We are living in the age of curation. That term used to be limited to museums and film festivals but today everything is curated. How we get our news, social media updates, recommendations, even our birthday wishes. Like it or not in this on demand, oversharing world, algorithms serve up information, often based on highly personalized data. We are being second guessed by our newsfeeds and Netflix queues.
We no longer have to go to the library or the museum to do research. It’s all available online – search and discovery. Except that we are missing the experience. The accidental discovery by getting lost in the stacks. Even our shopping is curated. Who needs to go to the mall when everything is available on your phone. All of your favorites serving up whatever you need (or don’t need) on your schedule. And of course, the 800 pound gorilla called Amazon is always open, ready to deliver anything and everything. Some of it by just pushing a Dash button.
In our FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) world, we are always hungry for more. Driven to stay on top of our social feeds, emails, texts, we are always behind. Because there’s always more. And in this quest, we rely on newsletters (and Facebook) for the latest news and information and influencers who share their latest finds (often without revealing that these are paid endorsements). But with so much coming at us every minute of every day, how do you get my attention?
In my speeches, I tell the audience that they are all content creators and congratulate them. But then again, that’s also the problem. When everyone is a content creator, and algorithms are increasingly the curators, how are you supposed to get me to pay attention to your message? Another app? Join the club. You wrote a book? Halleluiah. So did 10 other people I know. Or their friends. New movie coming out? Good luck. My Netflix and Amazon Prime queues are locked and loaded for the next year. You get it. Breaking through is HARD.
And that’s why it should be #1 on your list. Marketing is everything and attention is job one. So who you trust to get and deliver information is more important than ever. Trust is key. It’s not a metric. It’s THE metric. And differentiation – thinking about why someone should care is the most important piece of the puzzle. With a constant bombardment of messaging, we pay attention to what is relevant to us.
Let’s face it, the old rules are dead. There are more channels to reach consumers popping up daily. And the big guys (Facebook, Google et al) control much of what we see. So we have to work harder at getting and delivering the unfiltered information we seek, whether it’s (real) news, reviews or social media posts from friends and brands.