Brilliant Reads: chaos, meaning, and connecting ideas

Welcome to Brilliant Reads. This week we’re bringing you chaos, meaning, and a conference about connecting ideas.

Advertising is chaos

Image credit: derrickcollins Image credit: derrickcollins

Advertising is chaos ‘and it’s only going to get worse’ – that was the message from Unilever CMO Keith Weed at the Cannes Lions festival. He said that marketing has changed more in the past five years than it did in the 25 years prior, and marketers are struggling to adapt. He identified three core challenges:

  1. Mobile – people are consuming more content than ever on mobile devices, but marketers don’t yet have an easy way to reach them.
  2. Talent – marketing is finding it harder to attract creative talent. Historically, creative talent gravitated towards agencies, but the tech industry is now attracting some of those people who might otherwise have gone into advertising or marketing.
  3. Scale – as technology continues to drive audience fragmentation, brands are being forced to hire specialists dedicated to a wide range of different channels.

In search of meaningful

Image credit: kozumel Image credit: kozumel

In this post, Seth Godin looks at the trade-off between traffic and attention (something we discussed in our recent Vision Gap webinar) in the light of the recent New York Times innovation report

Seth suggests that many people have ‘Buzzfeed Envy’ because they aren’t matching the site’s huge success in terms of the ‘goldrush for attention’.

He says that organisations should acknowledge that they can’t win this game, and instead should think about other measures of success, and approaches to publishing. He asks three questions:

  1. Are you generic?  Do any of the people writing for you have a singular voice that’s recognisable and a draw on its own? These kinds of voices are worth holding on to, because they take their audience with them if they leave. Buzzfeed doesn’t focus on individual authors, the style of content itself is the brand, but not all organisations can or should emulate this approach
  2. Is it for the reader or the search engine?  One subscriber is worth 1,000 surfers, so write to attract people’s attention in the long-term, not search traffic in the short-term.
  3. Would I miss it if it were gone? It’s not possible to be important to everyone, but it is possible to become important to a small group of people, by producing something that’s meaningful to them.

Announcing Dots, a conference about connecting ideas

dots blog post

We’re excited to announce that tickets are now on sale for Dots, our brand new innovation conference on 3rd September, part of Brighton Digital Festival

Dots is about connecting ideas. Innovation happens when things are brought together in fresh ways. Ideas from outside of your field can make a profound impact when brought into step with existing practice. Dots is about sharing and celebrating ideas that have been created by connecting things in new ways, as well as the people who connect them.

If you buy your ticket now, you’ll get an early bird discount of £75 – sign up here.

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report redesigned

Presentation designer Emiland is a big fan of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends reports. However, he felt the slides didn’t do the information in them justice, so he redesigned them. The result looks great and helps make Mary’s valuable insights clearer – whether you’ve seen the original report or not, it’s worth a look.

The Brilliant Noise Podcast

We’ve just launched a Brilliant Noise podcast – the first episode is on digital transformation, and features speakers from Forrester Research Inc. and TUI Travel. More episodes are in the pipeline, so subscribe on iTunes to get the next instalment.

Inside an Amazon warehouse

This feature from Wired gives you a tour of one of Amazon’s vast 1.2m square foot warehouses, where goods are sorted, stored and prepared for delivery.