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20/20 Vision

20/20 Vision

A few weeks ago when Maya Angelou died, one of her most famous quotes popped up in nearly every tribute (including this one by my colleague, Melissa Carlberg), “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

It’s a resonant and apt statement, and one that I had the opportunity to reflect upon this week when I attended the Omaha chapter of the American Marketing Association’s Hot Topic Summit on content marketing, which featured Robert Rose, author and chief strategist of the Content Marketing Institute, as the keynote speaker.

The backbone of Rose’s presentation, The 2020 Content Marketing Strategy, is that we have entered a new era of marketing: The Experience Era. Customers no longer just buy a product or service for itself, they buy into a company’s approach to providing what they need or want.

Coca-Cola’s Content 2020 project is a testament to this. Considered one of the seminal marketing strategies of the last few years, Content 2020 takes a collaborative, crowd-sourced approach to telling compelling, engaging stories. The stories often don’t have anything to do with soft drinks, but they make everyone feel great
about Coke.

That’s when we say: that’s all very well and good for a global, squillion-dollar brand, but how does it help businesses that don’t have Coke’s resources?

Rose’s point is that, when your competition for engaging your customer isn’t your competition, it is Coca-Cola, Jimmy Fallon and that guy who was stuck in McCarran Airport all night, it’s not enough to churn out post after post of what he calls “content confetti” for the sake of having content. You have to break through the noise of the estimated 13,000 messages that everyone is receiving daily.

There are as many ways to do this as there are stories to tell, but the key is finding the right mix and evaluating and fine-tuning it. For example, while many of our clients are thought leaders in their industries, they also tend to be the types of companies that are known for going above and beyond to serve their clients or customers and their communities. For these businesses, the content we create strikes a balance between passing along valuable, service-driven information and sharing inspiring, anecdotal things about people making a difference.

Because when everyone has an online voice, it is these types of personal, unique and un-manufacturable stories that let your brand be heard.