Q&A with Rich Cheary, Publisher’s Toolbox CEO

Ahead of Branded Content Day in November, Publisher’s Toolbox CEO Rich Cheary sat down to discuss the current trends in branded content, the role of branded platforms, and his predictions for the future of digital innovation.

Briefly describe what your business does.

The Publisher’s Toolbox is a suite of products built in collaboration with international publishers, news agencies, broadcasters, retail groups and sporting organisations. Our product ecosystem allow organisations of all sizes to establish digital communities around a content strategy that encourages user or influencer engagement through media experiences and augmented reality activities.

What is your role there?

I am the founder and CEO. I couldn’t be more grateful for our exciting 10-year product development journey. My team and I are constantly disrupting and innovating in the digital media space alongside industry partners to establish the most advanced branded platforms and content ecosystems.

What are the key trends you’re seeing in branded content at the moment?

Businesses are looking for ways and technologies that allow for incentivised engagement and the establishment of sustainable digital communities through unique brand engagement experiences. Brands are beginning to realise the power of augmented reality (AR) and influencer marketing. The market is hungry for immersive experiences that distract, appeal and resonate on a new level.

‘The market is hungry for immersive experiences that distract, appeal and resonate on a new level’

We are seeing a trend and currently investing in the “branded platform” paradigm, which focuses on the establishment of digital communities around a brand’s particular content strategy and distribution thereof.

Why is it becoming an increasingly popular way for brands to engage audiences? 

“Pictures tell a thousand words, videos tell a story”

Which companies are doing it well? And links you can share?

I like to reference Red Bull Media House, who’ve been able to execute a content strategy effectively due to the platforms underpinning their consolidation and redistribution of branded content.

Any predictions for the future? 

– We will use our devices to scan more items for information than we currently search via text
– Current social networks that appeal to brands will dwindle until only bots remain

If you’ve got something you’d like to share with the audience on branded content, and where the industry is going, please share below. 

As a provider of branded and digital community ecosystems, we feel all brands should have access to digital platforms similar to traditional media houses. Brands will produce more branded content as a result of an effective content strategy, and so we feel that branded platforms have a role to play – be it via syndication, community portals, video players, mobile apps, scan solutions or traditional print.

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