Ten things we’ve learnt in 10 years

Duke of Wellington

Aluminium.

Yes, we’ve found out that the traditional anniversary gift to mark 10 years is aluminium, or tin. We’re not going to send you something shiny and metal but can instead offer insight as to the 10 things these last 10 years have taught us.

1. Simplicity

Your message should be clear, direct and succinct.

Note to businesses – scores of B2B companies fail this test.

Note to young writers – spend waaaay more time thinking than typing.

2. Hope and fear

Like politics, you will be selling a way to avoid pain, or a path to a golden future.

Try to do both.

3. Client pain

Clients need to score bigly internally, they need to hit the numbers, they need a great campaign. Be the midwife to their success.

4. Identification has taken over from differentiation

Brands have long understood how to differentiate but the brands that thrive now are the ones that connect with people emotionally. So, invest in communicating a point of view.

5. Be fleet of foot like never before

Yup – the digital landscape is like the weather, ever-present and ever-changing. You need the capacity to create and respond at speed; let your only anchor be your brand thought.

6. Snore factor

Caution! No one will be as interested in what you do as much as (yes, you’ve got this) YOU.

Good content is really not about you. It’s about how you meet point Number 2.

7. What’s in it for me?

Amuse me. Engage me. You are now competing in a 280-character world.

8. It’s not just marketing teams

As a baby writer, I leant that sales teams do not care for weak work. They will let you know, often employing heavy sarcasm. Get it right, you will be garlanded and they might let you win at ten-pin bowling.

9. Words aren’t going anywhere

People, not bots, are still doing the reading, doing the reviewing, reading the reviewing, reading your response to the review. I could go on.

Words will be consumed long before your service or product.

10. You are in the publishing business

So, be prepared to doff your bicorn hat to the Duke of Wellington and his infamous: “Publish and be damned.”

As words matter as never before.