Remarkability: A Digital Marketing Cliché
‘Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable’ is the subtitle of Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, a book in which the core message is: ‘something remarkable is worth talking about’. It is also very apparent in Inbound Marketing, by Halligan and Shah, where the silver bullet of both business and content strategy is remarkability: ‘Beyond a remarkable value proposition, you must create remarkable content about your company and products…’ Being a believer in this treatise, optimistic SEO speaker Rand Fishkin constantly alludes to it, while Jim Collins’ point that ‘Good is the enemy of great’ from his book Good to Great is something that gives this added weight.
I find Godin, Shah and Halligan’s beat of the remarkable drum rather too easy – ‘be remarkable and you will succeed, be mediocre and you will fail.’ The problem is these reads won’t give you much of a clue of how to achieve remarkability, just that you have to do it. For most marketers create a ‘remarkable product’ or create ‘remarkable content’ is out of reach. They normally lack the ability to make it happen within an organisation, or the skills and resources – thus I find the concept one of the most unactionable around. Being remarkable helps in many business contexts, whether it be career building, product development and communications strategy, but unfortunately so few people can invest the time and resources to make it happen. Beyond the chaos and pressure of the office, few people have the thinking space to make it happen. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how hard you work – getting beyond your objectives to remarkable just seems out of reach.
Something I also find somewhat confusing about remarkability, is that it’s an old mantra dressed into something new. Unique Selling Points have been around since the 1940s – isn’t a USP what makes your product remarkable? And Positioning is a concept of at least appearing remarkable through providing a point of difference. Remarkability is one of the oldest marketing concepts of all and has simply been repackage for digital.
This post is part of the Digital Marketing Clichés series. See the other posts below: