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content marketing: how to combat the marketer’s death spiral

July 26, 2010

In today’s world, with so many media and entertainment options now available, consumers are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Not only that, they now have the luxury of being able to interact with your company, brand or service on their own terms – if they want to, when they want to and how they want to.

At the same time, while consumers’ attention spans are getting smaller, the number of items competing for that attention – emails, videos, games, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, online communities – is rapidly increasing.

In this new era of consumer empowerment, the traditional tactic of interrupting and talking “at” a customer no longer works. Developing meaningful and loyal relationships requires a deeper connection. This means a company’s message has to be highly targeted, resonate quickly and, most important, add incredible value. If it doesn’t, the communication is nothing more than white noise.

The conundrum facing marketers is that they like to be in control – of the message, of the delivery, of the timing, of the measurement. Unfortunately, the more control a marketer exerts over the dialog, the less engaging that experience becomes for the consumer.

We call this the marketer’s death spiral. Fortunately, it is a curable condition. The first step to complete cure is letting go of control.

In the online/digital world that means giving consumers the freedom to interact with, share and freely comment on your ideas and your messages. In the print world, it means resisting the temptation to talk in terms of features and benefits and instead focus on the needs of the consumer – solving their problems, fueling their passions and giving them the content they want to consume.

Across any platform now the most effective advertising is advertising that doesn’t look like advertising.

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