Netflix's Future Marketing Plans Just Got More Complicated

Recently, Netflix witnessed its longtime marketing chief depart.

There is more to the story -- its entire marketing department is gone, according to Adweek. At press time, a Netflix representative did not reply to inquiries from TV Watch.

There’s a bigger picture here: What’s the marketing message in the future for Netflix? It's about to go head to head with big competitors, including Walt Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and perhaps Apple TV.

Things are still good for Netflix, with rising subscribers and revenues. But much will change when big legacy TV-based media companies ramp up their specific big-brand marketing efforts to compete.

Until now, Netflix has had a free field, with dominant market share in the business of an on-demand, ad-free subscription program service -- nearly 60 million U.S. TV homes and 120 million globally.



Big brand campaigns touting a single TV platform -- network or otherwise -- can be a tricky thing. Much can be focused on what analysis always looks at: BigTV spin/buzz coming from specific programs.

For Netflix, think of original programming spin -- TV series “Stranger Things,” Oscar-winning “Roma” or “Bird Box” — which, for a short period, grabbed social-media attention.

Currently, one of its biggest efforts has been around a film starring Ben Affleck: “Triple Frontier” on Netflix and in theaters. Other recent individual programming promo pushes have included content for “The Devil You Know’ and “The Irishman.”

To be fair, few TV networks or new TV digital platforms offer big network “brand” messaging campaigns.

In the late 1990s, ABC had the “TV is Good” tongue-in-cheek campaign adorned in all things yellow, with tag lines like: “Don’t worry, you got billions of brain cells” and “If TV is so bad for you, why is there one in every hospital room?”

More recently, Fox, now under a new company structure -- with about half its TV and film businesses now sold to Walt Disney -- started a new “network” advertising campaign.

Bottom line: TV consumer will eventually decide on one or two main on-demand TV services, as well as more pricier packages of live, linear TV networks, those “virtual” pay TV bundles.

While Netflix grabs attention from its critically acclaimed TV series and films, it may have to amp up its messaging to consumers in future years.

So what’s the big picture?

Next story loading loading..