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.
What you want, of course, is for your products and services to sell, your website to be found, your content to be interacted with and loved, your social media posts to go viral and your life to be easy. I sympathize, I really do, but easy is not what I shall do for you from now on.
Why? Because ‘easy’ is equated with shortcuts and looking for every shortcut available is what has got us into this mess in the first place. And we are in a mess. Online search has fragmented, marketing has become messy, social media has become noisy and the entire online interaction has become less trustworthy than ever before. It mirrors the changes and challenges we experience in the offline world and the even bigger changes and challenges coming our way.
So, instead of helping you do the x-number of quick steps you feel you need to in order to tick the box of your productivity and make it to the weekend where you will unwind and get ready for the repeat cycle of the coming week, I will tell you why chasing search engine changes is not what you should be doing, I will show why your values really matter and how there is only one ‘secret’ to search marketing and branding you should really know about.
The connecting thread to all this is a behavioral approach to search, marketing and branding that takes us back to fundamentals. Context and intent, for instance, provide the interface where a product or service intersects the existential arc of a customer's need. Understand exactly how and I may not have to write any more books explaining it.
Fundamentals are important because we all started from them. The complexity we experience is driven by simplicity. Our brains and minds (and yes, the two are different) evolved to help us survive. Survival meant we had needs we could not meet on our own. So we are hardwired to cooperate and hardwired to connect because these two ‘hardwirings’ allow us to survive and thrive. The evolutionary arc from simplicity to complexity in our behavior is underpinned by the transition from surviving to thriving.
Trust is necessary because without it there can be no relational exchange of any kind. Without any kind of relational exchange there can be co contact, no connection, no exchange of goods, information and ideas, no trade and no thriving. Just surviving.
Simple as these things are, in our modern world they are complex and have become complicated which now makes them difficult to deal with. We resist change even though it is good for us. We fall for easy narratives without understanding why we need them in the first instance and we allow ourselves to engage in working practices (like multitasking) that rob us of the abilities we most need to work and succeed today.
The complexity of our world is the manufactured reality of our choices, decisions and actions. The only way to unravel it sufficiently to become, once more, effective in our marketing and branding, in our business and life, is to understand how the fundamentals affect us and how we can then begin to control them.