I believe in embracing change, in finding opportunity and new growth in new technology and ideas.
Yet amidst the constant change of this digital age, three truths endure as constants. 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, our biggest life decisions–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. In this, the most distracted society in human history where technology enables people to avoid messaging, smarter advertisers think of all media as “earned media.” The days of Rosser Reeves dunning consumers with unique selling propositions have long since passed. We must stop thinking of the people we want to reach as ‘demographics’, and treat them like an audience, as people we must intrigue and attract.
#3. More ≠ Better, Better = Better
The modern world is awash in content. Every minute of every day, people upload three hundred hours 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. Content quality determines how deeply it resonates and how 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.