In this week’s Brand Publishing Briefing:
- 💰Hunterbrook is a new trading firm that will get journalists to report market-moving news and then trade on that information.
- 💡As the divide between CEOs and CMOs grows, one related trend could be the growth of content as a core competency for companies.
- 📉 New research shows that practical, useful content ranks high for customers and audiences.
A new trading fund will team journalists and investors together
A group of journalists and investors are launching a trading firm that will trade based on the information that they themselves will report, according to the Financial Times.
Headed by speechwriter and author Sam Koppelman and investor Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, the new company, called Hunterbrook, will combine “investigative journalism” with a trading fund. The fund will use information that journalists unearth to inform its trades, and will also publish its research and articles after those trades have been placed.
“Rather than try to predict or react to events, we time trades on news we break ourselves,” wrote Horwitz in a note, styling the venture as “the first trading fund driven by a global publication”.
It’s an interesting twist on the typical financial firm-with-a-publishing-arm trend that we’ve noted plenty before, and in some ways, feels like a natural evolution of that trend. One sector we’ve written about as a particularly active publisher is the financial and banking sector, where entities like Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Chase and Robinhood have actively hired journalists to lead content endeavors that can help them market themselves and acquire customers. Content helps those entities increase favorability and trust scores – as Toolkits found in research conducted just last month, good content can drive brand trust.
But one big reason for finance-types to get into publishing is that they make for pretty decent bedfellows. Financial organizations regularly create content in the form of analyst notes and research theses that they then trade on. Finance is mostly about connections – connecting those with money to invest with opportunities for investment. And plenty of finance companies, such as Bridgewater and Charles Schwab have historical roots in content. For these companies, publishing isn’t as much a new muscle as much as it is a slightly new workout.
And for Hunterbrook, which is starting out with publishing as an equal and core competency with its asset trading function, that comes full circle. Beyond finance, we expect in the coming year to see more companies recognize content as a core way to build businesses, not just market them.
Communications becomes a C-suite priority
The divide between chief marketing officers and CEOs is “growing,” according to a new McKinsey study covered by the WSJ. Two interesting things here, per the study: One, CEOs are getting more involved in marketing strategies, particularly as the economy remains volatile and marketing can be a source of growth during trying times. And two, marketers say their jobs are not well-understood by the CEO or even other executives.
That’s what’s led to the rise of C-suite roles like chief growth officer, chief brand officer and chief content officer – a nod to recognizing how complicated “marketing” has become and how much broader it really is. CEOs are now recognizing they must take under their wing areas like content, social media, or data, for example.
Meanwhile, communications in general – both external and internal – has become a much more critical part of companies’ overall strategies. Increasingly, we’ve heard from executives that any external and internal messaging is a top priority for CEOs, whereas before it used to sit firmly in the marketing department’s purview. This trend is likely to continue over the next few months, which may mean that publishing and content become even more of a priority within companies.
Consumers are most receptive to content from brands when it’s useful and when it tells them something they don’t know, according to new research by Toolkits and National Research Group.
In a study of 1,007 U.S. digital content consumers, 43% said they’re more likely to engage with content from a brand if it contains new or innovative information. Forty percent said they are more likely to engage with content from brands they already know and trust, and 38% said they’re more likely to engage with content that contains useful or practical recommendations.
Why Wendy’s launched a true crime podcast
Adweek explores the Burger Files, which turned real stories from social media into a seven-episode podcast about horrifying fast-food experiences.
AI-generated content guidelines are coming
The Department of Commerce plans to develop guides for content authentication and watermarking that will be used to label content generated by AI, according to President Biden’s first-ever executive order about AI.
New job alert
The Trade Desk is looking for a new editorial director to head up The Resource Desk, its product content site. (Not to be confused with The Current, which reports on news and publishes more analytical pieces.
New holiday series from The Home Depot
The Home Depot has launched “Merry and Bright,” three 10-minute episodes hosted by Jordin Sparks about Christmas-themed home makeovers. The series will be available only on Vizio TVs. Vizio’s in-house studio produced the show. It’s the latest branded entertainment foray from the TV maker, who a few months ago launched “Clean Break,” a series about organizational hacks available on Vizio’s “WatchFree” FAST channel.