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Content Matters - Just ask Jalen Huluhaslivesports

Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season is in the books and the Philadelphia Eagles are soaring high after a 31-17 win over the Miami Dolphins!

As a Philly phan, it was really exciting to enjoy Sunday Night Football at the Linc with my son. We donned our kelly green and cheered for our favorites, including Jason Kelce, AJ Brown, and #1 himself - Jalen Hurts.

While mama and son cheered all bundled up in the end zone, the rest of the (ph)amily watched while cozied up on the couch at home thanks to Jalen Huluhaslivesports. *If you didn’t know that this was the quarterback’s name, check out the recent Hulu commercial campaign.

A Hurts-Hulu partnership clearly makes marketing sense. As a (ph)an and consumer of both respectively, I also think this partnership represents a #StrategyIRL lesson on business success both individually and corporately – content domination.

Both Hurts and Hulu are faced with increasing competition. To dominate their respective fields, they share an obsession with diverse content. For Hurts this shows up as his mastery of multiple facets of his position from passing through rushing. The results: third ranked NFL player at the start of the 2023 season. Hulu masters content by diversifying its offerings, too. Its results: third ranked overall streaming service by US News and World Report.

Mastering diverse content is not only a QB or streaming play; it’s a trait in successful businesses and their leaders.

Diversifying a company portfolio is a time- and market-specific proposition. Diversifying too soon can create business risks, while being too narrowly focused long-term can minimize upside expansion.Take for example a start up trying to launch a product into the B2B tech infrastructure market. While the product may have applicability in B2C healthcare arenas, the decisions required to pursue both (a more diverse content portfolio) would stretch limited resources, dilute brand, and potentially limit investment return. Conversely for a large company, overreliance on a single product or service line may create competitive risk, lack insulation from market shifts, and limit market valuation. In either case, pursuing a strategy of diversification requires a balance of near-term focus with longer-term optionality.

In 2019 the Harvard Business Review asked “Why isn’t Hulu Better.” Perhaps as a precursor of success, the same article concluded that Hulu needed a “shift in focus… toward a digital business focus on giving individual consumers convenient access to a diverse bundle of content.” The company pursued a balanced near- and longer-term strategy in which it diversified content and revenue through ads and live broadcasting and preserved future optionality over a five-year horizon to buy out the 33% stake of its minority owner, Comcast. The result is not only a base valuation of $27.5B, but the ability to position itself as a dominant player in multiple fields spanning legacy cable, online apps, and sport broadcasting. Simply put, offering customers a variety of content is growing more akin to a passing and rushing quarterback wowing fans. No wonder Jalen Huluhaslivesports is a winning combination.

Jalen Hurts practicing pre-game

As individuals, mastery of diverse content is an a priori requirement for corporate leadership. A CEO, for example, needs to demonstrate confidence in articulating market opportunities, customer segments, competitive positioning, and corporate finances. When talking to a customer, the CEO needs to likewise be able to convey a detailed understanding of the customer’s issue, need, or company response. Mastering the diversity of a company’s lines of business and support functions may be misconstrued as being a good speaker. The reality is that ‘fluff’ doesn’t gain confidence. Breadth and depth of data, insights, and experiences is at the core of leadership requirements to drive strategic alignment. Just as Hurts has developed his agility and flexibility to run and throw, so too does an executive need to be able to flex and adapt to changing company and market needs. This requires being tuned-in to one's environment both internally and externally to the organization. Whether leading a team, company, or industry, winning and dominating is like channeling your inner ‘Jalen Huluhaslivesports.’ Some basic playbook routes to deepen and diversify your content mastery include: As a leader..

  • Take time to understand the work of others. Go to other team’s meetings, listen to broadcast messages, and take the opportunity to rotate roles and engage in succession planning. Learning more about others' positions will help accelerate how you perform in yours.

  • Be intellectually curious about what customers, employees, investors, and market influencers/analysts prioritize. Listen and engage with others, taking advantage of every opportunity to learn what others do, what challenges they face, and what and how they prioritize.

  • Learn how to articulate your unique perspectives unscripted and with candor. Increase stakeholder confidence in your capabilities by showing you can relate to audiences.

As a company…

  • Practice (war game) all the plays instead of sticking to only prior routes (historical decisions). Relying on the same tactics for strategic growth game after game – er, year after year – will only ensure your competition is highly educated on your next move, thereby better positioned to displace you.

  • Understand your market, what drives value through competitive pressures and investment trends. Get outside of your organizational box and contribute to your industry. Understand externally to better perform internally.

  • Act near-term with agility, but preserve long-term flexibility. The sooner you put points on the board, the faster you can unleash a broader array of plays in your strategy.

Getting steeped in content, mastering multiple facets of your business, and studying your competition is the best path to get to your superbowl. NBG Strategy Consulting builds strategies that put points on the board and secure long-term market positioning, all while developing your leaders to pass, rush, and dominate in their role.

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