Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Admit You're a Hack

In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative,
original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.

— David Ogilvy

Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, wants you to believe storytelling is hack work.

"I’m absolutely on board with storytelling as a content marketing device," he says. "But just because you understand story arcs and can riff on Joseph Campbell doesn’t mean you’re now Francis Ford Coppola or William Faulkner. Content marketing is a job, not an art form."

I suspect Baer doesn't know that Faulkner, with over a dozen dependents to support, wasn't above sports writing, travel writing, and movie scriptwriting (he's credited for, among other films, 
The Big Sleep).

But I get Baer's point: marketing's kind of storytelling ain't art-making; it's hack work.

"I see more and more content marketers straying from this perspective," Baer says, "thinking that they are newfangled hybrid players, straddling the line between fine art and commerce. They are not.

"The only job that content marketing has is to create behaviors among target audiences that benefit the business. Content must prod behavior, or it’s a useless exercise."

Or, as
my agency's website says, "“It’s not creative unless it sells."
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