Brand content consumers notice and remember: The Content Marketing Roundtable

Brands with truly resonant content think like media companies. They embrace emotions, take risks, and recognize what audiences value most - those were key tips from industry leaders who met in Chicago for this Olson Engage-hosted roundtable

-Tom Bick, former senior director of integrated marketing and advertising, Oscar Mayer
-Kathleen Henson, CEO, Henson Consulting
-Matthew Hutchison, SVP of corporate comms, Tribune Publishing
-Josh Lohrius, executive creative director, Olson Engage
-Pete Marino, CCO, MillerCoors
-Doug Meffley, athletics director of digital and social comms, Northwestern University
-Matt Montei, senior marketing director, Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc.
-Erica Swerdlow, US EVP/Midwest market leader, Burson-Marsteller

Our octet of experts shared many insights on the keys to effective brand content. Below are some highlights from the conversation:

Creating content to which consumers respond

Lohrius: "Once you get to the point where people look to your brand for entertainment and value, you’ve really gotten somewhere as a content producer"
Montei: "You become relevant by how authentically you come across. Consumers need to know and recognize that brand voice in every piece of content you produce"

Go here for a taste of Skittles’ Marshawn Lynch press conference.

Navigating obstacles

Bick: "You have to engage people on an emotional level. Descartes said, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ [World-renowned neurologist] Antonio Damasio basically said, ‘I feel, therefore I am.’ Content producers must heed that"

Go here to get a whiff of Wake Up and Smell the Bacon.

Marino: "Your content will fail sometimes, but the freedom to do so will make the successes so much greater"
Swerdlow: "If content is king, distribution is queen. You have to understand the platforms to get your content out there"

Developing a media mindset

Henson: "Brands have to adopt an editorial calendar of sorts. Know the major upcoming events your brand can play a part in. Such planning allows you to be nimble"
Hutchison: "The ability for brands to participate in social movements is supercharged by content. Brands can help shape the broader collective thinking of what our culture is saying about certain critical issues"

Eye on the future

Meffley: "Crowdsourcing of content will rise in prominence. You can’t be much more authentic than if your fans or consumers create the content for you"

Go here to study Northwestern University’s GameDay is Coming!

Go here for an extended version of this roundtable, including our expert panel’s thoughts on the relevance of impressions, the keys to powerful videos, and some under-the-radar content platforms to keep an eye on.

How Oscar Mayer creates content with real bite

Tom Bick, former senior director of integrated marketing and advertising at Oscar Mayer, knows a content-driven approach is the key to winning consumers. He spoke with Gideon Fidelzeid about bridging nostalgia with the digital age.

Keeping the iconic Wienermobile fresh:
The Wienermobile is a PR machine. When you have an asset with so much goodwill, you have to figure out how to leverage it. So we reframed it. We made it our social media hub. We now have six hot dogs driving across the country. It’s mobile marketing. It’s just begging to be used in social media.

Content he admires:
The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign by Dos Equis. When the beer industry was big into product ads focused on quality and taste, this little brand created an iconic playboy. It showed brands can prosper by thinking about things from a content standpoint, not from a hard sell.

Go here for additional insight from Tom Bick, including tips on excelling with small budgets, respecting the human element of marketing, and the genesis of Wake Up and Smell the Bacon.

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