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The Weekly Wrap: Don’t Fear the Unsatisfying Ending

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending Sept. 6, 2019

This week I’ve been thinking about Content Marketing World … about whether the story has a satisfying ending … about how to shake up traditional approaches to marketing … about getting involved in societal issues … and about what we can learn from brands leading with purpose.

Listen to the Weekly Wrap

I hope you’re enjoying the new format and length. Leave a comment below or tweet us with the hashtag #WeeklyWrap. Let’s wrap it up:

  • One deep thought (2:08): Audiences expect the obligatory scene – a climactic moment that brings the story to an ending. The hero makes a death-defying escape. The verdict rocks the courtroom. A romance is sacrificed for the greater good. Yet, as brands infuse societal causes and greater purpose into their stories, satisfying conclusions are likely an exception rather than a rule. I argue that – however uncomfortable it can be – embracing open-ended conclusions can make our stories better.
However uncomfortable it is, embrace open-ended stories, says @Robert_Rose. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

  • One fresh take on the news (8:48): This week I’m sharing some commentary I absolutely loved from Kristen Colonna, chief strategy officer for agency OMD. In the Adweek piece, called 3 Ways We Can Shake Up Traditional Approaches to Marketing, Kristen muses about the makeup of modern connection and communication and “the biggest challenge our industry faces today: how to create meaningful consumer experiences that drive real brand value.” I’ll explain exactly why this article rang so true for me. It has nothing to do with data but everything to do with insights and ideals.
  • One person making a difference in content (14:00):
    This week, I talk with my friend Jeff Fromm, president of FutureCast, subject matter expert, and professional speaker on consumer trends and brand strategy. He has worked all over the world – well, not Antarctica. Jeff’s a contributing writer for Forbes and author of four books: Marketing to Millennials, Millennials with Kids, Marketing to Gen Z, and (his latest) The Purpose Advantage. Jeff led the first large, public-facing study of millennials in a partnership with the Boston Consulting Group in 2010-11. He serves on the board of directors at Three Dog Bakery. Jeff graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and attended The London School of Economics.

Jeff and I dig deep into the definition of “purpose” vs. “a purpose advantage,” Patagonia’s shift from “do no harm” to a “protect and defend” approach, and how purpose fits into the overall business model (hint: it’s not charity, it’s strategy). Listen for Jeff’s great insights, then get to know him better by:

Purpose isn’t charity, it’s a strategic business model, says @Robert_Rose. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet
  • One content marketing idea you can use (28:20): After that inspiring talk with Jeff, I encourage you to read (or revisit) this related article by our own Kim Moutsos: 3 Purpose-Marketing Lessons From Innovative Brands. My favorite insight from this article (spoiler alert) is the importance of reporting on the difference you’re making together. It’s a great reminder that the purpose story isn’t one and done, it’s ongoing. If you’re tackling anything important, you’re working toward something, not necessarily solving it. If you’re interested in purpose-driven marketing or brands, make sure to check this one out.
The purpose story isn’t one and done. It’s ongoing, says @Robert_Rose. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

The wrap-up

Tune in next week for one idea you can live by, one news item you can live with, one  person making you want to live up to something, and one practical content tip you can use. And it’s all delivered in a little less time than it takes most people to confuse Memorial Day and Labor Day.

If you like this weekly play on words, we’d sure love for you to review it and share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

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

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute