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Brands As Content Engines

NASCAR, Intel, Unilver and Mondelez plot the future of Content Marketing at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored

Brands As Content Engines
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In late April, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored event in New York City rounded up some of the globe’s leading experts on branding for a thought-provoking discussion of the present–and the future–of content marketing. Fast Company’s Co.Create Editor, Teressa Iezzi, tapped marketing chiefs from from NASCAR, Intel, Unilever and Mondelez for their insights on how brands can successfully leverage content and storytelling going forward.

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Whether it’s fast cars, computers, or beauty products, content marketing has exploded over the last few years. It’s a growing trend that can’t be ignored—indeed, it was a hot conversation topic throughout all of Innovation Uncensored—and a consistent theme that’s emerged is the need to leverage new distribution channels that can sustain an ongoing dialogue with consumers.

Brands used to “tell,” but now they must “ask”. To truly engage with consumers today, a brand needs more than word-of-mouth. It needs tweets, texts, and pins. And while an enormous challenge, this also represents the greatest potential ever to meaningfully connect with a target.

This means that brands need team members and communication structures that allow them to react to events in real time (remember that Super bowl tweet from Oreo?). Speed is the new name of the game–whether you’re NASCAR or not.

We learned a lot from our panel, but the points we can’t forget were these:

DISTRIBUTE IN THE RIGHT WAY

–Steve Phelps, Senior VP/Chief Marketing Officer, NASCAR

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DIALOGUE TRUMPS ASSETS

–Fernando Mercado, Global Brand Development VP, Dove/Unilever

“VIRAL-FIRST” IS LAW

— Deborah Conrad, Corporate VP/Chief Marketing Officer, Intel

MARKET IN THE MOMENT

— Bonan Bough, VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Mondelez International

[Red Bricks: Irin-k via Shutterstock]