Content Lazy or Content Smart? Why Marketing Breaks

Are we lazy or smart? Do you play the long marketing game? Or do you just play to win?

Why Marketing Breaks Every Tool in the Kitbag

Mostly we just don’t think. Or we do think,  we think others aren’t doing what we are doing.

We take the line of least resistance. We need to fail and for failing to hurt for us to learn.
Pain is what teaches us to get smart. The pain of hunger, the pain of injury or rejection. The pain of attrition.

The hot breath of the pursuing behemoth makes us learn real fast.

Modern marketing man is just a caveman with a smartphone.

He loves campfires, storytelling and hunting. He lives in the now. He lives for his next kill.

We are drawn to the attraction of the shortcut and the quick fix.

Shortcuts are like drugs. Like hot-housing. They get you from A to B, but without the work or the wait.

BEWARE: There is a catch. Too much of anything that’s easy rarely does you good.

Lets be honest, it’s good news there’s a price to pay.

Lazy curation can be such a quick fix. The allure of automated curation can be a shortcut to content, but will it reap rewards in the long run?

Email, sms, direct mail, banner ads,TV ads and of course QR codes are all tools we’ve abused.

We break stuff.  We broke all prior forms of media. We push the “easy” button so hard and so fast that it breaks.

Marketing have abused the trust of each prior form of media.

Every new media has been abused and as such consumers have found a cure.

  • Cold Calls = Answer-phone
  • Email = Spam
  • Direct Mail = Trash Can
  • Banner Ad = Skimming
  • TV Ads = Fast Forward

We somehow think nobody else is doing it. We think we are smart and have an advantage. We’ll fix what we lay to waste. Tomorrow is another day. We assume we’re the smart ones – breaking the rules, gaining advantage. We aren’t.

Our mindset is captured by “It’ll be fine – just one more blast” thinking.

To paraphrase a my favorite quote from Airplane.

“I guess I picked a wrong week to quit curation.”


Curation done wrong can be the quick fix. Curation can draw readers in, but are you really providing value? Are you just summarizing or are you ranking, filtering and providing insight? Are you saying something unique. Will people leave wanting more?

There is no shortcut to great outcomes.

I loved a quote from Gary Vaynerchuk about his Wine Library TV days. It went something like:

“I felt I had to keep sending email blasts because I couldn’t believe i was free. Someone has to start charging me for this one day soon”

Let’s be clear.

Content is work. Work is commitment. Work is persistence. Work can be efficient, but real work is not shortcuts. We often focus on new content, when we can add more value be refining and extending existing ideas. We in marketing get bored of our messages before our customers.

Curate with a Creation Mindset. 


Reusing content is great, researching and quoting sources is fine and dandy, but be sure your piece of work stands on its own merits.

Creating and curation are simply two ends of a continuum. Just like hunting and gathering. They are not a binary choice. You can choose to operate at any point on that line. Each piece of work can take a unique position on the continuum.

You don’t have to give up either. You can utilize the value of each. You can also nurture and farm your existing content.

Work can be simple, but work is not the avoidance or work.

You can’t bypass it or sidestep the effort it takes to produce great content.

Great content takes time. Great content needs to evolve over time to stay valuable.

Be mindful you aren’t chasing you next piece of work, when you might be better tending and caring for existing content.

Hunting for the fresh kill is not the only choice.

Existing content can be cultivated. It’s life can be extended, it’s value invested and grown.

Image Credit:  jayneandd via Flickr and Creative Commons


NIck Kellet (130 Posts)

Nick’s ventures range from a visual segmentation tool sold to SAP, to an award winning board game. Today, Nick is co-founder of Listly, raising the profile of lists to be on par with Slideshare & YouTube.