The Message Is the Medium- So Don’t Shortchange Yourself When It Comes to Creating Content for Your Marketing Communications Vehicles
With apologies to Marshall McLuhan, is the medium still the message in today’s tech-savvy society? As we become more and more desensitized to the rapid progression of information technology, we have to consider whether the pendulum that McLuhan described in his widely read book, Understanding Media, has swung the other way.
Is it possible that the audience could actually be judging the value of our communications based on the content of its messaging – rather than the medium by which it’s conveyed?
As a professional communicator, I may be biased, but it’s obvious to me that the medium no longer “shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action” – unlike it may have when McLuhan published his breakthrough work in 1964, when the advancement of media technology was in its infancy.
It’s equally obvious that a significant percentage of today’s marketers may be missing this message– and in the process, they’re shortchanging themselves and their organizations by giving short shrift to the creation of content for their marketing communications vehicles.
We see it frequently here at Quest Fore. With clients investing thousands with us for the development of advanced websites, multimedia presentations and the like, they sometimes unwittingly sabotage their efforts by insisting on creating the content for these vehicles themselves. The results of these efforts generally are uneven – and in the worst cases can be downright embarrassing.
With that in mind, here are my five favorite reasons why you should leave the creation of content for your marketing communications vehicles to the professionals:
- Leveraging Your Investment- Developing something like a new website represents a significant investment. It may be tempting to try to save a few dollars by creating the content in-house, but it could end up costing you much more in the long run – in terms of limited effectiveness and lost opportunities.
- Speed- If you don’t write for a living, you’ll probably find creating effective content more challenging than you anticipated. Chances are you’ll end up struggling and maybe even put it off for a while. We’ve seen lots of projects enter into extended hiatus while the client wrestles with the content.
- Quality- When you peruse the menu in a Chinese restaurant, errors in grammar and usage can be an amusing part of the experience. When you see something similar on a corporate website, it detracts from your image of the organization. Make sure your communications reflect favorably on your company.
- Third-Party Perspective- Even the best writers need a “reality check” occasionally. If you’ve been with your organization for an extended period, you may have trouble seeing the forest through the trees. Often a fresh perspective can be invaluable in ensuring your marketing messaging holds sway with an external audience.
- Focus on What You Do Best- If you have professional writers on your staff, by all means put them to work on your marketing materials. If you don’t, it will probably be counter-productive to assign someone to create marketing content. Let everyone focus on what they do best, and leave the writing to the people who do it for a living.