SXSW Austin 2024: Creators lack professionalism, ‘don’t even understand what they are really selling’


Plus: Why brands should be looking to research the people that they want to work with.

Creators need to act like professionals if they are to be taken seriously and keep up with consumer expectations, the boss of a management consultancy focused on the future of the consumer economy has told SXSW Austin.

What a majority of creators miss currently is professionalism. A lot of these brands are used to dealing with places like Barstool Sports, which are very trained and professional teams, they’re able to sell their media,” Sommersa’s Giacomo Zacchia said in a panel on the future of food media.

“What we’re going to start to see is, as creators recognise, hey, I’m not only an actor. They will add different levels of sophistication into these brands. In full candour, a lot of creators don’t even understand what they are really selling. They actually control their distribution, and they get really reliable numbers.”

Zacchia was joined by JW Entertainment’s Joshua Weissman in a back and forth on how both brands and creators need to improve how they approach partnerships in the food media space. 

Zacchia added that some people have a misperception of how content is consumed, pointing to some major shifting trends in YouTube users.

“The majority of YouTube’s watch time now is coming from TV. The people who are dominant now in long form as opposed to short form are really killing it. If you don’t have a philosophy, it’s just not going to work. ”

While production quality has never been more important, Weissman told the SXSW crowd that brands need to do a better job of researching which creators they work with before forming brand partnerships.

“From an executional standpoint, brands should be looking to research the people that they want to work with. If you really want to build a real customer base, rather than one off purchases, you should be looking for different creators that have that authority, trust and respect and figure out what that looks like.

“I’m sure we all know about Mr. Beast, he has massive numbers, 200 million views a video. If someone could come in with a quarter, or even 10%, of that audience size, they might be able to develop a CPG business that produces bigger numbers than his just because of the dedication of that audience.

“It’s not always about the size. You could either go really wide and super shallow, or you can go a little less wider, which oftentimes is more powerful. The bigger businesses out there tend to be tend to have both.”

See Also: SXSW Sydney returns inviting session applications for 2024

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