Working Without a Net

On September 12, 2013, in HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

The question plaguing a world much bigger than our little industry is "How do I get heard over the swell of mediocrity?" We do a good job on that one.

The question plaguing a world much bigger than our little industry is “How do I get heard over the swell of mediocrity?” We do a good job on that one.

From where I sit, marketing looks very, very broken. The mad rush to content marketing has produced a spew of mediocre content and breathy shallow analysis. The worst offenders are publishing “surveys” full of unbelievable (mostly made up) data.

One company was claiming a 93% penetration of social media into recruiting two or three years ago. The problem with vendor generated surveys is that they have no credibility to begin with. But, somehow, repeating nonsense numbers while waving some pieces of colored paper earns the mantle of conventional wisdom.

The formal name for this form of communication is propaganda.

The truth is that at least the propagandists are interesting. Hammering the truth out of fiction right in public is a kind of awesome thing to do. With no tie to anything substantive, these folks trot out half-truths as if they were vested with the authority to mint the stuff.

That’s actually sort of awesome in a creepy way.

Worse is the grinding mediocrity that passes for blog posts, white papers and tutorials that are created by the middling vendors who are just trying to keep up. The sea of content has the consistency of granola and yogurt after a day in the sun.

Fearing that they will fall behind their competitors, they wage a ground war by throwing content everywhere there is an empty spot. Nagging emails promote the consumption of white papers that are dutifully downloaded but never, ever read. The direct dialers who follow up are no longer surprised by the dull witted responses they get.

“You say I downloaded what? Hmm, I bet I did. What did it say?”

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William Tincup and I have been having a conversation about this for several years. Somehow, our styles mesh and we get great creative work done. It’s a joy to do things together.

We’re in the middle of an experiment.

We decided to do a series of unconventional web presentations during which we work in public. The power emerges from our collaborations because we have a difference of opinion about many things. We use that juice to create better decision environments and better ideas.

We’re better than good at it.

The question plaguing a world much bigger than our little industry is “How do I get heard over the swell of mediocrity?” We do a good job on that one.

The sessions are archived. You can find them here. We’re trying to deliver a real time look into how it works. It’s different. That’s sort of what differentiation is all about.



 
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