Havas Media recently reported that 60% of content created by the world’s leading 1,500 brands is “just clutter,” defined as “poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver.”
This conclusion was part of their annual Meaningful Brands study, which measures outcomes for brands that form “meaningful” connections with consumers. However, Havas found a 71% correlation between brands that create meaningful content and business results.
“The results of the Meaningful Brands global study this year show that most brands are investing in content without thinking through carefully what the expectations and the role of content is for them and their industry.”
As content marketing matures, Mark Schaefer’s “Content Shock” hypothesis is proving itself out: “exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.”
Brands are churning out an increasing amount of content, much of it sticky, mobile optimized, and, yes, snackable. But many brands are falling into what P&G CMO Marc Pritchard describes as “the content crap trap.” We can’t break through the clutter by adding to it.
According to Maria Garrido at Havas Media Group:
“Brands get rose-tinted glasses about entertaining people and think that is all consumers want. What brands need to do is break down their content, take a step back and ask, for their industry, what the role of content is. Whether it is to inspire, educating, help, reward, inform or entertain then rank them and work out what is a ‘must have’, where the opportunities are and what they should not be focusing on at all.”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the last few years:
“Content Marketing Overload” March 2017
“Branded Content” November 2015
“Branded Content” August 2014
4 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Dave S says
Great post, as always, but only 60%?
– I don’t think I have every read an email in my GMail “Promotions” tab.
– I skip every Facebook and Linkedin post that doesn’t come from a friend.
– I use nomorobo to block telemarketing on my home phone.
– I only pick-up calls from people in my address book.
– I don’t watch broadcast TV.
– I don’t read any major newspapers or periodicals.
– I get my news online and I take pride in clicking the (X) in the corner of a web add before it completes displaying.
(I don’t think I am alone in this pattern.)
Larry Burns says
I wonder if the simple answer to content overload might be the one none of us really likes to admit. While our industry in particular (although every business seems anchored in “there is always more”) pretends there is somehow infinite desire to be created for “MY” brand if only I ‘get the messaging right’. We all know that’s a false premise.
I do accept Mark Schaefer’s hypothesis – “exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.” This harsh reality – that content being created dwarfs the capacity of humans to consume – yet still we have not (in general, the exceptions prove the rule and there are many) altered our marketing behaviors … and we all know it – which is why we enjoy Tom’s marketoons so deeply.
Dave’s comment is one I would see as a ‘survival mode’ of behavior so many humans adopt to “get through” their data flows. It reflects the basic “market to, market at” status quo that remains rampant, even as we know better. Inertia is a very powerful force … and even as we who are practitioners, adapt to avoid our own industries efforts.
Back in 2012 I liked the notion that we’ve reached the point where we need to address “ what to do when insatiable curiosity meets infinite information”. The term “overwhemlnent” did not catch on but, I still like this thesis (http://eclecticallysampling.com/2012/02/are-you-overwhelmnent/) as a notion of what, as a brand marketer one should be focused on. Still true I’d suggest ….
Bill C says
I agree that there’s too much, and this came up in conversation with a colleague who deals with Content for B2B.
My question, though, is if this is percentage is geared towards B2C, then I wonder what the percentage is for B2B and how the experience in different?
“Havas found a 71% correlation between brands that create meaningful content and business results”
Ah, good old correlation. I think it’s more likely that successful brands have bigger budgets so are spending more money on better content than the content itself leading to the success.