By Rex Hammock

This issue marks the fifth anniversary of the day we sent the first Idea Email. Here are some of the major themes distilled from our 125 biweekly missives.

1. If the CEO loves the content you’ve created, it will likely fail.

Credit Norwegian communication theorist Osmo Wiio for this insight into why some content works while others fail. Short reason: In any communication exchange, the recipient has 100 percent control over whether a message is understood or not. If it pleases the CEO, chances are the message was crafted for someone who brings along a preexisting understanding of the message. However, content that is successful in reaching customers has more likely been created for those without such knowledge and insight.

2. A company should never fall in love with a specific customer media solution. Rather, it should fall in love with its customer’s problem.

This advice from the software company Quicken helps explain why so many feature-focused content communication practices don’t work—and why so many fill-in-the-blank marketing approaches are wasted. A content strategy should come from an intimate understanding of a customer’s challenge. If you have a solution in search of a problem rather than a problem in search of a content solution, you are doing little more than running in a circle.

3. Customers are the only thing allowing you to have a business and keep it in existence.

Peter Drucker, that brilliant muse of business, constantly reminds us that shareholder value is the result of how well a marketer communicates with and serves customers, not the other way around. As we’ve said often about direct-to-customer content and media, the best way to use customer content is to help customers, not hype your company.

4. The most valuable content you can provide customers is more than mere marketing.

It’s the content created by every person within your organization that helps customers consistently accomplish what they were seeking when they first became customers.

5. Content is what fulfills the promise of your brand.

Content that can be access whenever and wherever customers need it does more than market a product. It adds value to your product or service. It’s what turns a commodity into a unique and valuable product or service. It’s what transforms a transaction into a lifelong relationship. It’s why your company exists.


About Hammock Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here . To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.