“…a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention…”
– Herbert A. Simon
Our world is becoming increasingly overloaded with content. Company-, advertising- and consumer-generated content fill every channel where information can be shared. The size of an internal drive on a smartphone is now measured in gigabytes (up from megabytes less than 18 months ago). And terabytes are thought of as less of a dinosaur shape in “big data” than the current Brontobyte.
Yet, somehow, sometimes content continues to break through and inspire us. As I read various blogs, tweets, slide shares, newsletters and magazines (print and digital) and listen to the news, radio and TV (all while I am usually on a conference call or something else), or even get out from behind my desk and network in person, I like to pretend like I am a traditional consumer. How do they hear the news? How do they view context-based, or native advertising?
No matter how hard I try to be normal, it never works. I always end up analyzing offers, content placement, targeting and various other elements. I can’t remember the last time I tried to research product reviews on something I was interested in buying only to find myself convinced that most positive reviews were fake.
Sometimes, however, somehow some content and insight shines through. And when that happens I like to applaud the content author, share the insight and really spend some time celebrating how unique and rare those moments are. Interestingly, in the past few weeks, I have had three opportunities to be awed by content. As everyone is looking for sage advice on work succeeding in the holidays and gearing up to a fantastic 2014, I thought I would share these insights.
1) “Visibility creates credibility, which inspires trial.” — Doug Carlson, EVP Digital Content and Marketing, NOOK
Think about it. A simple statement, but a very powerful one. Getting your brand and offering in front of volumes of people is key in order for your amazing product or service to be seen.
2) “Wait…what? Is this real? I never know if things are real or not, so I forward them to people — I think that’s how videos end up being viral — people just don’t know if they are real or not and they have to ask everyone.” — Anonymous teenager from a YouTube clip
I love this one. Maybe this will cause some people to rethink the video creation process to make something that is just so edgy that people aren’t sure if it is real, but so believable that they are not sure it isn’t real and have no choice except to send it to others for comment.
3) “The Playpump shows the risks of innovating without including the customer.” – Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Customers Included by Mark Hurst and Phil Terry
Without reading this book or researching the Playpump, this statement might not make of an impact. I would encourage you to do one or the other as the Playpump tale is firmly ingrained in my head as a way to rethink an approach to solving any problem.
These three statements have inspired me to rethink and re-evaluate my strategies and tactics. I hope they renew your focus and drive you further to success as well.