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Christie’s CMO Marc Sands on the move to content-led marketing

Christie’s CMO Marc Sands on the move to content-led marketing

Auction house Christie’s is moving to a content-led marketing approach, as it looks to connect with Millennial art buyers across the world.

Christies chief marketing officer Marc Sands was speaking to CNBC’s Carolin Roth as part of the Marketing|Media|Money show broadcast last week, co-hosted by C Squared chairman Charlie Crowe.

Sands told CNBC that Christie’s – which this year is celebrating its 250th anniversary – has moved away from traditional media towards digital as a means of targeting affluent individuals, and in particular younger art buyers.

“When we do campaigns, 10 years ago it would have been pretty much 100% print. We don’t do TV, we’re not a broad enough audience. Now if I look at the campaigns that we’re doing, they vary depending on the type of auction to 100% digital, through to probably maximum topping out at 60% to 70% analogue and 30% digital,” said Sands.

The brand has also switched its focus from conventional advertising towards a more-driven approach, as exemplified by a recent campaign to promote an auction of former US president Ronald Reagan’s private collection of goods.

“In the old days there was the view that if you were someone like Christie’s, you have an object, the market will come, it will sell. That’s not strictly [true],” he said. “The move that we’ve taken on in a big way in the last couple of years is to develop content marketing.”

Sands described Christie’s content approach as incorporating social media platforms like Facebook, as well as Tencent-owned WeChat, which he claimed is the “single biggest means” of engaging with clients in China.

“Some of our marketing modules in mainland China are entirely WeChat-based and that is drawn by the fact that, as a platform, it is widely used and quite a significant means of engagement in mainland China,” he added.