David is the VP of Global Creative and Content Marketing for Marriott International and his Closing Keynote at the Summit is titled “Publish or Perish — How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of Next-Generation Consumers with Content Marketing.” You can learn more about David and his talk here.
  Nicky Bleiel: David Beebe is the VP of Global Creative and Content Marketing for Marriott International. He’s an innovator who wins hearts and minds – as well as wallets – with content. He spent 15 years in the entertainment industry at Disney, ABC, PBS, Showtime, and DirecTV, is a frequent conference speaker, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and more. On top of all of that, he’s the closing keynote at the Society for Technical Communications Summit in Anaheim, 15-18 May. Welcome, David. David Beebe: Hi, welcome. Good to be here. Nicky: Thanks. You may be the first STC keynote who’s ever been featured in Variety magazine and won two Emmy awards. Is there anything else you would like summit attendees to know about you? David: I think the message there is obviously a lot of stuff is changing around how people communicate, all different types of content. For me what I’m doing now, it’s about marrying those two worlds, coming from a storytelling background and a communicator background into the marketing space, which is the changing media landscape. It’s really combining those two things, and as you mentioned, to really provide value first to consumers and to entertain them and inform them, and ultimately win loyalty with our brands. Nicky: That all ties into your presentation, which is titled “Publish or Perish — How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of Next-Generation Consumers with Content Marketing.” I don’t want you to give too much away, but we’d like to give everyone a little preview of your talk. You believe that advertising is shifting away from traditional methods and towards content marketing. What do you think is causing this shift? David: I think the first thing is, technology has enabled all of us to really communicate in different ways and for brands to communicate directly with consumers. We’ve cut down a lot of the middle men, I would say, which would be your traditional publishers or television networks, or whatever is out there that you were previously having to buy and rent the audience from, to reach an audience and tell them and mass-market to — really, one-to-one personalized communication. Technology’s been that big driver that’s enabled consumers to also become content creators themselves. It’s good for us, but also the challenge there for anyone now, whether you’re a brand or individual or whatever you’re communicating, is there’s so much content out there. To really break through and engage with the audience you’re trying to build there, it comes down to what I talked about before. How do we provide value to the viewer, to the reader, whatever that is? As brands that’s often entertaining them, informing them, helping to travel better, and for us being part of that entire travel journey. I think all communicators out there, we’re finding new ways to engage audiences and build community around there and then ultimately drive commerce. Nicky: That makes a good point. You talked about a lot of different kinds of content. How do you think technical content fits into a content marketing strategy? David: I think it’s certainly one part of it. Again, with technology in the past I think there was just a couple forms of content, typically editorial-driven or paper, print. What technology’s allowed us to do is to create all types of different content now, whether it’s things as GIFs, whether it’s infographics, whether it’s video. All these new interesting ways, and then all these new platforms have come along too. It’s really important, I think, that you don’t develop a piece of content and publish everywhere. You really have to create content for each platform for the consumer behavior on that platform, and how people consume content on it. I think from a technical perspective, one of the opportunities is one, so many more platforms. Also, so many new ways to engage people, to inform them, whatever it may be around, but in new ways of content formats as well. Multiple ways in now, and then ultimately, again, how are you providing that value and how are you communicating on all those different platforms? It’s not just one platform anymore. Nicky: Oh, absolutely, and I read that at Marriott you use what you call the “3Cs” strategy. The three Cs stand for content, community, and commerce. Obviously you’re publishing, distributing, and sharing content against multiple platforms and devices. Can you tell me a little bit about how you’re making that happen? David: Yeah, absolutely. Our “3C” strategy, which I think really applies to a brand, a person, in a sense, or any communicator out there, that first C is that content. How are you scaling content of different types across multiple channels? As you scale content, you ultimately build a community around that. A community can mean many, many different things to many people. But ideally, if it’s a YouTube, how are you building more subscribers? Perhaps if you’re a business that’s got a loyalty component to it, a loyalty club membership, driving loyalty and getting more signups there, or just building more customers, in a sense. You’re building a community of people around your content. The commerce piece is the last C. I think for us, commerce means a couple of things. One is obviously putting heads in beds, so selling hotel rooms. From a media perspective, because of the way we produce our content, that content becomes valuable to other people. Actually what a television network, studio would do is you license your content to other distributors who need content as well. Commerce for some companies could just be as simple as, again, building that loyalty or brand perception, or just having a good experience with your content — which ultimately drives, again, more loyalty to your brand, your product, and will ultimately drive commerce. Nicky: Thanks. One of the other things you’re going to talk about in the keynote is the intersection of technology and storytelling. Do you think technical communicators are or can be storytellers? David: Yeah, I think so. I think we’re all storytellers. We’re all media companies in a way now, in a big part or a part thanks to technology. When you think about us at a very micro level, we all as individuals are on social networks, and we’re creating content every day. We’re publishing things on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Instagram, or whatever platform or platforms you’re on as an individual. That, at the smallest form, is acting as a storyteller, as a content creator — as a publisher, really. You’re actively choosing, whether you realize it or not, what content you’re going to post on which platform. You might put some things on Facebook, and you might not put some things on LinkedIn and vice versa. You’re choosing what to put where, based on what audiences you have there. That’s what we’re doing at a much larger level as a brand, acting as a traditional media company and publisher and really a storyteller. I think anyone that’s creating any form of content today, the way to engage with them is through that traditional storytelling format. I think there’s interesting ways you could do that. In a technical space that goes beyond a lot of the traditional ways. I think that’s where you can start to introduce new formats that in a way become very interactive, and ultimately are informing them but also can become very entertaining to the folks, your audience that’s engaging with it. As I said, it doesn’t matter what we do. We’re all in the people business, and we’re all storytellers in one way or another. Nicky: Cool. I think the audience at the Summit is really going to find your talk interesting and useful. I think you’re going to enjoy meeting all of us also, I hope. I’d like to thank you for joining me, David, and I look forward to meeting you and attending your talk at the STC Summit in Anaheim this May. David: Absolutely, thanks for having me today. I look forward to seeing you guys there.
  To learn more about David Beebe: Executive profile in Variety: http://variety.com/exec/david-beebe/ Marriott’s Influencer Marketing Program Breaks the Mold: A Look at Their Strategy http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/08/marriott-influencer-marketing/ (David was a finalist for Content Marketer of the Year.) Meet David Beebe: https://www.themuse.com/companies/marriottinternational/people/david-beebe-1
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