Brilliant Reads: adapting to scepticism, the real value of your content, and the things machines can’t do

Welcome to Brilliant Reads. In this edition, we have stories about adapting to the new age of scepticism, calculating the real value of your content, and the things machines can’t do.

Adapting to the age of scepticism (The Economist)

This Economist piece asks us to ‘spare a thought for the poor admen’ (and by extension marketers in general) who are struggling to adapt to the rise of scepticism among consumers.

The average Westerner sees a logo (sometimes the same one repeatedly) around 3,000 times each day—it’s hardly surprising that we’re becoming jaded. Respect for and faith in brands has eroded: we check prices and reviews online when we’re in stores; we see the word ‘free’ and look for a catch; in a recent survey where 134,000 consumers in 23 countries were asked what they thought of 700 brands, the majority said they wouldn’t care if 73% of the brands in question vanished.

Acknowledging this scepticism has led to shift in strategy for some companies. While brands used to do everything possible to convey authority and reliability, they are now more interested in marketing themselves in a way that makes them seem more like a friend, and earned media and word of mouth recommendations from friends, family and news articles are held in high esteem.

Image credit: dok1

The content value equation (Brilliant Noise)

In this post, Katie looks at the importance of really getting to grips with the ROI your content delivers.

She explains that there are two parts to the equation: 1. The value of the content to the user and to the organisation. 2. The cost of sourcing, creating, publishing and maintaining that content. Both parts are key, because how can you accurately calculate the return if you haven’t fully quantified the investment?

She suggests giving your content process a ‘barium meal’ so that you can see the exact journey your content takes from inception to publication. This process can be very illuminating and will help you to identify duplication or inefficiencies in the process.

Image credit: eriwst

What machines can’t do (New York Times)

We’re in an age of brilliant technology, of driverless cars and computer chess, but there are still things machines can’t do, and certain human skills are becoming more valuable as a result.

Having a great memory, or being able to perform mental activities that involve following a set of rules will cease to be as valuable as these are the kinds of tasks that machines can take over. In contrast, enthusiasm, curiosity and strategic discipline, and the ability to come up with procedural architectures are becoming more highly-prized.

Introducing the latest Noisette, David Preece (Brilliant Noise)

We’re very excited to introduce you to David Preece, the newest member of Team Brilliant Noise, who joined us last week as a digital strategist.

Making your office like a city (Gigaom)

This article looks at a very new way of designing an office, to make a more like a city than a traditional place of work

The five best punctuation marks in literature (Vulture)

Lest we forget that punctuation is vital for form as well as function in our writing.