While Joan Rivers had both a roaring personality and a lot of surgery — bless her soul — it’s not true of everyone who goes under the knife. The same could be said of companies and marketing firms who are constantly giving their campaigns a facelift with the latest technology as they try to appear more youthful. But here’s the problem with obsessive surgery and compulsive tech trend following: you’re so consumed with keeping up appearances, you forget the most important aspect of marketing — yourself.
Marketers are taught to look for the new thing and taught to be on top of the trends. Ad optimizing for wearable technology? Kenneth Cole is already on it, having recently become the first advertiser to incorporate a Google Glass app into its marketing. “Even though the technology is still in the pilot program, we want to be looked at as an innovator and early adopter,” Ready Set Rocket, a firm working for Kenneth Cole, told AdWeek more than a year ago.
We’re more tempted to ask what this says about the brand as a whole. Sure, they can cross the finish line first, but that doesn’t mean they’re in step with their audience.
Let me see your one, two step!
This reliance on “new” is devaluing the marketing industry, making it all about new tech, new apps and new social platforms. These are all just mediums and they are pulling attention away from the creative focus of marketing. It should be about the message, ideas, and the best content. American author and marketer Seth Godin famously said, “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
More and more marketers are spending time on staying on top of trends rather than focusing on the right message for their audience. The more marketers focus on new tech rather than the message, it reinforces that marketing is reliant on new tech and new social platforms. If you’re constantly struggling to keep up, when do you have time to get in touch with your inner brand personality?
Like we outline in our own manifesto, organizations like Mountain Equipment Co-op, Lululemon, and TOMS have all grown from a small tribe of followers who identified with the brand’s core values.
Make it worth sharing
Good content should be worth watching, sharing, reading and engaging with if it’s done with authenticity. That content should simply reflect your company’s ethos, values, and personality. You can take a few pointers from Godin’s writings, including his bestseller, Meatball Sundae.
He contends the old way of marketing is where producers talked at customers with consistent interruption, and that new marketing is about connecting with customers. (Hello engagement!) To have engagement, you have to work on your content. And that content has to truly live and breathe your brand.
You can’t fake authenticity
Telling an authentic story means living an authentic life (for example, Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO really does love coffee). It’s hard to fake it in content marketing, so it’s best to do a little soul searching and find out who you really are. Blog about it, ask the big questions, cultivate personality. It’s so much more valuable than constantly going for that digital facelift.
Header photo: Olu Eletu via Unsplash.com
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