I was part of a manic panel discussion on sales strategies for a Web 2.0 world. Amidst the usual Rorschach of social media advice were a few killer moments I have to share.
What’s the result of an abundance of information? Attention scarcity.
This is what makes insight a premium in the digital economy, and it makes simplicity the good manners of our age.
So What Should We Stop Doing For Simplicity?
My answer was “stop writing so damn much.” I worked in my steadfast mantra “reading is for suckers” and suggested that if attendees cared about their readers and SEO, they should cut their copy in half and make a video or infographic. The goal is to make such a great illustration or video that even competitors wouldn’t be able to resist linking to it or copying it.
This brought a follow-up question: “Where can I see a good infographic?” I probably should have mentioned a nice collection such as the one at Six Revisions. Instead, I offered a single beautiful example, Flint Hahn’s Burning Man Infographic. The next follow-up: “What’s Burning Man?” Somehow I was taking us way off track.
How Can We Make Email Marketing Work Better In a Social World?
My advice was to build a personal relationships with readers, to be real and relevant, and worry only about making kick-ass communications for the small group that is vital to their livelihood. Again I was asked for a good example. I could have referred to the nice marketing from Marketo that made the whole room turn out. Wouldn’t that have be supremely ingratiating? Do you think I did that?
Nope. I said “the best emails I get are from Amanda Palmer,” whose messages include attitude, offers, and generosity that an ordinary marketer would simply ruin.
That’s right, I could have said something nice, but instead I just begged the question ….”Who’s Amanda F’n Palmer?”
My takeaway, other than that my obsessions are thankfully obscure, is that good marketing is hard. Like any art, it is a unique use of craft to move an audience.
There’s no map to do it. In fact, good marketing changes markets — so whatever worked last time will likely be different next time. It might be better or worse. Good marketers stare into the abyss and use their thoughts and craft to clarify a desirable prospect. Your thoughts, your market, your mileage may vary. That’s the game.
The currently zillion channels of social media beg us to commit random and fruitless acts of marketing.
But when an artist gets their frenzy behind one big idea the result is nothing short of spectacular (watch a fine music video from you-know-who).