Recently, HGTV (Home and Garden Television) passed CNN in the ratings, to become the third most-watched cable channel (after Fox News and ESPN).
Why did this happen? Has everyone become a house-flipper? The answer is no. Instead, the channel operates as a form of "comfort food" at a time when people are overworked, anxious, and burned-out on global channels blaring bad news 24/7.
What are the lessons for innovative marketing?
Well, as I mentioned in a post last year, we are no longer in the Information Age. We are now in the Age of Attention Scarcity. People are bombarded with data and noise and a lack of time.
I said that the Art of Marketing can be boiled down into: "Give so much value that they can't ignore you".
HGTV knows it's audience and gives it tons of value:
1. They dropped the more far-out shows (like astrology-based real estate) and focus on plain vanilla "fix 'er up" shows.
2. While other shows concentrate on house-flipping in extravagant homes on the coasts, HGTV (based in Tennessee) shows many homes from the heartland between the coats.
Thus, for marketing, businesses need to think of themselves as a channel such as HGTV or Food Network. They can't just give value in the form of data–they also need to package it in an entertaining way.