The enduring theme of my various blogs has been how technology’s exponential changes impact the marketing industry.
Yet amidst these constant changes, three truths endure as constants of their own. And respecting these three constants separates the tactical from the transcendent, the everyday tripe from the unforgettable.
#1. 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 by the competition. 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, the biggest decisions in our lives–falling in love, starting families, going to war–are not decided by rational argument, they’re driven by emotion.
#2. All Media = Earned Media
Today, attention is the rarest commodity. Given our unprecedented level of distraction, and how technology gives people increasing power to avoid marketing messages, wise advertisers recognize they must consider all media as “earned media.” The days of Rosser Reeves dunning consumers into absorbing unique selling propositions have long since passed. We must stop thinking of the people we want to reach as demographics, and start treating them like an audience, as people we must intrigue and attract.
#3. More ≠ Better, Better = Better
The modern world is awash in content. Every hour of every day, people upload three years of video to YouTube. So posting brand videos and hoping for views is lottery logic. Even worse is trying to flood social platforms with low cost videos. If you do the math, creating even ten times as much content doesn’t statistically increase your chances of being noticed. More importantly, content quality determines how deeply it resonates and broadly it’s shared. Low cost video is great for providing instructions—it’s worthless for building brands, unless it’s linked to a million dollar idea.