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Exactly right. Content will never substitute for a great product and great service. In fact there's a company that delivers solid content and has been trying to earn my business - and has pass me off to no less than five account reps and I've yet to even see a demo. And from a company that's supposed to help companies manage their lead flow more effectively. Needless to say I've scratched them off the short list since as a lead, they've managed me extremely poorly which makes me not have confidence their product works.

That aside, we're all swimming in a see of overload. There's much more content I wish I had time to digest than I can. No matter how good it is, there's a limit. Most decision makers are busy running their businesses and are NOT waiting around for that new whitepaper. And that's what frustrates many marketers who are measured on generating leads immediately - they don't want to wait for the time it takes to build that relationship. So they shout louder with more emails and more whitepapers - and more noise.

I've not cracked the code. There's no magic tactic. And no one right way in a world of a million channels. You have to be human. You have to find the thread that matters and most of all be willing to take a few risks by being different than the rest.

Valeria,

This is along the right track. There is a symbiotic relationship with all of it. You need to have a great product, a great message about the product (so people will try it and/or use it to it's full potential), and the ability to reach the right people.

The over focus on the latter is where there is considerable disconnect. People think the message (content) doesn't matter or has less value than it used to, especially folks with a strong connection to SEO (e.g. especially those who generate the majority of their traffic from misspellings).

There reality is that none of this works alone. It requires a balance.

All my best,
Rich

"Content" is what you call it when you know, deep down inside, you don't believe it yourself. It's a generic, innocuous term used to subconsciously distance the self from being associated with obvious bullshit.

Content, much like brands, happens when you're actually doing something beyond flipping thin value to lowest common denominators in pursuit of profits. Are you producing "content" to sincerely help people live better lives - or to sell more useless crap we don't need?

If I buy a product or service which delivers on its promises to improve my life by providing real, long term value, I'll buy it. And because it's actually improved the quality of my life, I'm going to tell everyone I know about it.

Look at the iPhone! Apple doesn't need to market that thing at all. Millions upon millions of people in just America alone stand in line to buy them, knowing full well they have to (until recently) contractually obligate themselves to a company recognized as being one of the worst companies to do business with!

If Apple required a smack in the face and an insult prior to purchase, people would STILL line up and pay whatever price for the iPhone.

It makes me wonder... If the product isn't genuinely valuable, wouldn't it make sense to spend money improving the product, instead of spin doctoring "content?"

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