The other morning, my wife was as excited as I have ever seen her. She loaded sister Traci and daughter Emily in the car and set out from Tulsa to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, to visit the new bakery, deli and general store "The Mercantile," recently opened by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.
They returned exhausted but had the time of their lives.
All of this is the result of a masterful use of the media tools available to you today.
Content tilt, tipping point, exponential curve, branding, merchandising, rolling out the brand—as well as combining digital, social and traditional media—the Pioneer Woman has done it all.
Ree Smith was a country girl gone to L.A. (to attend the University of Southern California). She was planning on going to law school in Chicago when she unexpectedly met and married her "Marlboro Man," Ladd Drummond, and moved to his ranch in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, to became a rancher's wife and raise kids.
In 2006, she registered her own domain, thepioneerwoman.com and began to blog about her life in Oklahoma. Before the phrase "content tilt" was coined, she found hers, writing about and showing great pictures about life on the ranch—work, food, family, fun.
Early in 2009, Drummond's blog received 13 million page views per month (Tipping Point). By May 9, 2011, the blog's popularity had risen to approximately 23.3 million page views per month and 4.4 million unique visitors (exponential curve).
In April 2008, Drummond held a giveaway in which she asked readers to share one of their favorite recipes. She received more than 5,000 recipes in less than 24 hours. She realized her loyal readers were a community of food lovers as well.
Drummond then launched tastykitchen.com, a simple and free online community with the tagline, "Favorite Recipes from Real Kitchens Everywhere!"
This led to a series of New York Times best-selling The Pioneer Woman cookbooks (rolling out the brand merchandising).
Ben Ferrell is a minister with the heart of an evangelist. Ben has led people into the Presence of the Lord through song, six albums, television programs and journeys around the world speaking and singing for years before joining BMC Advertising in 1989. He has a passion to win souls and see lives changed. You can reach Ben at bmcferrell.com.
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