To Curate or Not to Curate

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I know the rest of you won’t believe this, but the answer to the question is staring us all in the face. It is simply one word – but what an important one: marketing. No adjective required. What is all the hype about the need for categorization? It is confusing at best. So, as we continue to read about content marketing I am tempted to ask, “Isn’t this just marketing after all?” Really, what is marketing without content? Granted, the fact that the Internet has opened up a new world of data, information, and content adds some level of complexity to what marketers should do to create compelling stories for their audiences. Oh, but what a promise…a promise that there is more than enough – a true abundance – of really wonderful “stuff” out there, allowing a marketer to now become a marketing mixologist, creating great “cocktails” for their readers to consume.

I have been attending different events and listening to the arguments about what kind of content should be leveraged. The debate revolves around these questions: do I create? Or do I curate? I am truly curious as to why certain marketing leaders feel that the only way to preserve their brand, their values, and their voice is through what they control and content they create. My curiosity continues when the discussion leads then to “to curate or not to curate?” And those same leaders are quick to argue that if they curate, they are no longer original, creative, or controlled.

My argument goes something like this: For goodness sake, with social networks, who can control anything anyway? People are going to read what they want and take away what they believe to be good, bad, or indifferent. So my belief is that the real marketing leaders will take hold of a balanced approach to getting their messages to their audience. They will curate, and they will create. They will leverage different channels to get their story told. They will understand who is at the other end of those channels, and make sure that what they say is compelling and making an impact on the reader. The best will tell fun, exciting, enduring stories and they will be the first to engage with something that is different. Their new cocktail is one that is intoxicating, memorable, and engaging enough to keep the audience drinking more. The perfect balance of one shot of created mixed with 2 shots of curated.

I love marketing because it allows us to be creative. I love the Internet because it brings us new and interesting stories. I love to create content because I have a story to tell. And there’s no reason why those can’t all combine in perfect harmony.


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