Marriott’s content studio is not a revolutionary concept, but rather a well-funded initiative to dim the voices of its competitors across digital and entertainment channels.
Marriott International this week announced the launch of a creative and content marketing studio that will produce content from TV shows to GIFs in an effort to get Marriott’s 18 brands at the forefront of millennial travelers’ minds.
In addition to its existing in-house creative agency, the new studio also includes an entertainment group focused on episodic storytelling (similar to Renaissance Hotels’ Navigator Live series on indie music and travel) and a team that monitors and manages social media and live events.
The new content marketing unit will produce content ranging from TV shows and articles to Tumblr posts and Instagram uploads, according to the unit’s lead David Beebe.
He describes the content as “snackable content that will always be there for us to use.”
Marriott plans on using its existing channels to spread the content far and wide.
In-room TV programs and magazines at more than 4,000 hotels, Marriott.com’s 18-million monthly visitors, individual brands’ millions of social media followers, and Marriott Rewards‘ 45-million membership base reflects he distribution power waiting to be tapped.
“There’s many many ways that I think we can become the largest distributor of content,” Beebe said in an interview, later adding, that even more important that size, “it’s about publishing the most relevant content that adds value at the right time, in the right context, and on the right screen.”
Beebe outlines a vision in which Marriott’s current and would-be customers talk about, share, and write about the content in the same way they might an unbranded TV show or magazine article. It goes back to brands’ — both inside and outside of hospitality — efforts to foster loyalty through valuable and intriguing stories.
“The marketers’ job is to create the right framework, to have that narrative of the brand’s story come out and connect with audiences. I’ve been working in marketing for many years, in many industries, and what I’ve really learned is that a great story is the thing that people repeat,” Marriott’s global marketing officer Karin Timpone told Skift last month.
The goal, of course, is to make Marriott the preferred, or even obvious, choice for a consumer ready to make a travel decision.
“This is about engaging content that builds communities that drive commerce,” Beebe sums up.
Photo credit: Fairfield Inn & Suites, a Marriott brand, reached out to millennials with a career-oriented campaign earlier this summer. Kane Sarhan, founder of Enstitute, was one of the program ambassadors for Everyday Connect. Fairfield Inn & Suites / YouTube