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Bauer content chief Lucie Cave: ‘Marketing is all about understanding the customer’

Lucie Cave is chief content officer at global publishers Bauer Media and answers our questions in the latest of Press Gazette’s Marketing Maestro interviews.

What has been your proudest achievement in your current role?

My role means I get to develop great content ideas that don’t just drive audience reach but also align with the values of our commercial partners and generate results. I’m particularly proud of our award-winning Love Island social companion series for Heat called ‘Under the Duvet’ which has delivered huge audiences (10m views in eight weeks) and phenomenal ROI for our partner VOXI. Not only that, but it has become an appointment-to-view show in its own right with a huge returning fanbase. I also get to be at the helm of pioneering important causes like our mental health campaign ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ and our response to the death of Sarah Everard – a panel and content series called #Iwalkwithwomen. Bringing our audio and print brands together to unite for something important always gives me proud shivers.

Which media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

We have research to prove that a mix of publishing and audio is hugely powerful across the whole of the purchase funnel – especially that hard to reach ‘missing middle’ who are especially connected by the trust and community influential brands like ours provide. Being more specific, audio advertising always has a high return on investment and there are so many new and creative options available.

What is the best way to improve your social media output?

Content on social media should always be about what works on each platform and speaking to people in a way that they speak to their friends or peers. Then it’s about being funny, creative, smart, entertaining – and tapping into conversations and talking points as they happen. Give people pop cultural currency and you will be their content bank of choice.

What for you is the key to any successful marketing campaign – what actually makes a ‘good lead’?

It always comes down to insight about the customer. What is the emotional benefit you are giving them? And how are you going to measure that with smart objectives?

What are the key differences between B2C and B2B marketing?

Done well, there shouldn’t be much difference. Marketing is all about truly understanding the customer – whoever they are. Get that right, understand what problem they need to solve, speak to them on a level and you will connect and drive action.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Technology has accelerated and widened the opportunities for marketing and advertising. With audiences using more devices, there are channels and new exciting ways to reach them, such as through smart speakers or conversational targeting in podcasts, Instagram Stories, shoppable video or AR. However, the crucial thing is not to do something because it’s shiny and new – just because we are talking about the metaverse, doesn’t mean that’s where we’re going to find most of our audience right now.

What are the biggest pain points in a marketing campaign?

It can be hard when clients aren’t willing to be flexible. During a campaign it’s important to be agile and adapt content to suit the audience and what’s happening, be led by editorial teams who know the audience best and be prepared to stop something that’s not working and pivot if necessary. However, we’ve found that if there is trust between all parties, you can always make this work.

And finally, if you could ask your peers for one piece of advice or help, what would it be?

Look into a crystal ball and let me know when everyone is going to be properly sucked into the metaverse – then I’ll set my alarm!