Nov 11

The Sound of Silence is Worth Paying For

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It’s been a long time since my last post. Life has been busy. Life has been loud. September 13th marked the end of my nearly 6 years with Wunderman Seattle, a company I owe so much to and who rarely offered a dull moment. After taking off one business day I started at WDCW agency September 17th and was quickly introduced into a fury that is an advertising new business pitch (which we won!). As exciting as this can be, the long nights and working weekends leave little time to reflect, and thus little time for blogging.

Even vacations can leave little time for relaxation. I recently spent 3 nights vacationing in New York City. Nothing is relaxing about New York City. Not even a vacation and especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Now I find myself sitting on a couch, looking out over the calm waters of Orcas Island at the beautiful Rosario Resort. This is silence. This is relaxation. I like this. The only sounds I do hear are the crackling from a fireplace and the occasional rustling of leaves that come courtesy of an ocean fresh gust of wind. Interestingly enough, this little mansion turned resort was built as a result of Seattle millionaire shipbuilder Robert Moran’s terminal diagnosis. He was given two years to live. After retiring and moving to the island he lived another 40 years, and died at the age of 83. It turned out he was simply a victim of work related stress. Moran paid millions for silence and it saved

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his life.

Coming off the recent political election with recent of money was spent on advertising and daily, polarized Facebook rants it’s been hard to escape and find silence, even on the internet. This is the first time I’ve managed to do it in a while.

Social media and other forms of digital marketing are becoming even more invasive that traditional advertising in my opinion. Maybe because I’ve come to expect television ads and billboards? Maybe because they TV ads have become a form of entertainment? What I know for sure is that constant email SPAM and unwanted offers clogging my social media timelines are getting tired. I applaud companies and services like Klout that don’t sell their customer data and don’t spam their lists. Bravo to you. Companies that provide value will get people to come to them for content, not the other way around.

This relaxing weekend was proof to me that people will pay for silence. I am right now. And as a marketer I’ll do my best to only provide consumers with messages that are relevant to them, not too often, and maybe sometimes not at all. In the words of the “turn off your damn cell phone” pre-movie messages – “ Silence is golden”. True that.

Best,

@gknutson

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