I don’t even remember where I read this ‘word’ inclusive in a marketing material of some brand, but it has managed to stay with me since then. It had its appeal. When the emphasis has been on making every tangible, intangible, edible, throwable stuff exclusive, then howcome ‘inclusive? I believe there’s a shift happening, or has it already happened? Let me give an example. When I was growing in the good old 80s and 90s, reading book was a so-called intellectual activity; we all aspired one day to be matured enough to decipher the Midnight Childrens’ and the Ulysseses of the world. But then the literary big bag happened and Chetan Bhagat broke all records (with a few more to follow). The shift happened. All those fiction-fearing, who were always puzzled with the way Rushdie was pronounced, assaulted book stores with vengeance, and changed the literary scene forever. Penguin, once the benchmark of producing very literary novels, now unabashedly publishes chic-lit. It understands the number game and wants to woo the audience who want to read ‘how-I-got-my-girl-back’, ‘I-have-a-love-story’, etc. No offence to anyone. For a marketer, all consumers are on the same dais.
So is the shift happening everywhere? Yes, I think so. You talk about online content. It’s driven by users, who all are a part of this inclusive planet. When I get a brief from a client on digital content, to my agreement, it’s always about creating simple, quick, and ‘for everyone’ content. Okay, my clients could be catering to masses, but on a few instances, even the strictly-disciplined, revered and proper brands have not shied away from very item-song kind of content. As it happened in a recent meeting when I was discussing blog strategy with a client, and we concluded toward creating content that creates awareness and not tests it. For example, if you create content referring to 3C innovation, many users might feel left out, but if you narrate the story of 3C as an innovative company and how they came up with post-its, it creates interest (and viral content). Now, a very few might already know it, but that’s a ‘few’. The exclusive TG, I fear, is at the risk of being left out. Recently, I attended a literary meet-up, where to my surprise (not anymore), none had heard of Achilles (of course, I got an opportunity to profusely introduce the Greek hero). But then almost everyone there knew of Amish Tripathi (Homer might have turned in his grave that day).
To conclude, going inclusive is not bad. It leads to storytelling, and being on-the-spot with the busy consumers that there are today.
Long Live the Exclusive, the Exclusive is dead!