No one can argue that the way brands and consumers connect with each other has been flipped on its head.
Here’s the cold hard fact: consumers are now in control of when, where and how they interact with brands. It’s a hard reality for many brand and marketing executives to admit. In a multi-screen world filled with so many marketing messages, the old traditional marketing habits of interrupting consumers by shouting brand features and benefits at them just doesn’t work.
Old habits die hard, but so do brands that don’t change.
“If brands want to be relevant, they need to stop interrupting what consumers are interested in and become what they are interested in by creating creative and content marketing that provides value to the consumer.”
If you provide value first, you’ll get their attention.
It’s all about creating a value exchange, then you can convince and convert them with your brands features and benefits later.
“Consumers are hungry for creative and content that adds value to their lives. If it doesn’t, they will ignore it, close it, delete it, throw it away, and move on. If it doesn’t add value, it will fail.”
Here are my top three tips on ways that it can create value and ultimately win the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers.
1. Be Relevant. Your creative and content marketing needs to be relevant to the consumer at the right time, right place, right screen, etc. There are endless technology platforms and targeting tools you can use to deliver the right content at the right time.
2. Be Helpful. You content needs to inform, entertain, educate, or solve problems for consumers. Stop trying to engage by promoting the features and benefits of your product. Figure out how to engage them first, and then sell. Help them first, and then they’ll help you. Create a value exchange.
3. Be Emotional. Your content needs to illicit an emotional response. It needs to make the consumer feel something. Grab their attention and get them excited (great offer), make them laugh (funny stories), maybe make them cry (human interest), get them to disagree (blog post), just get them to feel. That’s what great stories do — they make people feel something.
“If you’re a marketer and not thinking about how your creative and content marketing adds value to the consumer first, then you’re in the wrong job.”
Lastly, share your creative and content with people and co-workers who aren’t involved in the project. Ask them how it adds value to their lives. Is it relevant, is it helpful, is it emotional? If it’s not, I challenge you to go back and work on it some more until it does all of the above.
“Nobody likes to listen to people or their friends who only talk about themselves all the time. We connect with friends who add value to our lives by helping us, entertaining us, making us feel a certain way, so it shouldn’t be any different for brands.”
Brands may not be people, but they should take the same approach, because no matter what you do, at the end of the day, we’re all in the people business.
Content Decoded, founded by David Beebe, who AdWeek called “A Branded Content Master Who Makes it OK to Love Marketing,” and named by Ad Age as a “forward thinker, risk-taker, and rainmaker in marketing,” knows how to navigate the intersection of Hollywood Storytelling and Brand Marketing to create what’s next in media and marketing.
In multiple industry firsts, Beebe founded and led the Disney/ABC Digital Content Studio, producing derivative branded content for Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Scrubs. Beebe was honored by the Emmy for outstanding creative achievement in interactive media for producing the 83rd Oscars Digital Experience and led the launch of the first ever full episode player on ABC.com, which was also recognized with an Emmy.
Crossing over the isle to the brand side, Beebe became the first ever VP, Global Creative + Content Marketing at Marriott International, where he founded and led the Marriott Content Studio, producing premium story-driven brand films, tv shows, documentaries, magazines, books, and other branded content for Marriott’s portfolio of 30 brands, including brand publishing platform Marriott Traveler and created M Live — Marriott’s groundbreaking first ever global social media brand command centers around the world, which were honored with a Cannes Lions Award for the use of data in storytelling. Beebe also produced programming for Yahoo Originals, DIRECTV, Showtime, and PBS.
Brands, media companies, and creatives who partner with Content Decoded get access to the same creative and strategic insights, real world industry experience, and market intelligence that Beebe uses to transform brands to think consumer first, think like a media company, and transform marketing from a cost-center to a revenue center.