Meet the Brand Storytellers: Q&A with Marc Battaglia, Executive Creative Director at Marriott I

Marc Battaglia is an award winning global creative executive and content marketing leader. Currently he is the Executive Creative Director of Global Creative + Content Marketing for Marriott International, where he is in charge of leading creative for the internal agency and content studio for Marriott’s 30 brands worldwide, across 5,700 properties in 110 countries on 6 continents. We sat down with Marc to discuss the inception of the Marriott Content Studio, the Marriott/Starwood merger, and how the company sees itself now and in the future:

Tell us a little bit about the history of the Marriott Content Studio? What components make up the studio? The history of the Marriott content studio is still young - it's a three-year-old history but its been supported from day one by the C-suite, and that's probably the most important component of it; from a standpoint of funding, a standpoint of understanding what we're trying to do with branded entertainment and marketing content - that's been key. It was also key in putting together certain specific capabilities. So when we say the word content, a thousand things come to mind, but we were pretty strategic in what we meant by content.

That meant everything from launching an editorial platform with Marriott Traveler, which is a pure editorial lens offering consumers information on what to do, where to go, and how to do it. Not so much about, “hey, you must stay here”, but, “when you’re here, these are things to check out”.

The other part of it is real-time marketing, which is our M Live component, which has several newsrooms around the world. That is all about creating real-time content to inject ourselves into the zeitgeist of the culture from a real-time standpoint. If something’s trending, we have producers who are identifying those trends and then jumping into those conversations in a way in which it is relevant and non-intrusive, but also brings it back to our story component.

We’re doing things like “Surprise & Delights”, where we can see people who are celebrating something at one of our hotels while using our hashtags on social media, and send them a bottle of champagne to say congratulations. We can actually be a part of their celebration in a very quick time frame. What we get back from them is social love - when they take a photo of the champagne as it comes down to the pool, we immediately get that social love back, and create relationships like that on a one-on-one basis.

And then there’s the Brand Studio/Content Studio which is making everything from long form to short-form animated, comedy, scripted, non-scripted, you name it. It's really agnostic from the standpoint of both platform and format, but works with all 30 of those brands within our company as well. That’s sort of the background when we talk about the Marriott content - it's really divided up in those in those specific areas.