What if you live to 150?

A content marketing strategy and a business strategy might look different. But in one respect they should be identical: lifespan.

In her book, Why Him? Why Her?, biological anthropologist ((anthropologist = apologist for humankind? #lexicographypuns)) Helen Fisher asked this question:

“What will courtship, mate selection, family composition, and networks be like when we are all living for 150 years?”

To which my first response would be, What did these things look like when we were all living for 35 years? But maybe that’s because I just laid eyes on the classic, Sapiens, a highly narrative rendition of prehistoric human history. Clan of the Cave bears, except Jean Aul is a scientist. In Sapiens, you find the earliest examples of technology consulting, marketing, and team-based business development – if you squint hard enough.

Meanwhile, marketing and business development authority Blair Enns, has pledged never to retire, to die “with this boots on”, deeply enmeshed in his work. In his words:

“I now see the idea of retirement, in this age of the knowledge worker, as destructive. It causes us to put up with less than ideal circumstances today as we wait for our reward in the end, except the idealized reward of the retired life isn’t really what most of us want.” ((Only linking to this because it’s hard to find in search https://www.winwithoutpitching.com/no-exit/))

This represents a return to our prehistoric life-work approach, and I’m inclined to agree with Blair on this point; maybe that’s because my own dad is setting the example for me, continuing his life’s mission into his 80’s.

But Blair maybe has different reasons than his caveman ancestors to endorse “unretirement”: his work is his mission. He believes creative people should get their due in exchange for their contribution to creating value in the business world. 

Now, I am not telling anyone when to retire or not to retire.

But one takeaway from this is to think of your work as a long term mission and your marketing as the detailed explanations of what that mission is all about, why it exists, where it’s going. But the other takeaway is that we have time to make that mission happen. We have time to – and maybe you saw this coming – develop long-term content and content marketing strategies.

The job of the content marketing strategy is to help the current and future state of your business get better clients. It’s hard work and a lot of work, but less so if you divide up over several years.

This brings me to my second response to Helen Fisher’s question, “What will our life work, and our strategies that communicate it, look like when we are all living for 150 years?”.

Probably won’t look like “top 10 this” and “top 10 that” listicles and spending 2% of your annual revenue buying Facebook ads.

I think it’ll be easier to get a sense of what this means if I show you what a content marketing strategy actually looks like in practice. In my next post, I’m going to bring this discussion back down to earth a little bit and explore the anatomy of a content marketing-focused editorial calendar.

Yours truly,

PS. Programming note – going to be off work for a few days, so you’ll not hear from me until Monday! In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you 🙂