With evil strains of content marketing thankfully dead and buried under a putrefied mountain of deceptive native advertising, sponsored clutter and link bait landfill, marketers are turning to the new ‘c’ word in marketing – convenience. Rather than shill products in low-grade marketing effluent, why not make people’s lives easier, help them buy time and save effort?
Look at Apple. Don’t be bedazzled by the A/W 2014 fashion show of skinny models with big screens - iPhones, iPads, and iMacs. Between skin deep size-zero iGizmos on the runway, Apple revealed a convenience-powered game changer as part of the iPhone 6, Apple Pay. Quickly launched in the US, Apple Pay is like an app store for the world, allowing cashless and cardless transactions instore and online for anything at the touch of a screen. Using biometric fingerprint security, Apple Pay is Cupertino’s take on the electronic wallet and, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, represents a “dagger to the heart” of card payments.
Apple Pay represents Apple’s take on a big disruptive trend – ‘convenience tech’; tech designed to buy us time and save us effort. Made popular by the spectacular rise of the uber-convenient app-based taxi service Uber, convenience tech is the current darling of business innovation, with a myriad of Uber style convenience startups receiving funding for everything from on demand massage to marijuana. Apple Pay is testament to the rise of convenience tech as the new black in business. Like Uber and Uber-clones, Apple Pay doesn’t allow you to do anything new, nor does it make what you do cheaper; instead it removes the hassle factor involved with doing stuff you already do. With Apple Pay there’s no rummaging in a bag, pocket or wallet for cards or cash, there’s no waking up a phone or opening an electronic wallet app, there are no codes, pin or security numbers. You don’t even have to look at the screen - simply touch the fingerprint reader on your phone when you’re ready to pay online, or when you’re close to a contactless payment station instore and you’re done. By making what we already do easier and faster, Apple Pay adds value by reducing two of the three costs involved with any transaction - time and effort.
As digital marketers, we should take note and inspiration from the world of ‘convenience tech’. The aggregators and price comparison sites are ahead of the game here – buying us time and saving us effort. You don’t have to sell for less, sell anything new, or resort to selling deceptively (yes, content marketing zombies, we’re looking at you) – just help people buy time and save effort. In today’s busy and accelerated world, where 100 per cent effort is needed simply to standstill, any marketing that buys us time and saves us effort will hit a home run. People don’t want our content; they want convenience. That’s why convenience tech is the new black in innovation, and why Apple Pay is something that should inspire us all.