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Brain Traffic Lands the Quad!

by Melissa Rach on March 10th, 2011

At the last Winter Olympics, figure skater Evan Lysacek won the gold medal without a quad jump, much to the chagrin of the Russian favorite, Evgeni “The-KGB-stole-Steve-Perry’s-mullet-for-me” Plushenko.

Afterwards, Evgeni glowered and ranted. He briefly stood on the gold medal platform at the medals ceremony. His official website declared him the “platinum” medal winner. He made it clear that you need a quad to compete. Vladimir Putin agreed. 

I don’t know about you, but we at Brain Traffic got the message. I mean, seriously, Evgeni  and Vladimir are not guys you want mad at you. So, we got to work.

As of today, the Brain Traffic team has been landing its own quad regularly for more than a year. But our quad isn’t an ice-skating feat—it’s an infographic describing the critical components we consider in every content strategy.  

Brain Traffic Content Strategy Diagram

At the center is the core content strategy, the central idea for using content to achieve an organization's business goals. To achieve that strategy most effectively, we look at four closely related components (the four areas of the quad):

Content-focused components
1) Substance—What kind of content do we need (topics, types, sources, etc.), and what messages does content need to communicate to our audience?
2) Structure—How is content prioritized, organized, formatted, and displayed? (Structure can include communication planning, IA, metadata, data modeling, linking strategies, etc.) 

People-focused components
3) Workflow—What processes, tools, and human resources are required for content initiatives to launch successfully and maintain ongoing quality?
4) Governance—How are key decisions about content and content strategy made? How are changes initiated and communicated?

Our quad will probably never be discussed by Dick Button and Scott Hamilton, but over the past year it has received consistently high marks from clients and seminar attendees. The quad helps people quickly understand the complexity of content strategy and puts their content challenges into perspective.

Bonus quad-related craft project
Want to look like a content strategy Olympian? Here’s how:

1. Print this page
2. Cut out the quad
3. Poke a hole in the middle
4. Put it on a string around your neck

Presto, you’re just like Evgeni.

  • http://twitter.com/RellyAB Relly

    I want a Brain Traffic range of tshirts and caps with this on, so I can wear them to ALL meetings.

    “What do you means, you can ignore the workflow for now? Look at the left breast, Bob. LOOK AT THE LEFT BREAST!”

  • http://twitter.com/metsyc Metsy Corter

    Powerful but concise enough to explain concepts to customers :)

  • http://www.socialmediawave.com socialmediawave

    I like the BrainTraffic  Quad model as presented. We are working on engagement strategies around curation and developing faceted discussions using Collective Intelligence.

    Has any of this hit your client side radar in the development of core strategies?

    Like to discuss further if interested.


  • http://twitter.com/jakedimare Jake DiMare

    Love this…

  • Max Johns

    I can’t count the number of times I come back to this post when I need to clear my head and remember the basics of what I do (or should be doing, at least). Love it!

    Also, +1 to Relly’s t-shirt idea…

  • http://www.redjamjar.net Paul Brown

    Even now I still find this to be powerful, simple and elegant. Thanks for sharing.

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