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The Content Cycle


Decades ago when I joined the business I did many ads for my clients.

They were well made by great minds and got more than adequate airing.

But they had extremely limited life spans. When the campaign stopped airing that was it.

A new one came along and wiped out the previous one.

That was pretty much the cycle,

All that started changing about a 15 years ago with the arrival of the WWW and it’s various players.

No I am not going to hold on about the importance of Digital, though it is. But for me more important was the need and ability to revisit what the communications business was about and its infinite possibilities.

Looking back over the more recent few years a picture started forming in my mind about this, what I am calling the Content Cycle.

IMHO The cycle has the following phases

Creation: Right at the beginning is the need to create content. This is what starts the cycle.

Search: Once the content is created it needs to be searchable.

Share: When the content you create is found, enable/allow it to be shared.

Enhance: True believers/lovers of the content will then want to enhance it

Which brings you back to the Search and Share portion of the cycle. And so on.

There, you have it, my version of the content cycle.

Content Creation. Content Searching. Content Sharing. Content Enhancing.

Now if we look what is going on the world of communications you see that at a technology level some players like Facebook operate very strongly in the Content Sharing space.

Google is strong in the Search Space.

Instagram is in the Creation space extending to Share.

And so on.

No one is really happy being in one box. They all want to extend and own the chain. And of course I understand that. The more you own the cycle the greater the ability to monetise the content, which is what the game is all about.

With that backdrop, it is literally mandatory that marketers and agencies when they create ‘advertising’ look down this chain and ensure that they are leveraging all parts of the cycle.

Create content that people want to search, share, enhance which drives more searches and shares.

If you are still creating just a good old fashioned ad then you are just getting ROI for your spends.

P&G with Old Spice seems to be doing a great job in this space.

As is Unilever with Dove.

And Coke of course.

These are just a few brands that come to mind that seem to have understood that there is more to advertising than advertising. It is about creating content that travels down the cycle.

The next time a client evaluates an agency’s work they should ask the Qs

Is it searchable?

Is it shareable?

Will our users try and enhance it?

It is not about digital. It is about the idea. It always is. But Digital enables the idea to live long after the TV has been switched off.

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