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Five Minutes With: Kohl Norville, Content Director at Motive Made Studios

What are your biggest opportunities and challenges in marketing tech for the next 12-24 months?

Let me start off by saying that I think the biggest challenge is also the biggest opportunity… and it’s that everyone is segregated. Just look at social media–from Facebook to Vine to Twitter. Everyone is on different channels and many operate in silos.  You have all these different platforms where you communicate in various styles.  You have to craft messages that will resonate in the different platforms, but at the same time, create a cohesive story that delivers an overall message.  In addition to ensuring a consistent story that resonates specifically for each platform, we must also take into account how each channel can help a brand achieve in terms of goals and objective.

I’ll also add that a lot will evolve in 24 months given the pace of innovation. Just take Facebook’s big bet on virtual reality. If that takes off, it will change  the way that people communicate and interact by leaps and bounds. And how we’re going to evolve marketing in these technology platforms is thrilling.

One final point is that when you look at the segregated landscape of marketing tech, everyone says that content is king.  But I think it is more about quality content. There is so much content to wade through to stand above the rest, and you have to be able to speak to your core audience with entertaining, captivating messages. So while we need to be cohesive with how we tell a story in the various networks and channels that exist, we also need to ensure that we’re doing it in a thoughtful, provocative way that gets the right attention.

What keeps your clients up at night?

The one thing that keeps them up is making the best use of their dollars–making sure that all channels work together, allowing them to maximize their money and their investment.  And with my clients, we are lucky in that we’re all worried about the same thing–it’s all about authenticity. In branded content you must be natural, honest and real all while being self-aware. Everyone knows that they’re being marketed to, so we need to talk to people with a purpose and in ways that will make them care.  

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about? 

The problem is that some clients want to put over a dozen points into one story and have them all resonate. So the hardest thing is focus. Focus on the single important message that you want to resonate. Focus on the person you want to reach. And know your audience and who your biggest fans are as well. Talk to them in a way that resonates to your brand’s die-hard fans. Focus on who matters most to your brand, and then everyone else can come on board. If you try to talk to everyone, it’s a miss. We need to focus and talk to the brand’s core audience.

What are some of the unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

The overarching unmet need is creating quality branded content at a pace that can keep up with–and stay a step ahead of–the pace that technology is moving.  And the need has two characteristics–mobile and speed.  People are consuming everything at a voracious speed (i.e. Amazon, Netflix, etc.).  They’re using their mobile devices for commerce or entertainment, and it all happens so quickly.  For content creators, it’s about how to keep up with that speed and devising ways to create entertaining content at the speed at which people are consuming everything. At Motive Made Studios, we want to break through the noise, engage with consumers and tell them a story that speaks to them. It’s keeping up with that pace while making sure you’re producing quality branded entertainment.  And it’s being where consumers are. If consumers are always on their mobile devices, you want to make sure that you are there too meeting their needs.

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

There are a lot of platforms that are experiencing exceptional growth in terms of use engagement and even advertising integration.  However, to be truly effective, we have to continue to look at platforms that not only allow opportunities for innovation in marketing but also provide a credible audience. 

With this in mind, Facebook is undeniable. Almost 1.5 billion people use main-core Facebook, not to mention the other subsidiaries (i.e. Instagram, Groups, Messenger). I can’t wait to see if Facebook’s big $2 billion dollar bet on virtual reality (Oculus VR) goes mainstream, I’m excited about it. It’s looking like an amazing way to tell stories.

–Kohl Norville is Content Director at Motive Made Studios

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