A year ago the marketing world was abuzz about “snackable” content. Everything was getting shorter. Blog posts were getting replaced by lists. Lists were getting replaced by infographics. Infographics by short videos. Videos by short blurbs. And on and on and on. Marketers were panicking over shortened attention spans and trying to optimize everything for tiny mobile screens.
But a pendulum can only glide so far in one direction before it starts to swing back the other way. So, despite the rise of snackability, long form content never actually bit the dust. And by now I think it’s proven that it never will.
Do you ever feel like you might die if you don’t check Facebook? You know there’s nothing on there you need to see, but for some reason you still feel like you need to check.
Well, you’re not crazy.
Research indicates that the need to connect socially with others is as basic as food, water and shelter. But despite knowing this, many marketers find themselves frustrated when trying to reach people on Facebook – the ultimate human connector online -- and I believe that’s due to one simple concept:
The only constant on Facebook is change.
I think we can all agree that buying a new car is one of the most painful experiences you’re likely to have.
But we like new cars. We love new things in general. Driving a new car is fun and exhilarating.
So then why is buying one so unpleasant?
It’s simple. The sales person is probably a commission-only employee and his compensation is based on the profit margin of the sale. Hence, he’s actually incented to sell you the car for the worst deal he can manage. As a result, there’s natural friction between the two of you.
It’s a shame. Automotive manufacturers spend a fortune on branding and marketing to have much of that goodwill and trust thrown away by an over eager sales rep just trying to make a living.
Simply put, the incentive structure is broken.
It’s not easy to quantify a gut feeling. But it certainly seems, these days, that NBA basketball is a shell of its former self, both in terms of the product on the court and its mainstream appeal.
By one measure -- Nielsen ratings for the Finals -- the NBA is holding steady. The Finals consistently out-draw the MLB World Series, for one, but that’s hardly a massive compliment. If you really dig into the numbers, you’ll see that basketball’s popularity is still a far cry from its peak in the late 80s to late 90s, when the sport’s greatest legends dazzled the world with ability like we had never seen before.
The NBA looks to be holding steady, sure, but when you stop and reflect on the glory days -- it’s really just treading water. So what happened?
Picture this scenario. You’re online shopping for clothes or a new gadget. You find a great deal on a website you’ve never heard of and don’t hesitate to add the item to your cart. You navigate to the checkout screen. Without a second thought, you input your name, address, phone number, email address, and credit card number. You click Submit.
We’ve all done it hundreds of times, but we rarely stop to think about where that information goes from there. We don’t think about the hackers lurking and dredging for anything they can steal – looking to snatch your identity out from under you and sell your information to advertisers, open credit cards in your name, or make unauthorized purchases that you won’t find out about until a collections agency starts beating down your door.
For this reason, we need a way to know whom we can trust with our personal information. We need a way to know who’s going to take the necessary precautions to keep it out of the hands of ne’er-do-wells and thieves. You might think that you can trust your banking website, Amazon, the Red Cross, or other names you recognize – but on the web, it’s incredibly easy for hackers to impersonate people or organizations. We need a way to know for sure whom it is that we’re dealing with.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
We recently reached out to an industry contact because we wanted to use his firm for an upcoming high consideration / high value purchase (I’m being intentionally vague here). We've known him for a few years and he's always been a super nice guy. When we began looking at options together, he was friendly, knowledgeable, and made it clear that he'd take great care of us. Everything was going great.
And then the emails started.
The drip marketing emails. You know the type. They started trickling into our inbox, offering us all kinds of promotions we had no use for and consultations on products we didn’t want. He had added our name to some database, and now we were on the hook for every intrusive email his company wanted to put out.