Last week, I attended the Denver Digital Summit. It's a two-day event held across the country that brings tons of speakers in the digital space to hold workshops. The workshops were organized as successive, 30-minute sessions. I attended a total of 14 sessions. It was a packed schedule.
On the whole, I would give the content presented a B. As with any conference, there were some average sessions and some excellent sessions. But the sessions that I got the most out of were more conceptual than tactical and stressed the importance of focus and quality.
The conference kicked off with well-known inspirer and thinker in the marketing space, Seth Godin. His presentation was excellent. The focus—niche down. He proposed the idea that to grow a successful business, it's no longer about satisfying the masses, but instead wow-ing the niches you serve. He encouraged the audience to establish a brand that people can define themselves by—create a business that empowers its customers to say "People like us do things like this" and cultivate a tribe.
To do that, your business must focus on selling, not to the majority or average buyer, but to the enthusiasts. I relate what Seth discussed to the chasm. Instead of selling to the early and late majority, double down on delighting the innovators, and early adopters and success will follow.
On the second day, I attended a session with Mina Seetharaman of the Economist Group. She spoke on the topic of Thought Leadership Content. In a world of content marketing, there's an abundance of guides, whitepapers, research, etc. Everyone is attempting to be a thought-leader. She challenged the audience to think more in terms of "Thought Partners" and suggested that execs report a gap in the quality of the content they are reading.
It seems that there isn't enough truly innovative, big picture, credible, and transformative content. Content receivers are exhausted by the volume of information available and becoming weary of "thought-leaders" If you're going to take the content marketing and thought leadership approach, you have to level-up. Trust is established through the quality or nature of the research and whether the data is credible. It's necessary to be a thought partner, not a thought leader and provide thoughts and ideas that go beyond current thinking.
In summary, stop selling to the average customer and stop creating average content. Create transformative content that benefits your tribe.