Get Your Digital Planner On – Part 3

Free ourselves from media, create content. Create good content. Any marketer can put stuff on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare, Flickr, a microsite or a company blog. Of course that’s also the problem. There’s a lot of crap out there. So we have to get good at making content: not just messages, but the kind that starts conversation and dialog, that gets talked about and passed on, and that invites customers to get involved and teach us how to make them happy.

This one is hard. It’s kind of like saying “just be awesome.” But I do believe you can learn from what has worked for your brand in the past, follow the trends of what is working in culture right now, and gobble everything up from people claiming to analyze what is spreading or building their business model around creating spreadable content.

Here’s the super sexy film (and results) we did for Philips 21:9 that won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year:

Learn human, natural conversation and teach it to clients. Brands often seem incapable of not talking about themselves. I’d say this is most evident in client briefs. Grant McCracken likens these brands to a drunk guy at a party going on and on about what he’s interested in. That kind of thinking doesn’t lead to work that spreads and it is getting ever more expensive to shout your messages at people by buying their attention. Plus it’s boring. Why do I want to waste my time working with those kinds of brands?

We have to partner with our clients to teach them how to generate discussion around topics that are meaningful to the community they want to establish. Or be meaningful, inoffensive contributors to communities that already exist. Only then can our brands gain the street cred they see other brands developing and truly be part of the conversation.

8 thoughts on “Get Your Digital Planner On – Part 3

  1. I definitely agree with both points. I think one of the biggest challenges I find with my clients is that because they don’t see their competitors doing certain things in the online environment, they don’t feel they should. Education is a huge component to solving that and in my opinion one of the main functions of a digital strategist/planner. Because new technologies, etc. are constantly emerging and/or evolving, we have to educate ourselves and educate our clients so their brands can realize their fullest potential in the digital space.

  2. Hello!

    I totally agree in the sense that buying attention is increasingly not a viable option so we need to earn it.

    Content people want to watch earns it’s own attention but it requires us to invert how we approach content creation

    Previously he onus was on on us to say what the client wanted to say in the most palatable and appealing way for the audience

    In an earned attention world we have to say things people want to hear and then work out how to fit brands into that

    The challenge – as you point – is that making content is hard. That why we buy the attention of content producers. And they have to portfolio invest in ten properties to make any money because most songs films tv shows lose money.

    But that’s also probably a good model for brands….

    Rock ON Heather!
    FX

    Ps i can’t believe your tweet asking for comments worked on me 😉

  3. Thanks Judy and Faris. Judy, I agree that education can be a huge part of our jobs, but as I’ll cover in an upcoming part we have to be really careful about where we put our energies. Clients could be staying current on technology and culture (and some do). Those are the ones I do everything I can to spend most of my time working with.

    And Faris, I think it’s important to state that “what people want to hear” is not something they can tell us in research (generally). They often want to be surprised or stretched.

  4. I definitely agree with both points. I think one of the biggest challenges I find with my clients is that because they don’t see their competitors doing certain things in the online environment, they don’t feel they should. Education is a huge component to solving that and in my opinion one of the main functions of a digital strategist/planner. Because new technologies, etc. are constantly emerging and/or evolving, we have to educate ourselves and educate our clients so their brands can realize their fullest potential in the digital space.
    +1

  5. digital flirting? who heard of such a thing. 😉

    Heath: i don’t think real people can articulate anything they actually/ or what drives behaviour want in research. asking them directly makes their brains lie to them and we have no imagination for things that are different – i think most claimed data is spurious 😉

    here’s a good bunch of reasons why [psychology and behavioural economics and that]

    http://youarenotsosmart.com/

    😉

  6. HK, your last paragraph says it all, perfectly. Especially cuz I think it leans the job of generating discussion more towards curation rather than the side of what-they-want-to-hear (which is echo-ing?).

    And thats the job of of leaders, whether they be brands, idols or friends: to drive lil bits of culture forward, and generate convo.

    BUT isn’t this obvious!? why don’t brands get this yet? smh.

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