“Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody. When I paint my masterpiece” – Bob Dylan

Great things take time.

Shah Jahan, the 17th-century Mughal emperor, dedicated 21 years (and 20,000 workers) to building his labour of love for his wife Mumtaz – The Taj Mahal. Margaret Mitchell spent a full decade penning her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Gone with the Wind.” Matthew Weiner wrote the pilot of seven-time Emmy award-winning TV show “Mad Men” in 1999, yet the show didn’t premiere until 2007.

These creations all have much in common – vision, dedication and perseverance, culminating in something that made people think and feel.

Most crucially, they took time. Time to conceive, time to plan, and time to create. This is an asset that’s sorely lacking in modern marketing.

Businesses run at the speed of light, as their customers expect. This tempts marketers to deliver an endless stream of low-rent content that satiates these expectations, albeit only temporarily. The result? Lots of lightweight content. Content that fails to stand out among the oceans of blog content already out there; that will receive a passing glance and quickly be forgotten. Content that doesn’t leave a legacy, and seldom produces ROI.

Instead, marketers need to be thinking about heavyweight content. Content that packs a punch. That puts a stake in the ground and says, ‘this is what we stand for’. Your audience eagerly anticipates this content landing. When it does, they bookmark it, talk about it, share it on social with their carefully crafted insights, and cite it endlessly for months following. Think of Mary Meeker’s annual ‘Internet Trends’ or Deloitte’s ‘Tech Trends’ reports as examples.

This flagship type of content doesn’t spring up over night. It’s not written in a rush on a Tuesday morning. It’s not one of a glut of content pieces the company releases that week. This content takes planning, research, and deep insight. In short, it takes time.

This content stands out in quality, utility, and, what’s more, it generates ongoing revenue and growth opportunities for your business. People remember it and associate it with your company.

Are you investing the time to produce something memorable – that truly reflects what you stand for –  or is your time taken up churning out throw-away content?

Maybe it’s time to paint your masterpiece.

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