Jrme Manceau, Kaz’s new Marketing Director, wants to strengthen the brand with its communities

Jrme Manceau has been promoted to Marketing and Sales Director at Manga Publishing House Kaz. Since acquiring Crunchyroll, Crunchyroll has developed a strategy for developing the brand, particularly by leveraging its large community on social media. (Photo Kaz)

Jérôme Manceau, who is enthusiastic about Manga and his division, can only be happy. Since the end of 2016 he has been sales director of the manga and Japanese animation publisher Kazé Manga & Anime (see box). In June last year he became its marketing director. His appointment confirms the merger of the two marketing and trading activities following the takeover of the Japanese parent company Viz Media by the specialized American distributor Crunchyroll (Warner Media) in September 2019.

His mission? Transform the marketing and sales strategy to position the small publisher as a reference brand and no longer as a product supplier. Jérôme Manceau regrets that we very regularly meet readers in the salons who know our licenses very well but don’t even know who Kazé is. Our brands worked independently for SVOD, physical products and licenses. We are now trying to create a 360 ° universe for each of them and therefore identify a coherent ecosystem with publications on physical media, theatrical releases, SVOD, etc. It’s also a coherent strategy for all the supports the new Marketing Director wants to provide: social networks, influencers, physical events extended in the digital space, e-commerce, original content, etc. “I want all the supports to be connected, so that they can feed each other. That our digital, display and event campaigns can be found everywhere. That’s why we bring marketing and sales together! “”

Differentiate targeting based on the social network

At the moment, however, Kazé is barely exploiting his presence, even if it’s important on social media. “With a total of around 600,000 subscribers, we are the largest publisher specializing in Japanese social media entertainment,” explains Jérôme Manceau. We were the first to open a Snapchat account. 240,000 people subscribe to the publisher’s YouTube account, 215,000 to his Facebook page and 94,500 and 86,000 to his Twitter and Instagram accounts, respectively. Crunchyroll is also at the head of a large community with, for example, more than 2 million Instagram subscribers.

“We have had a real development strategy in this area since the takeover. And since we took office, in addition to classic marketing, we have had a strong digital branch in the team that deals with social networks and influence. The small publisher intends to expand its contact points with targeted communication according to the respective network. The company has so far treated all of its target groups equally, even though they have very different profiles. His Instagram subscribers are more interested in paper manga than others.

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A monthly show with youtubers

Specifically, from 2021 Kazé wants to strengthen both its voice in networks as a brand and the creation of original content. At the moment it is often content to announce its new offers. And its commercial actions are due to competitions or price cuts. Jérôme Manceau is enthusiastic and enthusiastic about his subject. “We want to create a monthly show with influencers who become ambassadors for our brand and our products and share our news, as is the case in Japan. We’d also like to shoot original documentaries: a day with a director or with a mangaka. We are even in contact with audiovisual production companies to convert manga into short films. “”

A single entry point for the relaunch of e-commerce

The marketing team that Jérôme Manceau oversees consists of nine people, two of whom work in direct marketing. The display and purchase of advertising space make up the largest part. “After a failed attempt four years ago due to lack of resources, we are thinking about e-commerce again. Online sales are a real point of sale, but we can’t fight Amazon or Fnac. However, thanks to the licenses we hold, we have been able to offer completely exclusive products. The new head of marketing is also considering a digital space that brings together everything his customers are looking for: his products, of course, but also tickets for European conventions, characters, etc. “There are no such individual entry points, Jérôme Manceau emphasizes. We lose ourselves on that of Fnac before we get there. “Kazé will be hiring an e-commerce specialist in the coming months and intends to rely on social media to improve this service.

Offer exclusively for physical events

Finally, Kazé also intends to strengthen its presence at physical events, to animate its community and especially to expand everything in the digital realm. “We are only represented at one trade fair, the Japan Expo,” says Jérôme Manceau. We want to do more and have a privileged space for discussion with our community. And above all with a response on the digital side. “”

“The challenge for us is to structure ourselves, to review the organization and processes in order to get off to a good start with this new strategy, said the Marketing Director of Kazé. For example, from now on a marketer will work on both manga and DVDs with a global brand vision. All of these “value creation paths” aim to offer the community a range of services to promote a brand ecosystem and no longer position Kazé as a simple product supplier.

Emmanuelle Delsol

Who is Kaz

The company, born in France in 1994, has belonged to the American group Crunchyroll since it took over Kazé’s parent company, Viz Media, in September 2019.

– Activity: Publishing and marketing of printed manga and Japanese cartoon series on DVD and SVOD, licensing of related brands for television sales, theatrical releases and merchandising. More than 400 references and 150 licenses in the catalog. We find key titles in manga and cartoon series One-Punch-Mann, My Hero Academia, Le Tombeau des Lucioles, The Promised Neverland, Black Clover and Hokuto no Ken.

– 2019 turnover: 16 million euros

– Workforce 2020: around 20 people