Do you speak Manga
“Noone reads any more!”, said the 12 year old defiantly. As the author of an upcoming book “Marketing Without Money” I certainly hope she’s wrong.

The fact is, the way we consume content is very different. There are audiobooks, podcasts, webtoons and videos to deliver content in the method you prefer.

We had a dyslexic team member at Paul Writer. She created some amazing training material that incorporated video clips – thereby elegantly side-stepping her inability to write traditional powerpoint decks. Neurodivergence – and its ability to contribute to the workplace – is rarely talked about. A rare exception being Zomato which discussed cognitive diversity when creating its Board.

I have recently arrived on Instagram (@jessiepauloninsta). I find it rather hard to think in that format. I have a newfound sympathy for those who struggle to write!

I grew up reading Archie comics. The Riverdale video series on Netflix is so far removed from the comics that I wonder why they bothered to license it. But I digress. The point is that comics existed because it was the most effective form of visual storytelling in that era. Not any more.

Have you looked at KrossKomics? Sort of like Mills and Boons meets web comics. Again, technology makes this format work. They are simple stories told with a minimum of text in a vertical format – easy for scrolling on your phone. Very basic literacy is sufficient. Move over Chetan Bhagat – your books are too complex. (Yeah, who would’ve thunk I’d say that!) Plus, these web toons can be consumed in under an hour and so you need around 8 of them to fill the vacuum left by one book! This is content at scale.

Writing was the most compact and lowest tech way to communicate. You filled in the gaps with your imagination. But now that we can use richer media, is it time to reconsider how we communicate?

18 months into the video meeting economy and I still find so many people unwilling to switch on video for any part of the call. Why are we doing telephone calls on a video platform?! The answer, mostly, is that we’re using to doing things a certain way.

That holds true for marketing communication too.

Here are questions that you should ask yourself for every unit of communication:

  1. Is it making best use of the media? Posting the same format on LinkedIn and Instagram does not work.
  2. Does your content appear in all formats? Like video, audio, text, graphics
  3. Do you have content in different lengths? The insta crowd likes things in 30 second bytes while there are still those who want to dive into text.
In order to have a diverse portfolio of content, you also need to reconsider your team skillsets. Here are some things to consider:
  1. Do you have a gender mix?
  2. Is your team inter-generational?
    It should somewhat reflect your audience mix as preferred media and influencers vary quite dramatically across demographics now.
  3. Do you have neurodiversity?
    Given the current educational system, people who think visually do not always score academically – so you may have to rethink your recruitment criteria to get someone who thinks in audio, video or cartoon format.
On holiday in Greece last week, I was thrilled to find I could read some of the ancient inscriptions thanks to high school math symbols. Content that is readable for 2000 years! We can only dream.
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Jessie Paul is the Founder and CEO of Paul Writer, a firm she founded in early 2010 to raise the bar for marketing in India. Previously, as Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro’s IT business and as Global Brand Manager at Infosys, Jessie has been recognized for her contribution towards putting the Indian IT industry on the global map. With over 18 years in services marketing, including a stint with Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Jessie is considered an expert in brand globalization and has been named one of the most influential business women in the Indian IT industry.

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