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How BuzzFeed Inc.s Edgar Hernandez is finding your way through a recession while seeing signs of recovery

This episode marks the next of a four-part series on the Digiday Podcast, which explores how media CROs are leading their companies through turbulent times and so are dealing with new responsibilities as companies grit your teeth with new revenue streams.

BuzzFeed Inc. chief revenue officer Edgar Hernandez and his team have already been finding your way through a potential recession since May.

We did some recession planning and presented that to senior leadership back June. Therefore weve been playing the overall game as if we have been in a recession, he said in the most recent bout of the Digiday Podcast.

That recession planning boils right down to two focuses regarding BuzzFeeds advertising business: efficiency and innovation, said Hernandez, who was simply CRO of Complex Networks before BuzzFeed acquired the media company this past year because the latter company went public.

Efficiency effectively means rendering it possible for advertisers to invest money with BuzzFeed also to see returns on that investment. Innovation means pitching them ad opportunities like a new video programming slate that BuzzFeeds sales force started pitching advertisers on in recent weeks that will assist brands to stick out and capture audiences attention at the same time when consumer confidence has ebbed.

While BuzzFeed has seen the economic downturns impacts, as evinced by its latest quarterly earnings report, the media company can be needs to see signs of an advertising recovery. The quantity of pitch requests or RFPs for fourth-quarter ad opportunities that BuzzFeed happens to be receiving is related to this past year. Which includes RFPs from advertiser categories such as for example gadgets and retail which have been soft throughout 2022.

There exists a good signal in market at this time that theres increased opportunity entering Q4 and that especially some challenged categories like gadgets are being more vigorous than theyve been another three quarters, Hernandez said.

Below are a few highlights from the conversation, which were edited for length and clarity.

The second-half outlook

It still being halfway through the entire year, its hard to state if [the third quarter] will likely be the toughest quarter. Its certainly challenging for several, seemingly. And for Q4, the signals of the RFP volume is there, but I cant predict wherever its likely to land by the end of the quarter.

Q4 makes view

There are several good indicators that Q4 could possibly be strong compared to Q3. Especially in categories like gadgets which have been struggling all year, that Q4 time frame is massive for them. Were beginning to see some of these bookings that people normally would see from a few of the bigger brands. Also on the retail front, were seeing lots of activity from our core partners but additionally from other retailers trying to stay market.

BuzzFeeds programmatic power + Complexs video strength

You can find strengths on both sides. BuzzFeed had more strength in programmatic than Complex, therefore just how do we obtain the Complex brands which are dealing with us experiencing the programmatic offering? Theres 20% to 30% overlap between our businesses. So thats an unbelievable, natural organic growth opportunity. Exactly the same applies to video sponsorships. Weve done a fantastic job on the Complex side in sponsoring [shows] like Hot Ones and Sneaker Shopping. Therefore immediately what we said was, Just how do we look at this across BuzzFeed Inc.? Therefore we just launched a fresh video slate a month or more ago that the sales force is currently in market beginning to educate clients on.

The foundational year for BuzzFeed-Complex Networks

This season is about the foundational year. Were almost through this full integration, and were all beginning to say we are able to start to start to see the light shining at the end of the tunnel. We did plenty of work during the last four months [after integrating BuzzFeeds and Complexs sales teams in April], but actually the innovation build-off starts in 2023. And we think thats perfectly timed for when there is a downturn because thats what brands will be searching for: innovation they are able to access in super easy and efficient ways.

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