It “IS” about the Context…

  • Posted on January 27, 2009 at 1:48pm

Time to embrace the chaos that is digital media. And, social media may very well be the only realistic option for marketers. Part of the challenges today involves anticipating where your message will land among the clutter. In the course of a communication experience, how will your message be received given the context of everything else around it?

It’s the Context, Stupid. More than a decade ago, Paul Saffo, then a fellow at the Institute for the future wrote, “The future belongs to neither the conduit or content players, but those who control the filtering, searching, and sense-making tools we will rely on to navigate through the expanses of cyberspace.” Paul was certainly correct, but he may have underestimated the consumer’s role in the filtering process.

Relevance has never been more important. So, how do you ensure relevant communications? First, know your target. Have an excavated understanding of what consumers need. Then look at when and where they will receive your message. How knowledge is discovered and applied will determine the outcome.

Digital messages can easily become disengaged across platforms. For example, digital messages within online formats are often unconnected and even ridiculous or offensive given the context of the content. Communication within targeted social environments will have, at least, established the first set of “relevant” principles…Purpose.

Source: Paul Saffo, forecaster and strategist and his work at The Long Now Foundation



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