I have, of late, been putting out posts that take us down to the very fundamentals of who we are and what we do. I know, you know that I know you need a “three steps that help me do this” content because you’re busy, are juggling things and really, if you give me your trust (which I value) you want me to tell you to do three, four, five (a number, anyhow) of actionable things that will deliver what you want.
Have you ever wondered why each year you read new books on branding, marketing, salesmanship and SEO (some of which have been written by yours truly?).
Decision-making is broken. All of us live in a fast-paced world with extreme volatility, information overload and constant distractions. In this environment we are asked to make decision using our expertise, second-guess trends and set up processes that we’re unsure even meet the task at hand.
Public relations has always been thought of as the kind of deal you make with the devil in order to increase your marketing reach and safeguard your reputation. Invariably seen by outsiders as masters of spin or peddlers of hype the industry has hardly been helped by the 21st century affliction with “fake news” and the blurring of the lines between what’s editorial and what is paid media.
The war for hearts and minds online and offline is won by one thing and one thing only: data. Whatever label you care to slap on a business: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Starbucks, Walmart, without data they are empty shells.
The greatest challenge on the Web in the twenty-first century is to connect with your target audience in a way that enriches both them and you. For that to happen, beyond the glitz and gloss of “professional” styling you have to connect at a level that is personal enough to dispel misunderstandings, overcome perception barriers, and create the kind of trust that produces long-term business relationships.
Just a short seven years ago this is what we had to do in order to find a restaurant near us:
Anyone remotely familiar with search knows what metadata is. Basically it’s data about data that helps quantify it, classify it and put it in context. A flock of birds flying high in the sky, for instance, is more than a flock of birds flying high in the sky when you know that most birds have the Vitali Organ, a special middle-ear receptor that can sense extremely small changes in atmospheric pressure. This allows them to predict the weather, sometimes days in advance. When birds fly high in the sky then the weather is most likely to be clear.
When, in 1958, Alvin, Simon and Theodore released their Christmas special song few expected a trio of singing chipmunks to get very far. Yet, as a succession of cartoons, songs, albums and movies have shown the talented trio had stumbled onto a magic formula whose impact was big, so big, in fact that its importance would be barely understood, half a century later. But first, so we know what we are talking about, the song: