It is not uncommon during the holidays for people to overindulge in food and drink. As a result, in the New Year, often on the top of many resolution lists is to start a diet. While obesity has become a major problem in America (and other countries), there is another type of epidemic afflicting all us of: infobesity – information overload. Perhaps, a New Year’s resolution should include some form of data diet.
Due to the rise of the share culture, 24-7 access of internet/email, and now the incredible moment-to-moment real-time feeds of mobile, there is an overload of information – both being created and consumed.
According to Sciene Daily “a full 90% of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years.” How often do you wake in the morning and check your email/phone and see a glut of new information – some important, much not?
The marketing paradigm has shifted from the way marketers passively pushed out content to the masses to one in which engagement is critical. Information or content creation and distribution has become the name of the game. The result has been the proliferation of a myriad of platforms, tools, and even entire companies that aim to help businesses and brands create, share and curate data. Content marketing has arisen as a new and entirely independent discipline. While there is a push to find ways to make sense of big data, what do we do with all that little data – the constant stream of information that bombards us every waking moment and waits for us while we sleep?
I recall reading early in the New Year last year an article with a simple New Year’s resolution: look up (from our phones). As a culture we are not only obsessed with our mobile devices, but the stream of content it delivers. We never want to fall behind on the latest and greatest (or not so great) news, but it is impossible to stay on top of the news, let alone all the other data being produced. A new term, ICYMI has even arisen as an attempt to catch up on information you may have missed. It is a vicious cycle and there is no way to get up-to-speed, as the speed of information is much faster than its consumption.
As we look for ways to mine through the glut of information being “shared” with us, brands would do well to consider the audience’s predicament of information overload. How can brands seeking to engage and reach customers or potential customers be heard among all the noise created by so much volume?
Here are three helpful tips for any brand looking to ensure their offerings are properly digested among the ever growing smorgasbord of information :
A successful brand is all about standing out and understanding your claim of distinction. Think about your content the same way. Make it stand out as being unique with a voice and format that can get you out of the sea of sameness.
Brands cannot be all things to all people. Once a brand finds its focus, it needs to ensure everything it does, communicates and shares is consistent. Lose focus and lose the power of your brand distinction.
As John Naisbitt proclaimed in his book Megatrends way back in 1982 “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” This was in the context of identifying that we were moving into an information society. With so many channels and the constant information overload, telling people how great your brand is and talking at them will not be effective. Brands need to find ways to engage the audience and ensure that their content efforts are aimed and starting a conversation. Content needs to create value for the consumer of it – whether it be entertaining, educational, or relevant. Content needs to find a way to reach its audience on a personal and emotional level so they can connect with the brand.
As you find yourself managing your intake of information, hopefully you will find room for this piece – in the way one always, even after eating a big meal, seems to find room for dessert.
What’s on your information diet? Tell us in the comments!