We have effectively killed off the "X" Steps to "Anything" idea in marketing

2:49 PM

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Not long ago, maybe a year or so, there were a raft of blog posts written about, well, how to attract people to read your blog posts, and one of the main suggestions was to write posts about things that contained some number of steps:
  • 3 Steps to CRM success
  • 7 Steps to winning venture capital
  • 30 top lessons from ......... whatever ... I am already tired of thinking about it
In little more than a year it now seems that virtually everything that I read contains the phrase "X" Steps to "Something", heck I even did it on this post (hypocritical?). This of course shows the power of social networks for disseminating ideas as well as the power for ideas to became virtually useless in record time. In effect new ideas in marketing spread so fast that they lose all of their uniqueness in capturing people's attention.

So, what now, well here are 3 steps to ...... crap I almost did it again.

If you have a message break it down into parts, instead of talking about the steps try making a story out of it. As an example I wrote a blog post titled 3 signs your strategic plan is going to fail - if I wrote that post today I might say that "Once upon a time I worked at a company where we created a great plan and put it down in words, but Monday morning when we all got back to work I didn't know what the first step was and then I realized that I didn't know what anyone else was doing and that in the end the plan failed, so here is what I would do differently".

To me it's just more interesting to read it as a story or as a personal example than as a series of steps, after all I am not trying to assemble a chair from Ikea. I am trying to learn something and be captivated beyond a set of bullet points.

Now I know stories were all the rage a few years back and we probably killed that too but maybe it's time to bring them back? I guess I am just all stepped out for the moment.



Ed Loessi

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