Lessons from Ancient Arrowheads


Are you focused enough with your content marketing? Are your energetic investments efficiently piercing through all the abundant marketing noise—a din that is growing into a rumbling, chaotic stampede in the online world? Perhaps it is time to engage in some lateral thinking, and remember a lesson from long ago within humankind’s ancient past.

All over the world, archeologists have found projectile points (arrowheads, atlatl dart points and spearheads) of various types and designs, many of them quite beautiful. A diversity of tribes all learned the same lesson: that tying a dull, irregularly-shaped rock onto the end of a shaft just wasn’t efficient at getting the job done! Various peoples learned that it was necessary to create a sharp point of focus and a symmetrical cutting edge to put all of that kinetic energy to effective use. Instead of bouncing off the target with a dull thud, the projectile point would often “bring home the bacon,” or even the mammoth!

If your marketing efforts are not focused and your brand voice is dull, you simply cannot pierce through the thick hide of people’s cognitive filters. You’ve got to create messages that sink in with fresh creativity and a thought more interesting than whatever is on someone’s mind. But having a sharply-honed message isn’t enough; you also need the right delivery system to have that message fly straight to the heart of your target audience.

For some of you who are now finding that your energy is too diffused within your marketing strategies, there might be a bold and seemingly counter-intuitive step. If your energy is spread out too thinly, consider putting to death one (or more) of your media channels.

In this process of re-focusing your brand communication efforts, be ruthless in analyzing which channels are working most effectively for you and which seem to be going nowhere. Pinpoint the ones which are most worthy of your time and attention. Note especially the dull tools that need to be decisively dropped. Once this sorting has been accomplished, your energy will be freed up to put a renewed surge of focused energy into the ones that truly help you to hit the most targets. If you are a bit unsure of how to prioritize, hire an experienced marketing professional who can use the two-edged sword of analysis and intuition to cut away the fat.

As your optimal level of focus returns, you may find your marketing strategy becoming more and more like an elegantly designed arrowhead—an instrument that sharply focuses kinetic energy, with a cutting edge and aerodynamics that enable it to speed toward the target. Regardless of ongoing turbulence in the surrounding noisy environment, your focus will allow your message to hit the bull’s-eye!

Kelly Walker is creative director for Intrepid Marketing, a leading Bend, Oregon marketing agency. For more information, contact Kelly at 541-419-9976 or Kelly@intrepidforward.com


About Author

Kelly Walker, MS for SWIVEL

Kelly Walker is the host of A Swig of Branding, creative director for Intrepid Marketing and a senior copywriter with over 20 years experience. He has masterminded scores of high-profile brand identity projects, written hundreds of ads and taught college-level marketing and copywriting courses. He resides in Bend with his wife Andrea, four boys and (finally) a little girl due September, 2015.

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