10/01/2010 02:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Have We Lost Touch With What Creates Premium Value?

At the "Future of Media Forum," all agreed that 95% of content "sucks".
There's an inscription above the Chautauqua Opera stage and the Chicago Fine Arts Building: "All Passes. Art Alone Endures." (A paraphrasing of a line from Ars Victrix, a poem by Henry Austin Dobson.)

Not all ideas were popular "in the day," but have become highly valued over time. For example, music, paintings, sculptures, stories, images, and words, like those above, may not have resonated when created, but their power to move us is timeless.

Enduring relevance gives us the confidence to assess a premium value to these treasures.

You could say that marketing and media professionals use many tactics to accelerate confidence-building in the premium value of ideas.

But some of these tactics may reduce confidence, and devalue perceived value. Here are some examples which I think serve to guide where not to go and where the opportunities for a better media and marketing marketplace are in the future:

  1. Aiming for popularity in lieu of endurance draws a comment like Yogi Berra's -- "nobody goes there anymore because it's just too crowded" -- instead of the respect which merits premium value.
  2. Although many claim that there's demand for choice, too much creates chaos. Chaos weakens confidence in decision-making and raises the value of order.
  3. When value requires an educator to be appreciated, endorsers are used as a shortcut. If the endorser is not educated and sincere, disappointed buyers will make re-educating a long and expensive challenge.
  4. When the innovation is less "newsworthy" than the outrageous tactics used to quickly get attention, perceived value of the innovation is diminished.
  5. When the benefit is aspirational -- as in social climbing -- rather than inspirational -- as in improving quality of life -- the premium value is trivialized.
  6. When youth is idolized in the absence of wisdom, perceived value will self-destruct.
  7. When a marketer interrupts a conversation instead of waiting for an invitation, the selling process will take longer.
  8. When a business takes information from a customer instead of asking a question, less value is gained for both parties.

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