Content Marketing Predictions From David Lang and Vin Farrell

(This post originally appeared on NewsCred.) 

In anticipation of NewsCred’s 2014 Content Marketing Summit , David Lang and Vin Farrell sat down to offer a sneak peek into their content marketing philosophies.

David Lang, Chief Content Officer, Mindshare North America, and President of Mindshare Entertainment

David Lang

On content creation

Everything we do is based on actionable data and consumer insights. But data is not prescriptive; it’s directional. It doesn’t tell you what to do, but gives you the right playing field to create in.

Also, a lot of people forget about the importance of distribution and placement—where, when, and how is crucial. We’re working with a distribution team early on in the process because content and distribution really infuse each other. It’s not creating an idea and then creating a distribution strategy.

It used to be that you produced content and it was done, but now it’s only the beginning. Now you’re optimizing until the campaign is done. In the end, content and distribution are like a marriage—and both have to get a lot of love and attention for a project to be successful.

He doesn’t like term “content marketing” and “native advertising”

I don’t necessarily like the names. Overall, I don’t think it’s really anything new. Good content is good content. It’s good storytelling based on the right insights and data that has value for consumers and clients. The fundamentals haven’t changed that much—it’s just a new name that’s representing what it is.

Quick predictions

Mobile and social will continue to grow and create changes for the industry as a whole—new platforms, technologies, and many other opportunities for new types of content and new ways to distribute. Transparency is going to be a bigger issue on the native side of things. For anybody who’s not transparent, there will most probably be a backlash.

Vin Farrell, Global Chief Content Officer, Havas Worldwide

Vin Farrell

His formula for content success

Content needs to stand side-by-side way earlier in the food chain with strategy. The way brands stand out is volume, fidelity, and quality, and you have to be able to produce at scale.

The hard truth

We don’t have a captive audience anymore. They can skip through and choose what they want. If a brand puts itself out on Instagram in a certain way, it can become the creepy uncle at the party trying to look cool, unless you behave the way the rest of the community does. You have to understand their behaviors if you’re going to sell to them. [Marketers] have to get out of our silos and stop ideating in seclusion. I believe in getting your hands dirty with the medium.


I think there will probably be a glut of content. There’s too much noise out there. The people who are going to get it right are going to embrace it further and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

The ancillary types of content (experiential, social media, documentary films) will be the driving factors in the ad business in the next couple of years.

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