Successful marketers have a knack for transforming media trends into engaging branded content. In the words of David Beebe, VP, Global Creative and Content Marketing at Marriott, brands should “stop interrupting what people are interested in, and become what they’re interested in.” This mandate requires marketers to examine what succeeds in the popular domain and why. These seven podcast episodes take you under the hood of some of the most enduring and engaging phenomena in technology, media, and consumer behavior and will help inform your efforts to create content that lasts.
1. Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders: How a Facebook Designer Thinks
How does the world’s most popular social media network keep its users coming back? Julie Zhuo VP, Product Design at Facebook shares the three questions that her team is required to ask themselves as they ideate and roll out new features. She discusses the inception and creation of some of Facebook’s most iconic products, and how their design team creates an effective user experience. Creating exceptional content is all about telling stories that respond to the needs and experiences of your audience – Julie’s framework for her design team offers a useful starting point for making your marketing more customer-centric.
“What were the patterns for the things that were successful? Are there ways that we can tell as we are building whether this is something that is going to work or not?” – Julie Zhuo
2. Planet Money: This Ad’s For You
How did we get from the one-size-fits-all TV campaigns of 1950s and 60s to the hyper-targeted digital ads of today? There’s no doubt that the work of Tom Burrell – the first African-American man in advertising – played a major role. His pioneering work creating multi-cultural campaigns for brands like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola still guides the way marketers think about their jobs.
3. Switched On Pop: The Most Popular Song In The World
You’ll never guess which song was once estimated to be heard 1.8 billion times a day: the Nokia ringtone. Hosted by a musicologist and a songwriter, this episode traces the song’s origins and explains why this ubiquitous tune is so ear-catching. They connect its appeal to the pop compositions of the Beatles and One Direction as well as the radical ideas of John Cage. The episode uncovers the mechanisms behind one of the most attention-grabbing pieces of branded media we’ve seen or heard.
4. Fortune OnStage: Angela Ahrendts
“How do you increase the value of the most productive stores on earth?” This was the challenge that faced Angela Ahrendts when she left her role as Chief Executive Officer of Burberry to become SVP, Retail at Apple. In this podcast, she discusses her career trajectory, and how she’s leading a digital-first, experiential transformation of Apple’s stores at both the global and local level.
“How do we make sure that we create an experience where the best of Apple comes together… The bigger that Apple gets, how do we put something there that is so “wow!” but is also incredible locally relevant?” – Angela Ahrendts
If anyone knows a thing or two about writing content that lasts, it’s the Ancient Romans. “Senatus Populus que Romanus,” is arguably one of the oldest slogans in the western world, and it still adorns trashcans and grates in modern day Rome. Historian Mary Beard discusses the evolving meaning of this famous initialism and why it’s still relevant today.
6. Recode Media: Why is there no fake news on LinkedIn?
How does someone who grew up in print journalism create content for one of the world’s most innovative tech brands? LinkedIn’s Executive Editor, Daniel Roth, discusses how LinkedIn’s editorial team is using a combination of AI and human editors to curate a whole new breed of business news desk.
“The algorithms help identify good content, the editors identify good content. What the editors choose helps train the algorithms – the algorithms help the editors make better choices.” –Daniel Roth
7. Embedded: The League
This episode follows the successes and failures of several “D-League” basketball players – the NBA’s minor league – trying to beat insurmountable odds and make it to the pros. Both an inside look at the business of basketball and an exploration of the emotional ups and downs on the road to success, this episode will inform the way you craft stories that resonate with your audience as humans, not just as consumers.
Want more recommendations that will help you become a better marketer? Check out our 2017 reading list, crowdsourced from our leadership team.