Survivor: B2B Marketing Lessons from One of the Longest Running Reality Shows in History with Founder of Distribution First, Justin Simon

In this episode, we’re taking marketing lessons from Survivor with the help of our guest, Founder of Distribution First, Justin Simon. Together, we talk about repeating your winning formula, creating a distribution plan, and staying true to who you are.

Episode Summary

There’s a very real shift in mindset between making a single piece of content and making a long-standing series.

But that shift in mindset launches a content machine that can fill your calendar, grow a dedicated audience, and build a name for your brand.

And in this episode, we’re learning from one of the biggest content machines in reality TV: Survivor.

We’re looking at the show that’s been running for 46 seasons to date with the help of our guest, Founder of Distribution First, Justin Simon.

Together, we talk about repeating your winning formula, creating a distribution plan, and staying true to who you are.

About our guest, Justin Simon

Justin Simon is founder of Distribution First, a membership community where smart marketers create less, distribute more, and grow together. He is also a consultant and the host of the Distribution First podcast. Prior to starting his consulting firm, Justin served as Senior Content Marketing Manager at He also previously served as Global Content Strategy Manager at TechSmith Corporation, a global provider of screen capture and screen recording software. He worked for TechSmith for over 10 years, having started as a Sales Intern in February 2011.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From Survivor:

  • Repeat your winning formula. Be consistent over time with the things that have proven successful. With some tweaks here and there, Survivor has followed essentially the same formula for 46 seasons, making it one of the longest lasting reality TV shows of all time. Justin says, “I think that that's like the magic of what has made it last, amongst many other things, for so long. It's consistent, it's repeatable, and you always know what you're getting.”
  • Have a plan for distribution of your content before creating the content itself. Justin says, “Know what distribution channels you have available to you. Pick one or two that you're really going to hammer in on and get really good at those. Make sure your audience is aware that you exist on those channels. It goes back to consistency. Be able to consistently deliver value to the audience on those channels.” And then understand “How much content do you actually need? And then reverse engineering back to that. Because I think a lot of people get themselves stuck on a hamster wheel of creating content because they don't actually know how much content they need.”
  • Stay true to who you are. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Keep your core values at the center of your content. From the first season, first episode, Survivor has used the tagline “Outwit, outplay, outlast.” And it's become an iconic slogan for the show. Justin says, “My biggest lesson from Survivor is just staying true to who you are and being able to create something that is really long lasting and not a flash in the pan. There's lots of flash in the pan marketing. And so how do we build up plans? How do we keep saying the same things over and over and talking about those things in a way that resonates, adjusting angles, and switching things?”

*”Creating content for the sake of creating content is not good enough anymore. And I think a lot of teams still feel the need to hit a drumbeat of production without a ‘why’ behind that, or how the audience is going to engage with that, or a reason that it fits in with the larger marketing strategy, business strategy, all that type of stuff. But hey, we're creating content, so we're ahead of the game here. And so I think for me what that caused is a lot of stress, a lot of burnout, a lot of just trying to keep that ball rolling up the hill and then no time or energy or effort to be able to actually step back and be more strategic or be creative or experiment or any of these things that we wanted to do when we started to be marketers, do the fun stuff, try new things, try new formats, because we've got to still pump out all this content.” -Justin Simon

*”Most people have no clue what's happening with the content they create. The irony of it all is very, very thick that we're spending so much time and so much effort to create all of these things and we have no way of knowing how that's getting in front of anybody, if people care, in what ways they’re going to use it. How are we going to maybe reintroduce that same concept in different formats and in different ways? I think especially for folks who are creating evergreen content, it's a huge miss to not be repurposing and distributing that content.” - Justin Simon

*”In a typical marketing content landscape, distribution gets tacked on at the end. Like, ‘All right, we've got the thing. Now, what do we do?’ Versus throwing it at the beginning, distribution first, and thinking through, ‘All right, as we're creating this podcast, as we're creating this monthly event series, what's going to happen once the show goes live? So now they're creating a real engine that they can just kind of repeat and reuse and then adjust as necessary.” - Justin Simon

Episode Highlights


Watch Survivor

Connect with Justin on LinkedIn

Learn more about Distribution First

About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both nonfiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios) and Meredith Gooderham (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Meredith Gooderham, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

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