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(In)Actionable Content is King

Stop thinking for me.
March 12, 2021

1996: “Content is King”

2016: “Actionable Content is King”

2026: “Inactionable Content is King”

Have you been on Clubhouse lately? It’s all the same conversation over and over. Landing pages, conversion optimization, Shopify plugins. The same bag-of-tricks, drive-by, site-critique, teardowns every day of the week. Attend enough of them and you start to realize how shallow the knowledge of B2B content marketing experts really is. The problem: they’re peddling tactics, devoid of strategy.

Strategy itself sits at bottom of the Purpose Pyramid. To have a valid strategy you need goals to measure its success, and those goals are formed out of a singular vision. Very few in the world of eCommerce talk about how to vision-cast.

Figure 1: I bought an iPad and installed Procreate so expect more pyramids.

Commerce evolves and changes, tactics go in and out of fashion, so actionable content becomes dated. For actionable content to actually drive value, the context in which it’s applied has to be appropriate. All this B2B thought leadership has robbed people of the ability to think for themselves. It’s deprived otherwise brilliant people the joy of having neural pathways spontaneously connecting. It’s created an echo chamber of “DTC Experts” who are, in actuality, landing page optimizers.

So I’m toying with a new campaign here at Future Commerce: no more actionable insights. Stop thinking for me. Instead, teach me how to think. Remind me that curiosity drives inspiration, and inspiration begets insight. Ask me how I came to believe something enough times that I begin to question whether I believe it or not. 

And if you can do that while entertaining me, even better.

What’s the top-three takeaways from this article? There aren’t three. There isn’t even one. Why? Because not everything has to have a specific, actionable, takeaway for it to have a reason to exist. Let’s bring about the era of inaction; the era of contemplation, and wonder.

I’m tired of people thinking for me. Aren’t you?

— Phillip

NFTrillionaires. Digital collection is on the rise and NBA Top Shot moment owners are now trying to decide what to do with their millions. Video clips of LeBron James are being purchased for over $71K, and owners are getting offered $100K for a single moment. And there seems to be continued potential in this market.

This week the prolific internet artist Beeple sold an NFT work at Christie’s for $69.4M (say it with us: ‘meeleeyon’ in your best Dr. Evil voice). Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT, and then converted it to Bitcoin, threatening to break the internet in the sheer hype-on-hype-on-hype nature of it all.

Shopping is Entertainment. Walmart hosted a live beauty product shop-along on TikTok. The event featured popular TikTok creators showing their favorite products. Viewers could add products to their cart throughout the live stream. This is why Walmart will exist forever.

DTC but make it Plungers. “Many hands makes light work” is this latest DTC launch’s slogan. Meet your Staff invites you to plunge, scrub, and baste with delight, as your everyday tools smile back at you through the good times and the bad. Because who likes to do chores alone?

Only a post-covid world has people so starved for companionship that they need to plunge the hairiest of dumps with their friends. Either that, or maybe lay off the protein-loaded ramen everyone keeps tweeting about.

The future of health. Linear Commerce has come for healthcare. The Weeknd is investing in Forward healthcare, along with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. industry long in need of it, with its state of the art facilities boasting genetic testing and real-time blood testing. Forward skips the insurance, opting instead for monthly memberships, and it's doctor-led programs focus on immediate health as well as long-term plans.

Palate x Palette. A rising trend in food-related makeup palettes make you feel hungry, amused, and kinda grossed out at the same time. But we can’t seem to look away. Hip Dot cosmetics is prepping for Easter with their Peeps mashup. And the e.l.f x chipotle palette will probably be sold out by the time you read this.

Shameless plug. Check out our very own Brain Lange as he highlights our Vision 2021 report and doles out his predictions on the future of consumer behaviors and post-Covid’s retail in his interview with Total Retail Talks.

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