The Content That Matters

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There has been a lot written about content marketing.

Some seers have even proclaimed 2014 as the year of content marketing, and as Google adjusts their search algorithms to make content more important in determining search rank, one can understand why “content” is on everyone’s lips here in digital business land.  Since I’m never one to miss a large bandwagon, let me jump right on to talk about the only content that matters.  I have a particular reason for doing so today.

We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday today.  As I’ve written in past years on this occasion, I remember him and his struggles well from my childhood.  The quote that stuck is from the “I Have A Dream” speech about the importance of judging people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.  That is the content that matters – the ONLY content that really matters – as we do business.

What, for example, does it say about the character of those retailers who run sales tied to “the MLK event.”  What it says to me is that they are tone-deaf, as was the cognac brand that sent out an email with drink recipes “MLK Jr. would be proud of.”  Really?  This is not about Dr. King or his principles or his legacy.  It’s about a brand trying to sell something and is, in the word Dr. King’s daughter used to describe similar activities, “appalling.”  That describes the character of their content just as it does the content of their character.

I don’t know about you, but I try to do business with people, not brands.  There are restaurants and other businesses I frequent almost solely because I like and trust the people with whom I deal.  I hope that many of my clients have hired me not just for what and who I know but also because they have a sense of the business person I try to be.  You can be sure that many of the people with whom you do business are looking at you and your company in the same way.

A business’ success or customer service isn’t about the store; it’s about the person on the other side of the counter or the desk or who answers the phone.  The content of their character will determine the brand’s success or failure.  You can choose those people wisely and support them as they let the content of that character show.  You can choose to market as did the brands above which also reveals a lot about the content of brand’s character.  It’s the only content that matters.  What’s your choice?

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