Posts Tagged ‘#contentpollution’

Happy Monday and thanks for more great engagement around the war on content pollution. This week the topic made it to the McKinsey must read: More momentum for the war on content pollution.

As an industry we are waking up to the new day but there is still work to do and current practices to fix. 

So with that, please enjoy Part 4 in the series and thanks to Tom Fishburne for the terrific cartoon. 


That vision of 7 billion personal, one-to-one conversations may still be a long way off. But there is no question that the marketplace is both immensely bigger than it was a generation ago and that is at the same time demanding much more individualized attention.

The fastest growing social networks today aren’t the Facebooks and Twitters. They are smaller interest groups. Moms, foodies, dog lovers, cyclists, investors, entrepreneurs, and any other self-defining group you can imagine.

I saw one estimate that described Social Marketing as a $44-Billion opportunity. I think that’s a low number. But does that mean we should all start bombarding these communities of interest with marketing messages? …. The short answer is NO!

That’s just Big Data as the Big Bully all over again. And nobody likes a bully trying to muscle his – or her – way through the doorway.

Our opportunity now is to understand the marketplace as never before. To behave with finesse to earn entry into the room.

Only by listening can we get to the point where we can have something to talk about that our listeners actually care about.

Only then can we earn our way into conversations. Only by listening and understanding with all the tools and resources at our command can we make our brands relevant.

The art and science of communication lives at the intersection of story and data-driven insight. It is the ability to craft narratives, rich with compelling imagery, which are directly germane to the lives of the people with whom we would connect.

To generate content that doesn’t pollute – it actually enlightens. It excites. It motivates.

It even can help. Help someone’s life or the life of their family be better.

For all of us here today, and for the organizations we represent, the headline is this: we’ve already stepped out onto that slippery slope – and we’re picking up speed. The new dawn has dawned.

The world is going to get there with or without us.

I’m willing to bet that everyone is generally on board with the idea that the way to win and keep customers is no longer to bombard them with mass market messages. But we need to act to create a truly better way.

I think most of us would agree that, in this era of big data and personal engagement, the holy grail of marketing – the ne plus ultra – is one-to-one marketing. One person, credible and trusted, who recommends a brand to someone else.

But we have to move our thinking further than that. Have we accepted that our organizations no longer control their reputations? We should. That ship has sailed.

For decades PR has been on auto-pilot. Certainly there has been good and creative work, but at the macro level PR has operated pretty much like, well, let me offer something of a culinary analogy.

We’ve been like a deli counter. “Give me a half a pound of press releases, a few slices of that nice holding statement over there, half a dozen photo ops, a blog post, some branded content, and 150-million impressions.”

We have to stop doing that. We’re decades into the digital era, decades into the mobile era and a decade into the social era. PR has to stop doing what it still routinely does. And the businesses and brands we support have to stop asking for it.

That doesn’t mean abandoning those tactics completely. It means being smarter. It means using the right channel at the right time to reach the right person.

It means analyzing and designing Big Data to tell a focused, relevant, irresistible story each and every time we start talking. And I mean talking in every possible sense of the term. Aloud, in writing, in a press release, on a blog, in a tweet, and so on.

We have to hold ourselves to a higher, but very simple standard –never give a listener a reason not to listen.

And let’s be clear – whenever a listener does tune out, it’s always for the same reason – here’s the quote in that tuned out non-listener’s mind – this has nothing to do with me.

With all the tools and resources at our command, all that data – there really should be no excuse to get to the point that we are interacting with a listener, or a reader, with information that means nothing to them.

The art and the science is preventing that as much as possible. I’m not saying it’s a perfectly, mathematically reliable, exact science. There is art involved, for sure.

But we need to aspire to get ever closer to precision. One size does not fit all.

And that takes us right back to where we started – it is about the content. And the strategy to get that content out there in the world. That in turn means, of course, a discussion of the channel.

Was Marshall McLuhan right or wrong. In today’s world my belief is…. (tune in next week)

Thoughts and comments are welcome. Let’s keep the conversation going. 



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