Why do marketers need to establish a Fair Exchange of Value in the content they create?

Kate Pluth

13 November 2019

The broadcast age is over. No longer does media spend buy access to attention. Today, one question matters: have you earned the right to connect your brand to customers?

Gone are the days when businesses could market a brand with a hard sell bought by relentless media spend; that approach has become tired as customers grow more skeptical of marketing messages.

Why? Well: the Internet Changes Everything.

With the Internet and proliferation of digital channels, customers can do more research, from more sources, and have become more discerning and more savvy—as a result, they are less likely to buy on faith.

Consider the finding from the Edelman Trust Barometer: trust in organizations plummeted from 2000 to 2017, from around 70 percent of people putting their trust in CEOs just 37 percent.

At the same time, content production is spiking—meaning an ever greater volume of content to be consumed—while attention span remains finite.

How to succeed in a landscape of content overload?

A report by BuzzSumo found that content publishing continues to grow at an accelerated rate, and ‘as topics become popular, there is often an explosion in published content which saturates the topic area.’ The report also found that engagement with content is on the decline—for example, sharing on social media channels is down 50 percent since 2015. However, ‘a relatively small minority of posts and sites consistently gain the majority of engagement.’ The tide has shifted: the digital age is the era of customers. They control what stories will rise to the top.

As a result, brands need to think about the same dynamic in their content: this means understanding what their customers want to hear and incorporating that into the content they produce.

Do not simply describe products, features, and benefits—show value. Share useful experiences to inform, entertain, and engage the customer.

In an age when customers have access to vast amounts of data about your company and its competitors, the value of delivering content-rich experiences can develop emotional connections that translate into loyalty and advocacy.

Like any relationship, it starts with attention, then interest, and eventually trust.

Finding common ground between brands and customers

If brands are clear about what their audience wants, they will find the common ground that is key to a successful conversation. Think of that common ground as ‘mutual resonance’ – the sweet spot where a brand can meaningfully engage in conversation with their audience. This territory is where a brand can offer a Fair Exchange of Value with its audiences.

Establishing a Fair Exchange of Value through mutual resonance naturally supports broader digital transformation programs. It provides an evidence-based foundation for improving customer experiences, which should in turn inform the people, process, and technology needed to deliver those experiences.

At Metia, the notion of a Fair Exchange of Value is embedded in everything we do, to the extent that we have been able to quantify it.

The Metia Content Resonance System

Metia utilizes a unique set of proprietary data-capture tools and linguistic-research techniques, which aggregate large volumes of data from multiple online sources to accurately represent conversation themes and topics.

This approach is called the Content Resonant System (CRS). It allows us to help our clients create those fair exchanges of value frameworks and build trusted relationships.

Smart marketers need to grab the opportunity to deliver mutual benefits to their customers, and signal they are likely to be a trustworthy business partner. Because, no matter what side of the deal your on—it’s the best way to do business.