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Patience Wearing Thin? How to Fatten it Up [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending May 15, 2020

This week I’m wondering how to fatten up patience when it’s wearing thin. I point to a new study that says media buyers and brands have paused their ad spend. Copyblogger founder Brian Clark joins me again to talk about how to avoid letting empathy become an empty buzzword. And I point you to a long-term playbook for content marketing success.

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Our theme this week … wait for it …. wait for it – that’s the theme.

Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: The surprising art (and power) of patience (3:35)

We have a strange relationship with patience. We’re told patience is a virtue – that the ability to calmly wait for something without becoming upset is a trait of a good person.

But we’re also taught that impatience is a motivator to innovation. We applaud entrepreneurs who invent better ways to do things because they couldn’t accept the inefficient processes required to complete some task.

When being asked to have patience, you can be sure you’re being asked to tolerate some discomfort:

  • “All our operators are busy; we appreciate your patience.”
  • “You’ve met all the requirements for the promotion, but we’re not ready to promote you yet. Be patient.”
  • “I know you want to get back to normal. Now is not the time. Be patient.”

So, is patience just an attitude? A tolerance for discomfort?

Of course not.

Patience isn’t just waiting for things to get better. It’s not a psychological game of grin and bear it. It’s not suppression.

Patience is a power, an art, that gives you an advantage when practiced well.

Buddhists speak of patience as kshanti, which is a combination of patience (sitting through discomfort), forbearance (restraint), and forgiveness. In this idea, patience is the art of knowing that things will change – but not knowing how or when – and being OK with living in the wonder of the question. Put simply: Patience is the art of knowing how to wait.

Patience is the art of knowing how to wait, says @Robert_Rose via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

A week or so ago, I was speaking with a marketing executive who was getting antsy about his ability to get things moving with his team. The current crisis (and directives from senior management) compelled him to wait. But waiting was making him impatient and angry.

I suggested he ask himself two questions. The first was whether he’s emotionally holding on to something that waiting would make less likely (preconceived growth goals that waiting would make less achievable, for example). The second question was whether there are times in activities during the waiting period when he isn’t fully present.

The anger and discomfort associated with impatience point to answers of yes. People get angry when they’re attached to things that are becoming less likely. Often, that makes them less present for tasks happening in the meantime.

Put simply: It can be really hard to enjoy the book you’re reading in the waiting room when your doctor is running 90 minutes late for your appointment.

In this segment, I explain why choosing to be more patient is a gift you can give yourself.

A fresh take on paid and owned media spend (11:50)

Thanks to Jake Sanders for pointing out this interesting AdAge story (available to subscribers only): More Than a Third of Media Buyers and Brands Have Now Paused Their Ad Spend.

The article points to a new Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report that says 82% of media planners and brands surveyed are “adjusting or pausing ad spend for the second quarter, up from 74% when compared to the same time last month.” The findings are based on responses from almost 300 media planners and brands between April 15 and 21. The same survey was conducted a month earlier.

The article also mentions how marketers are turning to digital channels to be able to quickly adjust messaging and creative, and points to one (sort of) bright spot: 18% of respondents said they’re reallocating ad dollars earmarked for sports to esports, which has seen a rise in viewers.

Of course, that also means 82% aren’t reallocating those sports dollars to esports.

I went directly to the research to look at the numbers more closely. In the IAB report, you can see that of those marketers who advertise with sports, the 18% are reallocating only a small bit (about 11%) of budget.

What struck me is that the IAB study doesn’t really say what businesses pausing their ad spend are doing instead. Are they just not spending? Are they diverting more money to the web?

There are no answers here. It’s a chance for us to be a bit patient and see whether the money moves toward content and owned media.

Remember, as you figure the mix for paid and owned media, the whole point is to figure out where you can have the biggest impact on your customers’ perception of value. In a time like this, it might make sense to put some of that money into your long-term investments.

This week’s person making a difference in content: Brian Clark, Part 2 (17:20)

This week we have the conclusion of my two-part interview with Brian Clark. If you missed the first half, you can listen to it here.

Brian Clark is a writer, traveler, entrepreneur, and the founder of the pioneering content marketing website Copyblogger, the personal growth newsletter Further, and the podcast Unemployable, a resource that provides smart strategies for freelancers and entrepreneurs.

This week, Brian and I talk about the real meaning of empathy and the danger of forgetting that you are not your audience.

Here’s a snippet from Brian:

I’ve always advocated that you have to be a member of a group before you can lead it. We talk often about empathy to the point where I’m afraid it’s just another buzzword like storytelling has become. You hear people parroting that stuff, but they’re not living it. You have to live the story you’re telling.

You have to live the story you’re telling, says @BrianClark via @cmicontent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in, then get more from Brian:

One content marketing idea you can use (31:54)

The one post on the CMI site I’d love for you to read or take another look at is an article in CCO by Pace Creative Group founder Stefanie Curtis: Do You Have a Playbook for Long-Term Success?

It’s a great idea during this time when we’re thinking about creating foundational strategies. Here’s a bit from the introduction: “You can’t fake great teamwork. But you can steal a few collaboration secrets from an agency that’s achieved big wins with an approach that aligns goals, clarifies processes, and strengthens quality. Take a page from its playbook on how to turn a successful campaign into a sustainable model for team excellence.”

I hope you’ll check it out.

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The wrap-up

Join us again next week for one deep thought that’ll make you feel like you’re getting a present from a psychiatrist (it’s shrink-wrapped). I’ll share a news item from a surgeon (so you know it made the cut). And I’ll point you to one content marketing tip that has something in common with an organ transplant (it delivers). By the way, did you know dogs can’t operate an MRI machine … but CAT scan? As usual, it’ll all be delivered in a little less time than it takes to get into a Facebook argument over whether Michael Jordan was kind of a jerk.

If you have ideas for what you’d like to hear more of on our weekly play on words, let us know in the comments. And if you love the show, we’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute