A few years ago, Mark Schaefer mapped the supply-and-demand of content marketing and predicted diminishing returns as the volume of content grows.
He called this concept “Content Shock“: “the emerging marketing epoch when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.”
Since then, the volume level has only increased. TrackMaven reported that content output per brand increased 35% in 2015 and content engagement decreased by 17%. Many marketers are responding to this noisier landscape by amping up the volume even further.
I like how P&G CMO Marc Pritchard diagnoses the situation of producing exponentially increasing volumes of content: “we fell into the content crap trap.” He went on to describe a dichotomy between “crap” and “craft” in marketing communication. He urged his company’s marketers to focus on “craft” and raise the bar on creativity.
This is an interesting inflection point for marketers everywhere to do the same – evaluate what they’re communicating and where their communication falls on the “crap” versus “craft” continuum. I think that “craft” in all forms of marketing will become increasingly more important.
Marketers can’t break through the clutter by adding to it.
Here are a couple more cartoons I’ve drawn on content marketing over the years.
“Branded Content“, September 2013
“Marketing Echo Chamber“, July 2016