There’s a career’s worth of knowledge in this Twitter thread on “19 Cognitive Biases Every Marketer Needs to Know“. So much of what makes marketing effective comes down to understanding and leveraging human psychology. And so much of how we think and act as humans, especially in modern society, isn’t always obvious or even rational. The more we can understand the quirks and hidden secrets of our wiring, the better we’ll be at working with them. We recommend taking 20 minutes to read this thread carefully, study the examples, and then pin it to come back to regularly.
Here’s a (relative) oldie but a goodie: Gary V’s “How to Make 64 Pieces of Content in a Day” deck. For those who know Gary, you know he is a content machine. He preaches and practices the “volume” gospel for modern content marketing; quantity is just as important as quality to fill the feed, get feedback on what works, and have more opportunities to hit that viral vein. How does he do it? Well, first he has a massive team around him . But second, he’s religious and disciplined with producing as much ‘micro’ content as possible from each ‘macro’ piece he makes. We call it the ‘content factory’ model. And even if you (or your brand) isn’t a Gary V type personality and you don’t have a 50-person content team, you can still learn and apply some good, effective strategies and tactics from his model.
Tom Fishbourne, aka the Marketoonist, has a great post on targeted advertising and the end of third-party cookies. It makes for informational and entertaining reading (#marketinghumor). It does feel like the transition from third-party to first-party data-led marketing is a massive shift that many marketers are sleep walking into. (If anyone has watched Don’t Look Up, it feels a bit like that, but with slightly less at stake…). One survey found that “83% of advertisers say they will be more reliant on first-party data but only 38% are sure they have the right technology to categorise their data with metadata.” (The entire article that houses that survey is worth reading – it’s a really solid overview and set of recommendations for how to build and activate your first-party data strategy). We’ve written about this before, but it still seems like there’s much more talk than action in the industry.
Here’s a big secret most marketers aren’t willing to share:
You never really know what’s going to work.
You might have some focus group results or a strong gut feeling about a new product or campaign. But you never know for sure, and often you’re proven wrong – for better or worse.
This is why it’s so important to constantly test and learn. To ship code and content. To get your idea in the market and in front of your audience as quickly as possible.
They are the ones that ultimately decide, not you.
Three steps to start building a media company around your brand
- Define the relevant but differentiated POV you have on the industry. You likely already have a brand strategy. And it’s likely relevant to what you do and who you do it for. But be honest with yourself, is it differentiated? It’s no longer enough to just be relevant, you need to offer a purpose and promise that’s different from everyone else. One test you can run to see if your brand is truly differentiated: If you took your logo off your marketing campaigns, could it be any other brand? (Hint: you want the answer to be no). You need this POV to guide the content and experiences you create to a place where they’re offering more or different value from what consumers can get elsewhere.
- Identify the “sources” of content that you can capture on an ongoing basis. Just like a journalist at a media company, you need to think about the sources you can go to for quality content. They could be employees, customers, or external partners. But someone or something needs to be the well of ideas, insights, and inspiration for the pipeline of value you’re looking to bring to market.
- Map the attention of your audience and focus on the channels where the attention is underpriced. Attention is the most valuable and scarcest commodity in modern marketing. You need to analyze where the attention you need already exists, but also look at where your competitors are already mining it. Often times you can find underpriced attention in new media platforms before they become accepted at scale (e.g. TikTok). Sometimes you can find it in old media platforms that have introduced new ways to find and reach an audience (e.g. TV). And you can always find it with a bit of creativity to “growth hack” your distribution on any platform (e.g. influencers on Instagram, content that goes “viral”).