It's not a daily event, but every once in a while, the worlds of journalism, publishing and marketing converge to create content that shines.
Thanks to the clever folks at Contently for tipping us off (http://bit.ly/1CBB8Tv) to an exceptional example from Marriott Hotels, which has just launched a travel magazine that's (so far at least) beautifully designed, well-written and genuinely informative. It also barely mentions the company or its plush properties throughout (though the website of course makes booking a stay very easy if one is so inclined). Check out the inaugural issue, on New Orleans, here: http://traveler.marriott.com/new-orleans/
Rather than badgering an audience to make a purchase, this approach positions Marriott as an authoritative (and entertaining) source of intelligence on a perennially interesting topic -- a much better way to keep people coming back. Also interesting is that the project has the potential to generate revenue in its own right. A tip of the n/n hat to Marriott for challenging some common, if usually unspoken, beliefs about marketing -- that it's typically a cost centre, should stick to formulas and is no place for quality journalism, or the truth. We know where we'll be booking our next vacation.
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