Didn’t See It Coming with Marc Stoiber

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Doing a successful pandemic brand pivot

April 29th, 2020

How do you do a successful pandemic brand pivot?

COVID has spawned a cottage industry of advice on  shifting the tactics of your brand - amping up the education and free value to your followers, reaching out more often, focusing on empathy over persuasion, etc etc. But so much of it seems, well, timid and incremental. And - speaking as a focus group of one - most of it is absolute shite. If I log onto one more webinar that delivers lame advice taken from the back cover notes of a Seth Godin book, I swear I'll walk off a bridge.

Where are the awesome pivots? Where are the titans forging brave new paths forward?

Well, I found one. And as luck would have it, he was right in my backyard, here in Victoria, BC.

Matthew Watson is the CEO of SendtoNews, the biggest sports video service you've never heard of (I can't take credit for that handle - it was the headline of a great Toronto Star story). The company provides engaging, up-to-the-moment official video clips from major sports leagues to publishers. They even attach advertising to the clips, sharing the ad revenues with the publisher and league.

SendtoNews is a beast - outpacing even ESPN as a video sharing platform. They share over one billion video views a month. But when COVID hit, one of the first casualties was sporting events. No sports, no sports clips. How did SendtoNews pivot?

Amazingly well, as it turns out. They started an entirely new video clip sharing service that actually made March 2020 the company's most successful month ever.

What was the new offering? It's all in the interview I did with Matthew. Enjoy!

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