If you want light answers, don’t go to David Berkowitz. Marketing manager of MRY company is not shy take a straightforward stance can be frustrating for some in the advertising industry.
At MRY, Berkowitz’s primary responsibility is to retain customers — such as Microsoft, Sony, Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Visa — and to attract new customers who want to reach young consumers in a cross-platform world. . Since joining MRY in 2013, he has helped his clients win awards such as Mashable’s Digital Innovator of the Year (Coke), Digiday’s Best Location-Based Campaign (Sony) and the Cannes Lions Shortlist (Adobe for Cyber, 2015).
When Berkowitz and I sat down for an extensive content marketing interview, one of the first things he said was that he hated the word “content.” In the rest of our discussion, he covers the difference between content and advertising, explains the most common symptom of bad marketing, and reveals the hardest question he’s ever faced. How appearing in a job interview influenced his approach to thought leadership.
What is “content” and what would you replace it with?
perhaps creating any form of media that others will want to rely on and use, all of which support the brand in some way. I know this is really nuanced. That’s really the difference between content and advertising.
Finally, if you are trying to show some features [of your product], you will have to pay per impression. If Audi is running one of the ads about a car going down the highway, it’s an ad. But if on Instagram , they give photography tips on how to shoot a car, it’s all content marketing, even if you see the Audi Logo. I stumbled across this post and had to read it. Audi has taught me how to be a better photographer.
I appreciate that people remember where, when, and how they learned something. Next time I try that kind of shot, I’ll be happy to have Audi credit it with.
How do you measure the effectiveness of your content?
That depends. Ultimately, it has several goals for it. For MRY, what we’re trying to measure is: Is our content reaching the right people? That is admittedly measured informally. My boss doesn’t need an overarching spreadsheet of how many people have viewed something or any set metric. He needs to be able to go out to dinner with clients and have them compliment us on the work we’re doing, or hang out with his CEO friends and hear someone say, “You guys are on fire.” We can bridge the gap between new business or customer retention and our content marketing.
For our customers, it’s all on the map. A lot of them we are working on a brand basis. We’ll be looking at engagement benchmarks. We can look at their performance by looking at other brands in their space and expanding from there.
A brand in the financial services sector, they were initially looking at how they compared their engagement metrics to others in the category. They did well. But then they started looking for lifestyle brands and brands like Disney. You can’t beat a franchise like Disney, but they’re really in the same league. That shows they are indeed related.
Then you ask, “Do the people who interact with them use their product more?” There are investments you can make to get a clearer picture of that.
What type of investment?
You have to ask, is the content useful, interesting or entertaining? Then it can fit well with content marketing. Content Marketing maybe Connect with sales. It’s not always how it’s used.
If you’re Audi, keep an eye on the brand’s popularity. Track purchase intent. Audi has a challenge at least remotely related to MRY’s [challenge]. There are very few people exposed to that content that will soon be on the market for one of their products. They’re really trying to capture a big channel to get more people exposed to their brand and then interact with it, tell friends about it, follow Audi.
If one of those people test drives an Audi for it, that has a huge impact. But it acknowledges that more than 99 percent of people exposed to the brand will not buy a car this year.
For MRY, most people in the field of brand marketing will not be responsible for choosing an advertising agency. Most people are keeping the agencies they work for. We have to play a long game.
You can look at it strategically, on real-time and latent time scales. Are you trying to create something that captures what is happening in that moment— “The Pope is in Central Park!” this only fits the 20 Pope’s minutes in Central Park—or something more permanent?
That can affect the type of content marketing you use. I’m writing articles that represent the brand that uses me. Sometimes even years later, there’s still a good will out of it. Someone will mention memorizing an article.
So content marketing isn’t just about verbosity?
No. The opportunities for short content are powerful. It can be a Vine, a Snap. If it’s 10 – second video, people spend eight seconds versus two seconds which is a really big deal. On Vine, if the same person repeats it 25 times, it can be much better for your brand than just watching it once.
There is a memorable event for Ray-Ban when the young Vine stars paint their costumes on the brick wall, and it comes to life, and they will snatch the RayBans out of this chalk-drawn image. Let’s put it this way: I watched it long enough for me to remember the brand.
What do you consider bad content?
If it’s boring and no one cares. If it’s just annoying or insensitive in some way.
The most common symptom of bad content marketing is when it’s too focused on what marketers want to say about their brand. I’ve heard this especially from influencers. If a marketer wants to deal with other content creators, they have to give up some degree of control in order to let influencers be themselves.
If you only had this script, “Here are five things to read in this order,” no one would care. Create an ad and hopefully get enough people awake for it, then keep doing what you’re doing.
If people have strong personal brands, isn’t that a challenge for talent management?
In 2014, we had more than 20 people represent MRY in the press. For an agency of several hundred people. That’s an amazing number. We’ve put a lot of trust in our employees, with opportunities for lines, posts, LinkedIn posts. One of our employees, Toni Dawkins, runs a podcast, Tuesday With Toni . I usually research the podcast content before we post it on social channels. That’s a lot of trust that we put in her. On the way, I hope she comes with us, but if she leaves, we will have to find another Toni. I accept that it can happen.
When I see what you create, I usually think of you, not MRY. How do you strike a balance between branding yourself and your company?
The day I went for an interview for my previous job at 360 i, my future boss, [CEO] Sarah Hofstetter, asked me the hardest interview question I’ve ever been asked, essentially the same question. “When you speak and write, are you representing yourself or the brand?”
Maybe 10 years ago, and I’m not as shiny as I used to be, I just sit there. She saved me, said, “It’s okay. I’ve done it, I know it’s both.” I realized that the way I could provide the most value to my employers was by having a strong brand on my own.
For MRY, my CEO [Matt Britton] wrote in his book, National Youth a lot of people who work for brands have more influence and exposure than the brands they work for and he thinks I have more more Twitter followers than company . It’s a big win for MRY, he said. Apparently it’s part of my job to support MRY.
SlideShare is a great example. I have a really great, active following on SlideShare. MRY no. It’s really hard to build in the long run. The more I can put out there with MRY on the MRY title slide and Twitter handle and contact information on the slides, the better.