Cutting Through The Noise With Relevance: Thoughts On Combatting Content Inflation

The internet produces 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Over ninety per cent of the Internet’s data has been created in the past two years alone. What will be the net effect of this from a marketing standpoint?

The net effect of this is “content inflation”, a phenomenon where the value of content drops as time progresses and the standard needed for material to gain attention increase. I believe there will be such a large volume of content that we will barely be able to stay focused on a few things.

We see this already. Ten years ago, anything mildly funny could go viral, because there was so little material out there and it was expensive to make videos. Now, it takes something truly remarkable. The question is: how do marketers cut through the noise now? My theory is utility and relevance.

We do not often see utility as a core component of advertising. Advertising is seen as shiny packaging to promote and sell a product. With the amount of content in our lives significantly increasing, useful and relevant advertising will become a vital aspect of marketing strategy, not funny tv commercials. We already see this in Amazon’s service. The company’s “Other Users Frequently Bought This” is a promotional tool, but it is actually incredibly useful for other customers as well. It is both a marketing tool and it is relevant.

How does this apply creatively? Creative marketing cannot have utility? Yes, creativity rarely has utility. While advertising may not always be useful, but it can be relevant. In the future, I think we will have ad campaigns based on the intricate data insights that speak to the consumer. Agencies and companies without access to this data will fall behind.

I will finish with something from Marvel Comics. I actually hate comics, but the extract shows how critical relevance is for capturing an audience:

“In mid-1961, following rival DC Comics successful revival of superheroes a few years earlier, Goodman ordered Lee to follow the trend again. Weary of Goodman’s artistic dictates and the awkward orders he gave with such as having Lee dismiss the entire staff outside of himself in favour of freelancers in 1957, Stan Lee collaborated with artist Jack Kirby to create The Fantastic Four #1 (cover-dated Nov. 1961) in an artistic experiment before intending to resign.Instead, that series became first hit of what would become Marvel Comics. The newly naturalistic comics, in which superheroes bickered, worried about money and behaved more like everyday people than noble archetypes, changed the industry.”

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