a second-mover strategy. "You need to wait and adopt technology at the right time," observes Rich Ma, manager of digital marketing. "See what consumers are gravitating toward." For example, Facebook and Twitter are already considered well-established social media outlets, whereas Pinterest has soared during the last year. "It's important to be a market leader in those established places," says Ma. In addition, companies must learn how to leverage the technology, instead of jumping in without a plan.

Fogelson agrees with the importance of planning. "We have this enormous audience with this enormous demand to really feed the appetites of people who are looking for ideas and inspiration around cooking," she says. In order to serve this huge audience, Scripps and Food Network have begun to key in on what Fogelson refers to as the "tent poles"-the shows that have a certain focus (and target market) also have related shows and marketing wrapped around them. Such shows include Food Network Star and Great Food Truck Race. Marketers link these shows to the social sites to interact with fans, get feedback, create exchanges, and spark enthusiasm for other shows. In addition, marketers for all of Scripps' branded networks share the data they gather about social media marketing. If one network has success with Pinterest but not with Twitter, marketers will exchange the information. "All of the networks are experimenting and sharing the knowledge," says Jeffrey Kissinger, vice president of digital marketing and database marketing at Scripps. "Everyone is experimenting and trying, and we're always learning from each other." In addition, with competition for viewers an ongoing issue in the entertainment industry, Scripps and Food Network integrate this into their strategic planning. "The strategy going forward is to be as well known for entertainment in the digital and social space as we are for inspiring people to love food and cooking," says Fogelson.

Social media marketing brings with it a certain amount of social responsibility-and because of its global reach and interactive nature, it raises certain ethical issues, not the least of which is privacy. For example, Scripps and Food Network must ensure that any data they collect about consumers via interactive exchanges doesn't fall into unauthorized hands. But they respect the significance of their r elationship with viewers and treat it like the gift of a good meal. "There's something special there, that you can have a relationship and communicate with your audience-and always be on," says Fogelson. "But that is a tremendous responsibility as much as it is an opportunity. So we're all asking a lot of questions about how to do it right."

Textbook - Boone, Louis E., and David L. Kurtz. Contemporary Marketing, 16th Edition. Cengage Learning, 2013. ISBN: 9781305341562.


1. What steps could Scripps and Food Network take to avoid marketing myopia? Create a company motto for them reflecting your ideas.

2. Identify three trends in the social-cultural environment that you believe should be factors in strategic marketing planning for Scripps and Food Network.

3. How might Scripps and Food Network contribute to the highest level of the social responsibility pyramid-philanthropy?

4. What strategies might Scripps and Food Network use to become as well known for entertainment in digital and social media as they are for educating and inspiring people about food and cooking?

Reference no: EM13975706

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