To Whom Are You Speaking?

Everywhere one turns these days there is content. In the old days that content was sourced from entertainment or news organizations which had the consumer’s tastes in mind. After all, the program distributor paid the content creator based on how many eyeballs that content could attract.
Lately, of course, everyone is creating content. You, me (that’s what this is!), and brands. I don’t really have an issue with that. The digisphere is a bully pulpit with room for lots of us. There is something with which I do have an issue, however.

Content assembled by brands comes in two forms. One is the advertising many of you have been trained since birth to avoid. The other is that “branded content” that shows up via “content marketing.” No, not another rant on that subject – I’ve bored you to tears with them already I’m sure. This rant is different.

Here is a tidbit from the folks at Corporate Visions:

More than 70% of respondents do not follow a clearly defined message development process within their organization, while a 10% reported they aren’t sure what their company does at all.

In other words, chaos. Into that vacuum usually steps some well-meaning sales-type who pushes the messaging toward “sell.” This is company-centric messaging. I can’t imagine anything more boring to most people. “We’re better because blah blah blah”. Boring.

Smart companies that have their message creation together do customer-centric messaging. They focus on identifying customers’ and prospects’ unconsidered needs.  They’re there to inform, to entertain, to listen, to help; not to sell.  They’re speaking to the consumer, not at them.  They’er certainly not speaking to their own needs or to make themselves feel as if they’re got the message out there.

So to whom are you speaking?

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