CMO interview: How BBC Studios' marketing lead builds brand purpose and growth

Global chief marketing officer across show brands such as Doctor Who, BBC Earth and Blue Planet shares the customer insight investments and partnership strategy fuelling audience growth and impact


Tech and digital-first partnerships

The strength of brand, content and IP is allowing the BBC marketing team to cement innovative partnerships and try new things, too. A recent example was the Doctor Who chatbot on the Skype UK media platform. The conversational bots asked consumers to go through and assemble the six pieces of time strewn across the ether.

“It enables us to have Doctor Who contact you and run that game through with you after every episode,” Lee-Joe says. “We’re also looking at interactive audio.”

In the case of Earth, where the emphasis is on purpose, the Google partnership also opened up new channels and audiences. Google Expeditions, Daydream, and Google Earth coupled with BBC content realise that collective vision of better inform people as they are exploring the globe, Lee-Joe says. Likewise, gaming partnerships around the Top Gear brand have attracted younger, gaming enthusiasts to the BBC.

When the BBC went to do the new release for marketing for Blue Planet 2, it opted for a four-minute prequel, simulcast to 75 markets and pulled through YouTube and Facebook. It then assembled a music collaboration not just with Radiohead, a band inspired to produce their 2011 track, Bloom, after watching the first Blue Planet series. The work resulted in 50 million organic views, and embedded coverage of more popular culturally oriented  publications, such as Pitchfork.

Another recent executive was a promotion for a night off with Airbnb. “We know there is interest between natural history and travel… we can see whenever a landmark is screened there is an increase in travel to those locations,” Lee-Joe says.

“The promotion was taking consumer out on the Alucia submersible exploration vehicle, the boat that captured all the content. It’s been a very successful promo for us and for Airbnb. Off the back of that, we had interest from fashion and high-end travel magazines.”  

Finding the right partners  has to start with brand first. “Between us, we’ll derive commercial value, but also mutually beneficial brand attribution and audiences and reach,” Lee-Joe says. “As owner of the IP, this enables us to partner in new and very interesting ways.”

Increasingly, these digital and tech innovations are informing the content itself. “Doctor Who is a great example… it’s a new thing for the writing team to think about,” Lee-Joe says.

“Our writers wrote all the narrative around that Doctor Who bot. As a marketing function, once we’re seeding these new ideas with them, it becomes a great marriage and collaborative working environment and process.”

Measures of success

To measure marketing success, Lee-Joe looks to commercial metrics first, such as revenue and profit by business line and region. Equally, global, social and digital audiences and growth and engagement over time are important. Brand attribute is another vital one.

“It’s important to measure brand in a world where do you not always own your routes to market,” she says. “Audience appreciation indexes, and fan panel data are important too. We have a balance between brand, reach, value and impact measures.

“With BBC Earth for example, it is about how we can help inspire and provoke action, whether it’s interest in learning more about what’s going on in wider planet and ocean, or plastics in the case of marine conversation.”  

As a CMO, this means maintaining a good mix of creative and commercial thinking. “One thing I’ve always loved in the CMO role is the ability to create broader creative vision and think in new and innovative ways alongside needing to apply commercial rigour,” Lee-Joe says.  

“What sits behind that is being a jack of all trades, and being well versed across the entire spectrum of marketing. In an increasingly converging world, that enables you to construct more interconnected programs.”

At the BBC, Lee-Joe’s commercial remit enables her to dig in to strategy and see it through.

“We have ambitious targets and we need to meet them. We’re building in long-range planning and looking at value of IP. These are shifts we know we need to make,” she concludes. “It’s enabled us as marketers to take a seat at the table, for sure.”  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

More Brand Posts

As an ex employee of 4 years during the growth of the company, I can say that the new management has benefitted the company tremendously,...

Harry

How JobAdder's CMO is bringing the human truth to B2B rebranding

Read more

So many words, so little business benefit.

Brett Iredale

How JobAdder's CMO is bringing the human truth to B2B rebranding

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

Ms Bennett joined in 2017 yet this article states she waited until late 2020 to initiate a project to update the website. The solution t...

Munstar Cook

How Super SA put customers at the heart of its digital transformation

Read more

Its a informative post thanks for sharing

Galaxy Education

The people and process smarts needed to excel in omnichannel retailing

Read more

Blog Posts

The 15 most-common persuasion mistakes

As workers across the country slowly head back to the office, many of us might have forgotten how to deal with one another in person and the best way to persuade someone in a working environment.

Michelle Bowden

Author, consultant

5 commonly missed opportunities when marketing to multicultural customers

The latest census data shows Australia has become a majority migrant nation for the first time. According to the new national data, more than 50 per cent of residents were born overseas or have a migrant parent.

Mark Saba

Founder and CEO, Lexigo

Post-Pandemic Business Playbook: An Opportunity Unlike Ever Before

Covid-19 created a shift in the customer and economic-based reality unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. Customers have changed from routinised pre-pandemic shopping behaviours to frequently purchasing new brands and suppliers.

Ofer Mintz

Associate Professor of Marketing, UTS Business School

Sign in