Reimagine (Almost) Everything: Why Will They Listen to Why Will They Care

February 19, 2016

In 2016, our industry continues to rapidly shift from TV-led to digitally led marketing, making it more important than ever for marketers to reimagine their approaches to marketing and take steps to move the industry forward.

To kick off the new year, we’re sharing a page from our Marketing Leadership Playbook week by week, to help set marketers up for success in this digitally led era. This post marks the sixth of our Marketing Leadership Playbook blog content series “Reimagine (Almost) Everything.”


In post VI of our Series, former 360i VP of strategy Shankar Gupta focuses in on the confusion around the word “content,” the differences between “content and “advertising,” and how marketers can utilize content to encourage consumers not only to listen, but to care. “Very few words in the advertising lexicon create more passion and confusion than ‘content,’” shares Shankar.

As explained by Shankar, the difference between “content” and “advertising” comes from the intent behind making it in the first place. Ads are usually intended to be placed in interruptive paid media to try and win consumer attention when it has no competition, while content is created with the intention to compete for attention in an environment filled with other unbranded content.

However, the split between ads that don’t need to compete for attention and content that does is disappearing. Accordingly to Shankar, “Unless a brand’s advertising dollars are being spent on something that can earn consumers’ attention, those media dollars are being wasted.”

In his post, Shankar provides three tips for marketers on making effective shifts in their content strategies in 2016.

Marketer Takeaways:

  1. Listen to What Consumers are Saying. “The first step is stronger consumer insights – not just broad strokes of demographic and psychographic information, but also detailed, insightful tribe analyses,” says Shankar. Look beyond what consumers’ think about a brand and explore their passions, dreams, and point of views on cultural issues to better reach them in the channels they’re likely to be. “Ultimately, brands that succeed in content creation are brands that are utterly obsessed with their consumers and the content they prefer,” mentions Shankar.
  1. Define a Brand Personality. After gaining a better understanding of the consumer, marketers must then take a deeper look at their brands – “Many marketers who think they have a deep and nuanced understanding of their brands have often only seen them manifested in traditional advertising, which leads to a narrow and myopic view of how a brand can be expressed,” says Shankar. It is important for marketers to develop a consistent brand voice and aesthetic feel which consumers will gravitate towards.
  1. Go Ahead, Get All Emotional. Marketers must create communications that resonate with consumers. Shankar states that, “The key differentiator for a brand is the values it espouses, and the emotions those values inspire in consumers.” Creating content that will entice people rather than interrupt them is core to an effective content strategy.

To download the full Playbook click here. To read more on how to reimagine content, scroll to page 13.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Post I of the series: “Reimagine (Almost) Everything: Establishing New Success Metrics,” Post II of the series: “Reimagine (Almost) Everything: Digital as an Organizational Mindset,” Post III of the series: “Reimage (Almost) Everything: What Worked Before to What’s Right for Now,” Post IV of the series: “Reimagine (Almost) Everything: From Real-Time to Right Time,”and post V of the series: “Reimagine (Almost) Everything: Outsmarting with Specialized Expertise.”