The Three Constants

I believe in embracing change, in finding opportunity and new growth in emerging technology and ideas. Yet amidst the constant change of this digital age, three truths endure, remaining constants. Respecting these three constants separates the tactical from the transcendent, the everyday tripe from the unforgettable.

#1. All Media = Earned Media

We live in the most distracted society in human history. Technology enables us to avoid messaging, so smarter advertisers consider all media earned mediaWe must stop thinking of the people we want to reach as ‘demographics’ and treat them like an audience, as people we must work to intrigue and attract. When attention is the rarest commodity, all attention must be earned.

#2. More ≠ Better, Better = Better

The modern world is awash in content. Every minute of every day, people upload well over three hundred hours of video to YouTube. So just posting video and hoping for views is lottery logic. Even worse is flooding social platforms with low budget posts. If you do the math, creating even ten times as much content doesn’t statistically increase your chances of being noticed. Quality of idea and execution determines the attention it earns and how broadly it’s shared.

#3. Emotion > Information

Maya Angelou captured this perfectly: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Information focuses on facts, on attributes, all of which can be easily co-opted. Emotion springs from benefits, from less quantifiable but far more compelling feelings. Enduring persuasion relies on the emotional connections you build for brands. After all, our biggest life decisions–falling in love, starting families, going to war–are never decided by rational argument, they’re driven by emotion.


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