Media distracts, stories capture, ROI rules, survival through innovation and guiding principles

I am quite curious about how the mind works, how we make decisions and how to capture attention in a sound bite world filled with far too many options and information. Media is everywhere – that we know. But do you ever stop to think about how it affects your productivity or retention? How much of the media you consume do you find actionable? How much enhances your life versus adding more clutter and noise? Very little I’d bet. So this article naturally piqued my interest. Edmund Lee writes about how our increasing media consumption is not exactly helping our cognition. In fact, the more media we consume, the worse we get at processing information. “ when you look by not focusing, you’re missing important things.” This is definitely worth your attention.

It seems everywhere a marketer turns there’s talk of content and storytelling. For good reason: traditional one-way messages no longer work. It’s all about attention. Attention. Attention. And great stories are a key way of earning it. Mark McGuinness, creative coach, outlines 13 ways of looking at a story. Two of my favorites are “A story is how we think” and “a story is a tool for transformation”. You need to find a compelling way to tell your company’s story – authentically and with relevance to the audience you want and need to attract. It’s never too soon to start.

Measurement and ROI go hand in hand. Every marketer needs to demonstrate results, particularly in Social Media, which many in the corporate world still eye with some skepticism. Geoff Livingston references two new books I’ve been waiting for: One from the queen of measurement, K.D. Paine: Measure What Matters, and Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard, one of the best writers/thinkers on branding today if I dare say so. Both always provide a lot of substance. Geoff gets it right with “Poor marketing will always create the need for it [ROI]”. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on each of these books in the near future.

This is a reminder that to survive in business you have to innovate. And to do that you have to think beyond the present. Edward Boches talks about how Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment failed to anticipate the PC and ultimately lost. The challenge for business owners is in the ability to manage the present, delivering a great customer experience today while effectively planning for the future. I’d say Apple’s done a great job of this but it’s not easy because the future is so unpredictable. He talks about the changes in media and advertising and the need to learn new tools, develop new business models. There’s a large element of risk. Good food for thought today and hat tip to @PaulBiedermann for this one

IKEA is a company I have a like/hate relationship with. I like their style but for the most part consider their furniture highly disposable. Seems there are few items outside of drapes, glassware, etc that have much merit because of the pressboard and ultrathin veneers used on much of their furniture that don’t last through many moves. They’re great for those setting up their first house and I appreciate their efficient operation. I’ve also learned how to interpret their instructions on more than one occasion. Having just visited our local IKEA I read with interest Valeria’s post on the guiding principles on which the company was founded and operates today, more than 60 years later. Given the change during this time it is proof that establishing and living by a set of ideals is something every company should take the time to do. That the basics of sound business never go out of style regardless of how technology and trends evolve. It’s all about leading by example. While I might not be their biggest fan, I respect IKEA’s business acumen and efforts they’re making in sustainability.

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