Branded Content Real Talk from CMOs

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While “Big Data” was probably the most popular buzzword at Advertising Week this year, there’s another phrase that’s been on everyone’s lips: branded content. So Digiday asked brand execs in attendance to tell us what the biggest mistake brands make when it comes to branded content.

It turns out brands like Pepsi and P&G have no shortage of things to say about branded content. Keep reading to see what struck them as the biggest challenges:

alextAlex Tosolini, senior vp of global eBusiness, P&G
Brands have to put the consumer at the center. What they get wrong is not understanding the consumer enough. If you don’t understand the consumer you can’t make good content.

FrankCooper_SD-fav09Frank Cooper, CMO, global consumer engagement, Pepsi
The most challenging thing is having a clear point of view and culture as a brand. If you are speaking to an audience they want to know that you stand for something very specific. Large brands in particular have a hard time doing that. Avoid doing branded content simply because it’s the hot thing. I wouldn’t’ even focus on the term “branded content.” It’s more about playing in the space of entertainment.

83_Naughton_EileenEileen Naughton, vp of global sales, Google
You know good branded content when you see it. You don’t feel spammed. Brands have to serve simple entertainment.

martineMartine Reardon, CMO, Macy’s
I think the biggest mistake brands make is not knowing their audience and assuming that if you build it, they will come. The market is saturated with content, and it’s coming at the consumer from every direction. Investment should be focused on relevant, high-value opportunities – that are unique and informed by your customer insights, and that provide some meaningful benefit – whether that’s entertainment, education or function.

RFaris headshot copyRon Faris, founder/CEO of Virgin Special Projects, Virgin
Brands fall too much in love with their messaging, and ignore the context. When they aren’t understanding the conversation of the community, the message has no context.


Image via Shutterstock

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