CMOs are expected to be brand ambassadors and masterful communicators. Assess your message, brand touch points and content strategy for just a moment. Then ask yourself: are you making it easy for people to engage with you—or are you creating confusion?
If you’re not sure, then you may be facing one of the biggest obstacles to leading a modern marketing organization. I’ve coined it the Message Maelstrom—which is a two-way, nonstop flow of content between you and your audience, or stakeholders.
As you can see from this diagram, the flurry of content and messages come from a variety of sources: influencers, employees, government, major media platforms, and influential customers. It also includes the media platforms you control, such as native ads and your blog.
Every source in the Maelstrom may appear to be an essential tool in the battle to win mind share and market share. But imagine how overwhelmed your audience feels. Who can blame them for blocking your message before you have a chance to engage with them!
Here are three reasons why your message may fall flat, and cause audiences to disengage:
- Ad-blocking software has limited efficacy. Your audience may get frustrated, and block your content altogether.
- We seldom know which sources of content to trust in this era of “fake news” — so we tune out. One survey says that 4 out of 10 adults in the USA get their news today from Facebook—not the Financial Times, The Economist, nor The New York Times.
3. We are witnessing cases of mistaken identities. Are YouTube, The Washington Post (Arc Publishing), Weibo, and Facebook media companies, news publishers, or technology firms? I have read endless editorials about this debate.
Today, everyone can also claim to be a journalist. New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, recently confessed that he felt threatened when an Ethiopian-born parking attendant near his home town bragged that he had his own political blog!
We cannot control how our audience digests our messages. But we can personally mitigate the impact of the Maelstrom and make more thoughtful choices. In my newest LinkedIn Learning course, “The Effective CMO,” you will hear my 4 recommendations to escape the Maelstrom and make messaging music. Here is the link.
Copyright 2018, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.