Special Report: Media Mavens 2012

Media Mavens: Deborah Marquardt, L'Oréal USA

Senior VP Is Working to Create 'A Common Vocabulary About Content'

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Deborah Marquardt
Deborah Marquardt

Résumé: Deborah Marquardt was the writer and editor for legal and trade publisher Bureau of National Affairs, where she helped shift to online content. She later handled PR for the entertainment and media division of PwC, and moved to integrated marketing communications roles at L'Oréal USA on Matrix, Maybelline and Garnier brands. She is now senior VP-content strategy and partnerships at L'Oréal.

Challenge: "There is so much happening so fast with content. Consumers can interact with your brand a million ways. How do we reengineer ourselves to meet those demands?"

Entertainment and content marketing have been part of Ms. Marquardt's professional life from day one, when she was a production assistant for Burt Reynolds on the ABC TV series "B.L. Stryker" for two years.

She went on to develop content marketing strategies for PwC's entertainment and media division. Then she came to L'Oréal a decade ago and found content a growing part of marketing for mid-size professional brands like Matrix and big consumer brands like Maybelline and Garnier. Through all that I've always done essentially a lot of content," Ms. Marquardt said, "whether it's web series or integrating into a Broadway show or advertorials, and I think I just had a passion for it."

So she was a natural fit when L'Oréal USA created its first companywide position to focus on content.

Under Chief Marketing Officer Marc Speichert, to whom she reports, the company has unleashed a torrent of digital content such as a makeover of Makeup.com, a YouTube channel, micro-sites and more.

In her new role, Ms. Marquardt is looking at how L'Oréal needs to change to adapt to the growing role of all that content.

On her list is creating "a common vocabulary about content," identifying best practices and preferred partners, how to hire marketers with content needs in mind, how to adapt legal practices and contracts and how to integrate content creation into agency relationships.

"It's not just about content marketing. It's really a narrative marketing approach. It's not just video. It's not just digital. It's wide ranging when you delve into it."

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