Publish or Perish: The Power of Content Marketing

by admin | June 28, 2017 6:42 am

Declared by AdWeek as a “Branded Content Master Who Makes it OK to Love Marketing,” Beebe is one of the entertainment and marketing industries most influential brand film producers, content marketers, and keynote speakers about content marketing and brand storytelling. He is the founder of Beebe Content & Co., and most recently was the first ever VP, Global Creative and Content Marketing at Marriott Intl., where he led a global team responsible for content marketing for 30 brands. He created the Marriott Content Studio, Marriott Traveler, and “M Live” – the Real-Time Marketing Command Center, which won Gold and Silver Creative Data Lions at Cannes. He was EP of over fifty original productions including webisodes, documentaries, and brand films, including the award-winning Two Bellmen One, Two, and Three, Business Unusual, and French Kiss. In 2017, Ad Age named Beebe to their “40 under 40 Forward Thinkers in Marketing,” list and in 2016, AdWeek recognized him as one of their “100 Top Creatives in Marketing.” Check out our discussion with Beebe on the importance and value of content to brands, services and products.


 Jay: What are the keys that you think that makes content so valuable to any type of brand?

David: If you go back to the start of advertising, mass media was the only way consumers learned what a brand had to offer. You had no other way to find out about it. You had to watch the ad on TV and listen to the ad on the radio. Now, technology has obviously changed all of that. Brands used to tell consumers what they’re about. What has happened now is consumers are the ones telling other people what brands are about. As part of that, brands really need to provide value first. In a way, we’re kind of going back to the beginning of the world of soap operas. The reason they were called soap opera is because the product they put on there was originally soap. It was that idea of the brand is telling a story and the character is part of the story. For a while on television, the idea was stopping what people were watching and interrupting them with an ad because consumers had no choice. That model worked for a very long time until recent years where everyone now can tell ad blockers they don’t want anything disrupting the experience that they’re interested in. That simple concept stopped interrupting what consumers are interested in and started becoming what they’re interested in. That’s why I think content and storytelling is having an effect.
Jay: Is there still a balance to where better ads make sense either on their own or in how they complement content, or is it something we’re seeing people completely steering away from?

David: If you look at any content that is interruptive, I’m going to skip it if it doesn’t provide value in what I’m looking for. That can come in the form of a banner ad, email, or television spot. There’s been a shift where content absolutely needs to provide that value before anything. More importantly, we are now seeing a more localized and hyper-targeted marketing where data is used to appropriately deliver the message based off your behavior and known interest. But it needs to be interesting. I really think location-based marketing is huge because it’s relevant. It’s at the right time and right place, and it doesn’t disrupt me. If we get to that, you’ll see more engagement. If it’s not interesting and entertaining, evoke an emotion or doesn’t make you want to do something, often times it’s because it’s trying to sell something people aren’t interested in.

Jay: if I were starting a company today and I needed to start growing my audience by spreading awareness and building content, are there some basic ideas, principles or first actions to brand and understand the feedback from your audience?

David: The traditional marketing methods aren’t working because they’re interruptive. Consumers now have a choice. For any brand, what is that world what you want to own? What value is it offering to your consumers? I think that should be the starting point for any brand, product or service. Look at Marriott. They didn’t just want to own hotels, but also the idea of travel and every part of the travel journey. I created content for every part of that customer journey, whether it was inspiring people to travel or just introducing them to new brands. Figure out what people would find interesting so you can educate them and inform them, or in many cases entertain them with content. Next, you should figure out what the distribution strategy is around your content. Often times a company would become excited about a brand, spend the time and money, and then have to figure out where to put it. No content should ever have a dead end. It should always lead and take the viewer to another piece of action.

Jay: Were there any points in time in your own personal experience where you realized a strategy just wasn’t working? Is there anything that stands out as something you could share?

David: The idea is you just have to do it and you learn along the way. I don’t think any one idea is fully formed from the beginning. But a lot of people get stuck on this when they’re trying to develop what they want to create. The idea gets better. But you have to actually start the process. When I look at the first film we did for Marriott, it was pretty risky for a brand like that to make a film. Essentially the storyline was around an art heist happening in the hotel. But if you go back and look at it, we softened the story up to where it was driven by music, movement and comedy. I think people appreciated that we took that risk. From there it grew. You learn along the way in terms of length and audience.  People appreciated that it was high-touched storytelling. The brand wasn’t integrated into a story, but instead part of the story and kept it moving. You learn as you do things and what works for your brand.


Declared by AdWeek as a “Branded Content Master Who Makes it OK to Love Marketing,” Beebe is one of the entertainment and marketing industries most influential brand film producers, content marketers, and speakers about content marketing and brand storytelling. Beebe was the first ever VP, Global Creative and Content Marketing at Marriott Intl., where he led a global team of over 120 people responsible for content marketing for 30 brands. He created the Marriott Content Studio, Marriott Traveler, and “M Live” – the Real Time Marketing Command Center, which won Gold and Silver Creative Data Lions at Cannes. He was EP of over fifty original productions including webisodes, documentaries, and brand films, including the award-winning Two Bellmen One, Two, and Three, Business Unusual, and French Kiss. In 2017, Ad Age named Beebe to their “40 under 40 Forward Thinkers in Marketing,” list and in 2016, AdWeek recognized him as one of their “100 Top Creatives in Marketing.” 

Source URL: http://thesbjournal.com/video/publish-or-perish-the-power-of-content-marketing/