Returning home after a day's content marketing conference in Brighton, I looked out of a train window as I sat on London Blackfriars and I was struck by just how similar most businesses now look.
Through the window of a train, glass-windowed offices towered above the River Thames and, amidst the twilit neon beauty, offered a voyeur's insight into the PC strewn office of the 21st century that looked more like a vivisection lab than a commercial office.
I had no idea what the people slumped over their terminals did for a living - office blocks are bereft of external signage and offer no clues as to what goes on within. The businesses might have been tea importers, insurance brokers, PR agencies, human rights lawyers or web design consultants - who knows?
As we move from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, increasingly, the buildings we work inside no longer offer clues about our commercial operations so are the things which are 'outside' our commercial premises now more important than ever?
Once inside an office block that looks pretty similar to an office block across the road or across the river, one business looks very much like another. In order to shine-out through the gloom we need to use the very people who make our enterprises different throughout our, websites, videos, photographs, brochures, posters, blogs and our social media accounts.
I've spent today at a content marketing conference in Brighton at which many trendy types in skinny jeans with silly company names ;-) and self-inflated job titles were exploring the difficulties of how to find sharable, likeable content online. It struck me, looking in through the windows of a London vivisection lab, that the answer's probably sitting right in front of you.
Put your people at the forefront of your social and website content marketing, show how they make a real difference and then we'll begin to demonstrate an authentic difference and a commercial edge.
Couldn't agree more Steve. It is more important than ever to "stand out from the crowd". You should shout and scream about what makes you different, and what you do for your customers.
I think that a lot companies use the mantra "we think our people are our most important asset" and then promptly fail completely to utilise that asset! People buy from people, so if all you see of a company are acres of glass, then punters will not buy. Simples!
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