Foundry 360 Finds ‘Purrfect’ Content Mix With Award-Winning Business Model

Diane di Costanzo experiences the perfect of two worlds in a novel content material advertising and marketing function.

As chief content material officer, vp/editorial director at Foundry 360, Dotdash Meredith’s branded content material division, she workout routines her brand-content technique muscle tissue by overseeing about 30 conventional client-side applications at any time.

And as editor-in-chief of the editorially unbiased (and single sponsored supported) print and digital publications Millie Magazine and PawPrint, she makes use of her journalism expertise every day.

This highly effective mixture of abilities works properly for Foundry 360, which experiences excessive shopper retention – some shopper relationships span 15 years and counting.

And all that success earned Diane the 2022 B2C Content Marketer of the Year title. Here’s a take a look at what units her work aside.

Combining brand #Content and journalism skills led to impressive results for Foundry 360 clients – and the B2C Content Marketer of Year title for Diane di Costanzo via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

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A content material strategy-forward method

“We become a sort of editorial department attached to clients but not embedded,” Diane says of the Foundry 360 enterprise mannequin. Foundry’s work doesn’t contain responding to manufacturers’ requests for proposals. Instead, it begins with brainstorming content material methods that would work for manufacturers.

In a cut up from her conventional media background, Diane works hand in hand with the gross sales workforce. Their mutual purpose is to get the doorways opened for potential shoppers, to allow them to discuss content material. Then, they discuss what success seems to be like and what firm targets the content material ought to assist.

“We create a well-organized understanding of what we want to do and how we’re going to measure it,” she says. “If you don’t measure it, it’s hard for the client to rationalize, ‘Let’s do it again,’ because they haven’t been able to quantify what the content did.”

If you don’t measure #Content impact, it’s hard for clients to agree to repeat a program, says Diane Di Costanzo via @AnnGynn and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet


Broad abilities and a deep content material bench

That give attention to success – and understanding that content material isn’t a one-and-done factor – prompts most shoppers to proceed working with Foundry 360.

Though the Foundry 360 workforce executes over two dozen content material applications at a time, the workforce contains solely six full-time folks. They all function government administrators who head up verticals, resembling finance, well being and wellness, and medical science.

The remainder of the work will get performed by freelancers. “We’re able to hire the exact right person with the exact right editorial skillset for any given project,” Diane says, including about 50% of her job is discovering these proper folks.

Of course, the full-time workers additionally pitches in on different initiatives once they have the bandwidth. “We don’t just wear one hat,” Diane says.

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A repeatable mannequin for fulfillment

While the Foundry 360 workforce invests time in figuring out what content material initiatives would work properly for the manufacturers, it additionally creates initiatives from a conventional media perspective.

That’s attainable as a result of Foundry 360 operates beneath the Dotdash Meredith umbrella, the biggest digital and print writer within the United States. (The publicly traded firm contains iconic media manufacturers resembling People, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Investopedia, and extra.)

Recognizing that the distinctive construction may benefit potential model shoppers, Diane expanded Foundry 360’s content material product line in 2020 with the launch of Millie, a print and digital content material program about ladies and cash.

At the time, Meredith – later acquired by Dotdash – had bought the Money Magazine model, leaving the corporate and not using a monetary editorial model. But their analysis confirmed many monetary corporations nonetheless had cash to spend money on buying audiences.

Women continuously have been neglected of conversations round cash. (Less than 50 years in the past, it was nonetheless authorized for an organization to require a person to co-sign for a girl to get a bank card.)

“There is this cultural, societal, and historical context as it relates to women and money. Our research came together to say when you talk to women about money. It’s a different conversation than when you talk to men about money,” Diane explains.

Meredith favored the sponsorship mannequin as a result of a shopper’s funding would come from a advertising and marketing price range and never its promoting spend. The latter might have been a risk to its conventional magazines that depend on advertiser assist.

And, not like conventional magazines that should first create an editorial product to draw advertisers, a sponsor-based journal has an funding dedication earlier than it’s created.

Synchrony signed on as the only multi-year sponsor, receiving 4 pages of promoting in every 48-page journal. They have a 100% share of voice within the journal. They additionally profit from free distribution to over 1 million focused readers as Millie mailed in the identical bag as Real Simple journal.

A sole multi-year sponsor gets 100% share of voice under the unique model behind Millie Magazine, led by 2022 B2C Content Marketer of the Year Diane Di Costanzo via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Repeating the profitable mannequin

Millie’s success led Diane to marvel what different manufacturers could be eager about being the only sponsor for a brand new publication with large distribution. The reply got here from a goal that had been on the gross sales radar for some time – Mars Petcare.

Mars owns the biggest portfolio of particular person pet manufacturers. They needed to focus on the twin pet (cats and canine) viewers – an revolutionary advertising and marketing thought since most giant manufacturers are likely to silo the pet sort.

Mars signed on to sponsor PawPrint journal as shortly as Synchrony got here on board for Millie. Unlike with Millie, although, Dotdash Meredith has a digital editorial pet model – Daily Paws. So PawPrint (the journal) and Daily Paws (the web site) act as companion content material shops. PawPrint, like Millie, will get bagged with and mailed to over 1 million Real Simple readers.

While Mars shares its content material tips (resembling displaying pets in protected and humane settings) with Foundry 360, it doesn’t have a say within the editorial content material. And it might’t if they need the Paw Print journal to be mailed with Real Simple to over 1 million subscribers.

As an editorial journal, Real Simple receives the decrease value periodical charge from the U.S. Postal Service. If it included a branded content material journal, it will not qualify for that charge.

“It’s been great for Mars. They have coupons and other offers (in their ads) so that they can track what happens next with the readers because we want to make sure what we’re driving is valuable to them,” Diane says.

Surveys are a crucial instrument to measure viewers response. “It’s about as unvarnished an opinion as you can get because no one’s paying anybody to say anything,” Diane says. And the surveys present that readers suppose PawPrint is nice, too.

“It’s just been wonderful to hear that it’s so well received, and it helps to know there is love for this animal publication Mars Petcare is sponsoring.”


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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute