Fairfax boss Greg Hywood: We’re going to get into the content marketing business

Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood, has identified four areas the company wants to develop its business in order to continue its move away from traditional media revenues.

Speaking at today’s AGM, Hywood pointed towards areas more traditionally occupied by marketing agencies – events; content marketing; SME (small and medium sized enterprises) digital and marketing services; and data – that Fairfax will be pushing into.



The strategy is being led by the organisation’s new group director of transformation  Adam Warden, who has previously worked for consultancies including United Decisions Holdings, Accenture and Bain & Co.

Hywood said: “Adam Warden has come on board to oversee our transformation program, with both cost and revenue objectives. Adam’s responsibilities include maximising our performance in a number of areas where we are looking to substantially develop our business – events, content marketing, SME digital and marketing services and data.”

Last month the company announced that Tourism Australia boss Andrew McEvoy would be joining to lead the development of the company’s events business.

Hywood said that content marketing would be a big part of the play. He said:

“Our second major new revenue opportunity is content marketing – an area that’s growing rapidly in Australia and globally as chief marketing officers increase their focus on more targeted and engaging marketing activities.

“The term content marketing may not be familiar to many of you. It covers a broad suite of media and publishing content that actively engages and builds a customer relationship to drive trial, acquisition or loyalty without actively selling. This could be through a newsletter, a mobile app, a webinar, or a research white paper. Content marketing has been around for a long time – think of airline inflight magazines – but digital delivery has brought a proliferation of opportunities.

“Today, around 25 per cent of marketing budgets in Australia are allocated to content marketing, with spend in the area growing 20 per cent annually. With strong capabilities in content creation and distribution to mass audiences, Fairfax has the bases covered to offer clients real differentiation in their content marketing.”

He said: “We aren’t fiddling around the edges. We have new structures, new processes, new people – but a lot less headcount and significantly less middle management.”

He added: “It is not Fairfax management that has blinked. We have accepted the need to change, and have embraced advice from all quarters… and are now aggressively pursuing new revenue opportunities.”

Hywood warned that the market was still tough, with no post-election lift in revenues. He said revenues for the company’s metro media operation was down nine per cent and regional operation by ten per cent.


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