by John Graham
Recently, a friend of mine sent me an article that she thought I’d find interesting. I flagged it to come back and read it later being that I had a ton of emails to follow up on before I jumped in to this one. About a week later on a normal Sunday morning I woke up to the normal bedroom invasion by my 3 and 2 year olds. Just like any other morning I rolled over to grab my phone off the nightstand and catch up on what’s happened while I slept. I came back across the article my friend sent. The headline read: “You need editors, not brand managers.” The article was actually an interview with the “God-Father” of modern marketing, Seth Godin. After the first few interview questions and answers I realized I was now sitting up in bed and was all in. This was no longer a normal morning…
The question that jarred me awake was “What metrics do you think best measures the fact that you’re doing work that matters?” Seth’s answer would not only become the basis for this blog post but also the existential question that every brand should be asking themselves. The response was “I think the only one that I care about is: Will people miss you if you were gone?”
Let’s think about this for a moment. How many of us are doing the kind of work that if we suddenly stopped would devastate the balance of the universe and send our companies into a tailspin? Ok, not many of us can answer that in the affirmative but on a less dramatic note we could agree that if you work for a large corp the likelihood of your leaving would not mean the end of the world for the company. You’d be easily replaced within a few weeks time and the status quo would be back in effect. Now think about that question from a marketing perspective. If your brand disappeared today would anyone miss it? Now that’s the question that should keep every CEO, CMO, and brand manager up at night.
There is so much noise being produced in digital space that unless you’re brand is delivering meaningful, life improving, value added content then the answer to Seth’s question is invariably, no! According to a recent study done by NewsCred millennials are consuming nearly 5,000 marketing messages daily and they have the ability to filter and block unwanted content that isn’t relevant to them. So how do you ensure that you’re positioning your brand to be sorely missed should it ever mysteriously disappear? The answer is simple. Be something for someone that no one else can easily replicate in your space. Be relevant, be smart, be genuine. Be human, be helpful, and most importantly, be honest.
This post by itself won’t give you the secret to adding more revenue to your bottom line or increase engagement on your social platforms. However, you could very well achieve those things if you figure out the answer to Seth’s question. This is less about the process and more about the philosophy that powers your brand. Give people what they want when they want it where they’re seeking it, and you will most certainly be an irreplaceable brand. Help your customers find something within themselves through your content and your product or service will be more easily considered.
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