Content Marketing, Learning, Evolution and Intelligence

If you look at things like this video, you’d think that technology is all bad. Oh my, how disconnected from reality we all are, right? (In case you’re at work or don’t have the time to watch: It’s a slam-poet dishing out an intelligent, well-built and touching view on the world we live in, and the way technology is changing it – and us.)

He makes a lot of good points. Our experience of the world is fast being stripped of things that used to be important.

Touch. Interaction. Hugs. Real-life friendships. It’s all so digital these days, isn’t it?

Yes, but there is another effect at work, and essentially we’re all being changed by it. I think it’s massive. Far bigger than the effect of the social and personal dissociation from reality that we as a culture are going through at this moment.

Back When Illiteracy Was The Norm

Let me take you back to a time 1000 years ago. Back then, literacy as we know it didn’t exist. Literacy was of the elite. And even more so, it belonged to the clergy. For hundreds of years, the only book you could find in every village was the Bible. And pretty much the only people who could read it – or who could read at all – were priests, and the few percent such as a mayor, a notary or a lawyer.

What we call illiteracy nowadays, was the norm until just fairly recently. Two hundred years ago, almost nobody could read. Fifty years ago, everyone you would know could read, with a few exceptions. Maybe.

Today, the relative percentage of people who not only read, but read a LOT, is growing each day. Once you connect to the internet and you have even the remotest interest in learning, you’re pretty much unstoppable, right?

I actually saw that happening with a friend. She’s 81, very smart, and a close friend. But she never used the internet. She thought it was silly, and a waste of time. Until I told her:

“But Helen, don’t you like to learn new things?”

Sold.

I went over to her house, set up a laptop for her and showed her how to operate the Google, and off she went. She now claims that she’s going through a second youth, with all this information at her fingertips.

The Hidden Secret Of Intellectual Evolution

One thing that I’ve not heard anyone really mention is that as a species, we are consuming more and more information every day – and consequently, a vast number of us are learning a lot more – and a lot faster than we ever have before.

Think about how that will change us over the next two or three generations.

It’s not really evolution I’m talking about. I’m talking about the people who are now young and learning: they are going to be a lot more informed when they get to be my age. They’ll be able to handle information ten times faster than I ever could.

And they’re going to raise their kids to see information and learning as fundamental aspects of daily life. You know, like eating and sleeping. And those kids will learn more, and faster, and their kids too, and so on.

We’re evolving. We came from wearing a pelt over our shoulders and browsing for berries to a way of life that is in many ways inert. Both physically as well as socially, we take things for granted and often choose the easy option. Phone call? Nah, I’ll just text him.

Sure that’s a loss. Then again, I prefer to see it as change. We always give up one thing to have another. Sacrifices are a fact of life.

You see where I’m going with this?

We’re becoming smart. As a species, we’re just dipping our toes into an intellectual revolution that is going to outscale the industrial revolution beyond imagination.

Don’t take this lightly. I know I’m guessing and hypothesizing, but you’ll agree that I’m on to something. How it will pan out I don’t know. It’s not my point, either.

The Day Evolution Made Marketing Ethical

Content marketing. Isn’t it great? Whether you write or put out videos, you have a chance to communicate with people, and more and more people are looking for real and valuable information. Even if it’s related to marketing. Even if it simply packages a pitch.

And the more valuable your message is to people, the more they will want to read it.

Teaching sells, anyone?

Absolutely. The more valuable information you provide, the more people will want to absorb of it, and the more likely a sale becomes, sooner or later.

And if you actually teach within your materials, the mechanism gets even more powerful.

That Gives Us A Responsibility

As entrepreneurs, marketers, business people, we have not only a chance to teach. We also have a chance to make education and the provision of information a core aspect of our business. We have a chance to see ourselves as precursors of a completely new attitude in business. Leaders in increased awareness and growth of intelligence.

I believe we need to redefine marketing as:

The effort to educate, so as to cause people to buy solutions

As such, I think ‘Business’ would be best defined as:

Making sure that the solutions people buy are as apt as possible to the problem they need to get solved

It may be a castle in the sky. Maybe I’m missing something. No wait, I’m most definitely missing things.

That doesn’t change a few facts though:

  • People are reading more, and videos are increasingly becoming educational. Who cares how you learn, as long as you learn?
  • Modern-day marketing works best if you not just exchange money for a service, but you actually teach people, or at the least give them valuable information.
  • People will be learning more and faster, generation after generation.
  • We will consume ever-increasing amounts of information and knowledge

I’m not writing laws. You work and sell the way you want to. But for me it’s clear: It’s my duty to help the furtherment of knowledge and intelligence in my work. Whether I write for myself or for a client, it’s got to always be aimed at helping our race forward.

Bit by bit, by tiny little bit.

How about you?

Comments

  1. I love thinking of myself as a teacher instead of a consultant.

    I see too many consultants go into a companies, tell their clients what to do, sell them some software then leave and have it all fall a to pieces.

    I think of a teacher as someone that doesn’t just impart wisdom, but helps bring the best out of a person. They teach people to think for themselves. Create a plan that works best for them. This is the most valuable part of our connected society. Everyone is now a teacher. We can pick and choose our mentors from any part of the world. It’s up to us to find the right teachers, so we can grow intellectually, spiritually and physically.

  2. Exaclty, Karl. I think it’s amazing to see how marketing is changing. Marketing itself is becoming more focused of being of value in and of itself – by teaching.

    The best lesson of course is always to teach people to buy the right thing, and not something that doesn’t solve their problem. That’s simply a matter of ethics – bullying or tricking someone into buying stuff they don’t need is nothing more than cheap tricks.

    So if you take that principle of ethics, and you increasingly make marketing built up out of valuable stuff, and you give it 20 years – where do you think we would end up?

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