For a Stronger Content Strategy — Begin With Purpose

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I remember reading about Norman Cousins. He developed a serious illness in the seventies and received a poor recovery prognosis. Convinced of the power of positive emotions, he used humor and laughing to support his recovery. He rented funny TV shows and movies. This experience was the basis for his popular book, Anatomy of An Illness.

TEDTalks are part of my therapy today. Mostly because of their incredible inspirational value.

Right at the top of the most popular TEDTalks is Simon Sinek. Sales and marketing must go beyond delivering information to customers. We’re about inspiring action. In this vein, all marketing and sales professionals should be familiar with this landmark talk, Start with Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

When organizations develop their content strategy, and begin with purpose – theirs and their audience’s purpose – the work is less daunting and results are more effective. This is not a guarantee to reach the level of inspiring. It is a better way to frame messages and stories that will resonate with audiences, and have a better chance of producing favorable action.

 

An Example of Begin With Purpose

The insights shared in this talk were reinforced during my drive to work today. WBUR, our local NPR station, presented a story about companies setting up gardens at work for employees. Say what?

You can read the Water Corn: Companies Embrace Gardens here. They quoted Judith Frampton, a vice president at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, saying the company tries to promote healthy eating, and the garden helps do that.

“The main reason we did it was because we are totally serious about trying to figure out how to get people to be healthier before they get sick,” she says.

When messages like this come from a “stand” — the “Why” of the business — they resonate and stick far better than those that discuss the “What” or even the “How.” The best way to figure this out is to begin with purpose.

When content strategy emanates from a core purpose and intent, then language, messages and content align in ways that attract the best customers and partners.