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The 11th Cafepreneur happened last June 19th in the Monigram Coffee Roasters in the heart of Cambridge, Ontario. One more time we gathered professionals from Brazil and Canada to talk about entrepreneurship. This time we discussed where is the place for media and storytelling in the digital world.
The event was promoted by Ideality and hosted by the CEO, Luis Barrionuevo. As guests, we had Adriano Silva, Publisher at "DRAFT" in Brazil and Ellyn Winters-Robinson, President and CMO at Ignition. We also had Tiffany Rezende, CEO and founder of Atoms Integrator, Jackelyn Gill, a freelance writer, passionate for storytelling based in Waterloo Region, Larissa Veloso, a public relations specialist with years of newsroom experience as a journalist and Rodrigo Fernandes, a serial entrepreneur in Brazil and Country Manager at Vanhack.
If the traditional advertising doesn't work anymore, what does?
The challenge nowadays is not only for the brands to attract attention in a hyper-connected world but especially for marketers and publishers to find a way to adapt to the significant shift inside the communication industry.
"I've made my career in the old media. It was a territory where everything was set, but it's not possible to think that way anymore. I’ve left my career, and I’m surviving in the digital media market by myself. And I must say that I don’t have an answer,” says Adriano. His best bet is to work heavily on content marketing, offering value to the brands that support Draft in Brazil.
The change is also being felt inside the newsrooms, which are going to a hard time as they can't count on the revenue that always came through the money companies invested in ads. But with every crisis comes an opportunity, and in here there is also a niche to be filled.
"Marketing and brands are craving for good content and are struggling with that, to produce in the quality and volume they need. That is where we need the journalism,” says Ellyn.
While some people may raise the question of the neutrality journalists are expected to have, the truth is that this is not a big change from the old model.
"At the end of the day, its always was the brand paying to produce stories, why we can't hire the journalist himself? The companies have to be brave enough to say: hey, Draft, write about me,” says Ellyn.
The right story can connect brands to their audience.
Journalists have the expertise to find the stories that marketers need to channel. In a world in which a simple search for the term “Entrepreneurship” on Google results in almost 500 million pages, finding the right story matters more than ever.
"We are so bombarded with facts that we are missing the connection between the person, the business,” says Tiffany. The key can be in a mix of Marketing and Journalism.
“Working with content today is not only about publishing more information, is about curating information. And journalists are good at that. Then you have to channel your information through the right channels, and that’s where the marketing comes in,” says Larissa.
Many brands with exciting stories can be found in the fertile environment created in Cambridge, Waterloo and Kitchener, where the diversity of Canada produces the most innovative minds.
“We have this great ecosystem here in Canada, and we can see great stories here. These stories need to be told because you can have the best idea in the world, but if you cannot sell it, it’s gone,” says Tiffany.
The new generation is a matter of mindset
“The main characteristic of people portrayed on Draft is that they understand business has a lifestyle. You don’t separate anymore, as when you used to work from Monday to Friday in a place that you hate, only to get money. It doesn't work that way anymore, and this generates a huge gap between what companies offer and what professionals expect from the company,” says Adriano. It is where entrepreneurship comes to channel the energy of a workforce that is tired of the 9 to 5 work environment.
“It is something that is happening both in Brazil and Canada. I can relate. There is a change of mindset, nobody wants to be the corporate drone anymore. We see that in the accelerators, people who have left the company, or the company has left them. They have life experience, have seen the problems inside the companies, and they can’t fix it inside the organizations. We are seeing a lot of people going out now, in their 30s, 40s, 50s and plus,” says Ellyn.
This reality is happening inside many corporations, and it is not only affecting the way business is being done, but also the way the traditional media works. After all, newspapers, magazines, tv channels are nothing more than organizations themselves.
“When I left Brazil, I was working in a newspaper. I constantly discuss with many of my colleagues and we were asking ourselves what are we doing, working in a publication that still needs to get printed and shipped so someone can buy a physical copy of it. Of course, all papers are trying to merge with the digital, but this is hard, it’s a century-old industry,” says Larissa.
"The companies know they need to shift in a new direction, but because they have such a big structure, this movement will cost them a long time. Meanwhile, the individuals that are frustrated inside the company are jumping out of the boat and making the shift happen by themselves because they are a lot “lighter”, says Larissa. But changing for the sake of change is not enough. In a hyperconnected world the businesses are not anymore made locally, but globally.
"There is a huge implication, that is no space for the second one. I’m going to choose to read the best newspaper in the world because I have access to it. You are not going to choose the second one. You are not going to have to go local, because that's all you can get. You can get things anywhere,” says Rodrigo. The formula to get there is not clear, though.
"Everybody is crying out for something different, and everybody is searching for this next new thing. Does Draft have the model? I don’t know. But it feels like you are on to something,” says Ellyn.
This amazing Cafepreneur showed up that more than find a magic solution to the media market, the corporations have the incredible opportunity to test new things in new different ways face the new economy and the digital transformation - A new mix of content, digital platform and model of marketing is coming up.