“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” -- George Bernard Shaw.
Daniel Pink’s book "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future" brought to light the changing landscape in which we all can expect to perform. He outlines why the work of left-brain (or left-directed, as he prefers to call it) thinkers -- such as engineers, accountants and lawyers -- can be commoditized and outsourced to people in other countries at a fraction of what American companies currently pay.
And it should feel that way. Because what Pink talks about isn’t just a phenomenon for engineers, accountants and lawyers, it applies directly to how we’re used to thinking as marketers. We’ve focused on left-directed thinking as it relates to data, analytics and precision and often don’t make decisions without referring to the numbers first. Right-directed thinkers, on the other hand, can process multiple ideas at once and come to a conclusion quickly. They like metaphors, context and meaning.
While we've relied on left-directed thinking for decades, a right-directed approach is emerging. No longer can we drown our audiences with rationale, but instead need to create impact by humanizing the problem.
The very fact that companies generate more content already makes content’s impact less significant. For businesses, you can’t just produce content, you have to have something provocative to say. To be honest, this should have always been the case, but wasn't necessarily so, because there was less competition for people’s attention.
This is where the left-right perspective comes into play. The marketing world we’re shedding is the left-directed here’s-why-you-should-listen-to-me approach. It’s doesn’t matter how thick the piles of data are that you rely on, you have to think differently.
This is where the right-directed brain comes in. It looks for meaning and wants to put things into broader context. It’s why content marketing that speaks to an audience like they’re humans -- not numbers -- and understands their pain proves so effective.
Artful content marketing doesn't start with a template for a process. It requires looking at the world with a different point of view, challenging what we see and then bringing context and meaning to the big picture.
In the past few centuries, we've moved from the agriculture age to the industrial and information ages and now we’re in the conceptual age. We’re seen a shift in the types of characteristics we expect in marketers -- fewer product-oriented, single focus individuals to conceptual, multi-dimensional agile thinkers. It’s what’s required for content marketers to do a good job.