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  • Writer's pictureDaywey Chen

Can your marketing become a profit center?

Updated: May 26, 2020

Everyone would agree that marketing is cost, but can marketing become a profit center?

Can marketing become a profit center? To serve your brand's marketing efforts and to create cash flow at the same time? Seems too good to be true. However, many firms are already taking advantage of this strategy, let me begin by providing a few examples.

Red Bull

Red bull claimed that it is a media company that happens to sell energy drinks

As one of Red Bull's marketing efforts, many years ago Red Bull started distributing printed bulletins at the end of each racing event, featuring racers and racing team's profiles and fact sheet. The purpose is to promote the Red Bull energy drink within the bulletin. To their surprise, the bulletin received great responses from the audience. A few years later, Red Bull decided to launch the bulletin as its own separate media, turning it into a profit center.

• Red Bull launched “The Red bulletin” magazine, issuing more than 2 million copies per month in 10 different countries. It is one of the most widely circulated international monthly magazines.

• The magazine features topics including sports, culture, music, nightlife, entrepreneurship and lifestyle stories.

• Today Red Bulletin has evolved into TV series, documentaries, world-class events, music studios and merchandising.

Salesforce . com

Cloud CRM giant Salesforce host an event in San Francisco every year called Dreamforce drawing massive profit

Dreamfoce is an annual business gathering conference hosted by the CRM software company. The conference brings together thought leaders, industry pioneers and thousands of IT professionals. Members of Salesforce's customer base attend the conference to hear keynote addresses, learn about new products, attend training sessions, network with peers and earn certifications.

• Dreamforce is one of the most valuable physical events in the world, drawing in over 170,000 people and hundreds of sponsors each year.

• The price of each ticket is around USD2,099 amounting to USD 356 million of revenue for the event

Johnson & Johnson

Baby Center is the world's partner in parenting. The #1 digital destination for pregnancy and parenting

BabyCenter provides parents with trusted information, advice from peers, and support that's Remarkably Right® at every stage of their child's development. Products include websites, mobile apps, online communities, email series, social programs, print publications, and public health initiatives.

• Johnson & Johnson owns BabyCenter as a completely separate division of the company.

• BabyCenter leverages its industry-leading audience engagement to provide unparalleled insights and innovative marketing solutions to the world's top brands, retailers, and institutions.

• BabyCenterreaches more than 51 million parents a month globally, and operates in 9 different languages

• In the USA, study indicate that 8 out of every 10 mothers use BabyCenter

Arrow Electronics

"I don’t care how the customer wants to deal with us along as they deal with us. I will put systems in place to deal with them anyway they want to deal. " Michael J. Long, CEO of Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components

• A fortune 500 company Arrow Electronics acquired many of UBM’s media portfolio, an B2B media brand for USD 23.5 million.

• Arrow Eleronics media portfolio includes EE Times, EDN and

• In 2016 UBM reports that its electronics media portfolio generated revenues between USD16 million and USD19 million online and around USD3 million in print last year.

At the Company, I am currently leading the idea to turn parts of our marketing efforts into a profit center. As a printing press manufacturer, we are in a very good position to become a platform for our customers. Why? because as a printing press manufacturer we source the many different components from various vendors and in turn integrating these components together to build the press. We are already a platform by nature, we are the place where parts come together to form a working unit. For instance, the inspection cameras on the press, web guiding system, motors driving the units, printing plates, inks, anilox cylinders, idle rollers, HMI controls, PLC systems...etc. Our customers by default come to us for advice on printing practices, raw material sourcing like inks, printing substrates, printing plates...We are already the Go-To channel for advice.

Due to confidentiality reasons, at this point in time I will not disclose the details on how we intend to become the platform. How we intend turn our marketing into a profit center by becoming a revenue generating platform. But I do hope that through the information and examples that I have shared with you, you will now rethink over the definition of "marketing". To escape from the traditional marketing mindset.

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