IT’S THE MESSAGE, NOT THE MEDIA, THAT COUNTS.
JANUARY 22, 2018
Do your products live up to your marketing promises? Or are you perceived as a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Successful Marketing depends more on the Message than the Media.
Marshall McLuhan was wrong. Dead wrong
In 1964 he said “The medium is the message” and since then, facile-minded people have run with that, again and again, and most recently with social media.
My mission is to correct the damage done by McLuhan and his followers. And this includes positioning social media into its proper role within the world of BtoB marketing tactics.
The reality is that The Message (content) drives the Medium, not the other way around. The Medium (conduit) must always serve the message. People are influenced by the content of the Message not the “package” in which it is delivered. Social media plays a secondary role behind the Big Idea, the heart of marketing’s Creative Strategy that determines success or failure.
McLuhan’s statement is that he feels the vehicles for distributing marketing messages (social media) are more important than the messages (ideas) themselves. Seriously?
My ambition is to restore yesterday’s emphasis on the power of the Big Idea, known as the lightning bolt that has been employed for decades in building persuasive concepts. The curation of social media can impact the message, but it can’t create it.
My passion is to help today’s BtoB marketers understand the importance of gathering the social input (called Content) reworking and strengthening the creative component, and then using the media simply to redistribute.
As for McLuhan…point made! Without content the medium is a hollow pipe.
However, it’s true. Social Media is valuable…
but simply as a tool for the distribution of the content/messages (better for BtoC than BtoB) that impacts sales and branding. Messages in turn are heavily dependent on neuroscience and its ability to alter the brain chemistry required of changing a prospective buyer’s attitude.
Hollow pipes (social media) lack brain altering power.
The real target of our messaging efforts is not defined demographically (statistics), or psychographically (lifestyles) or even syncrographically (timing)…the target is the brain, and the challenge is to change attitudes or beliefs, which in turn change behavior. Behavior that says don’t put this off “buy it now!”
So now, the secret of mind altering creativity.
The challenge for marketing creativity is to overpower, or alter, the belief cluster (sometimes referred to as the bullshit factor) that delays a prospect’s desire to purchase what you’re selling. Attitude changes occur through changes in brain chemistry … so think of yourselves, not as product managers but as chemists… working on penetration and retention.
Hollow pipes/conduits (social media) require messaging content …or they are worthless.
Where does this content originate? From both the developers of the product and the users of the product. In today’s world they influence one another. In yesterday’s world of interruption marketing it was a one way street. Not anymore. Feedback colors the content. But the point I’m making is that without viable content there is no need for media, social or otherwise. The question isn’t one of inbound vs. outbound marketing. It’s about the integration of core intelligence with text and image to create emotion evoking messages. Three books you must read if you decide to take creativity seriously: The Case of Creativity by James Hurman; The Activation Imperative by William Rosen and Laurence Minsky; and Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing by Robert Rose & Carla Johnson.
On the plus side social does have a role in creative…
Another way in which messaging evolves. Think about the following quote from DJ Edgerton, CEO, Zemoga, “One of the beautiful and disruptive components of social is that the cream rises to the top. The creative director doesn’t (always) decide what’s best—the audience does.”
As a way to help put social media in its proper perspective I’d like to offer the following brief excerpts from the book Converge, a superb review of today’s creative vs. social media situation drafted by Bob Lord/CEO, and Ray Velez/CTO of Razorfish… “Creativity is no longer the exclusive province of marketing and creative departments. Great ideas might come from crowd sourced creative platforms…or from your consumer, who is using social media to give you an easily accessed, always-on suggestion box for your product or brand.”
“The role for the executive creative director—or any other very senior creative’s—has become curation, not just idea generation, and collaboration.” The feedback from social needs to be gathered, reviewed, edited and put back into circulation.
And one final thought from Andrew McMains, in AdWeek, “The shift (to hire Chief Content Officers) signals a desire among media shops to evolve beyond media buying to become bonafide players in content creative. The competition is fierce with creative, media and production companies all vying for that work.
Which creates a whole new role for today’s CMO who is rapidly becoming known as a Content Marketing Officer rather than yesterday’s Chief Marketing Officer.
Not standing out in your market? Need a theme/image consultant? Click here to explore my FREE offer. Or visit www.kbates.com for more details.
Simply need a B2B copywriter with Content/Theme Imaging skills? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to discuss my services.
Keith Bates Blog NEED TO STAND OUT IN YOUR MARKET? Maybe your website is sending the wrong message! December 11,, 2017 Stories That Move The Movement Created by my good friend and brilliant writer Gordon Hochhalter, March 21, 2017. For more of Gordon’s heavy thinking...
For ongoing tips to improve your messaging and strengthen your brand sign up for my blog.