There's never been a better time for brands to embrace the role of Editor in their marketing. In fact, every brand needs an Editor – today.
Gimme Media Shelter
The past 15-20 years of big consumer media disruption, consolidation, decline and channel proliferation have certainly created a dystopia for many of our gifted editors who long held the standard for audience care and advocacy amidst commercial media's profit pursuit. In no position to "strike" and escape to sheltered valleys (folks gotta eat!), many editorial creatives successfully made their way into the world of branded content. Others remained in shrunken newsrooms, albeit to faithfully sustain and deliver news and stories still “fit to print" in a digitally-dominated world.
The role of Editor in the commercial "content" world has been less of a precious and independent audience defender, but to meet with the strategist to form the point of view, reasons and best means to serve their audiences. But, alas, these audiences are customers and prospects of sponsoring brands and media owners themselves - who must sell and generate an ROI on the investment. The best editors in the creative content space have embraced the idea of reconciling audience objectives and business objectives in delivering experiences that create value, utility and service to the customer while supporting the brand’s business.
Remember the Titans
While today’s Editor needn’t bear the weight of the heavens, brand stewards and communicators do well to imbed the role within their marketing and give them a good seat at the table. Meeting audiences (humans) in dozens of channels and touchpoints on whatever machine-learned “purchase journey” or “loyalty loop” requires the customer-centric sensibility and context the skilled Editor brings to serving the audience at the right time and place.
The Editor – however titled within creative content, CX and marketing functions – is the source of empathy, the voice of the customer, and the facilitator of engagement that leads to ROI. Today's Editor understands channels and platforms and hones her/his craft accordingly to create the content types in formats that serve in context.
We at Empathy/CX grew up in a cottage industry where content marketing became a thing – on the backs of skilled editors and creators. A thing big enough where the Olympians of the ad world have taken notice and entered the convergence party. As of late, we’ve heard too much of a whitewash in that “edit is just copy…” It’s not that simple. Editors became Content Directors, then Creative Directors and some are now referred to as "Copy."
Mr. Ogilvy taught the world that great copy sells. It does. It’s an art form in itself, and Ogilvy knew it to be about the audience, as well. While it’s a 140-character, 15-second world in which audiences consume content, agency leaders take the Editor (text and visual) for granted at their own – and their clients’ – peril.
At Empathy/CX, the role of Editor is paramount to our success in creating great content experiences that serve audiences and create value for our clients’ businesses. We also know the value of tight, engaging copy in connecting with audiences.
We just don’t see the functions as one in the same.