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Connecting marketing content with the seven dimensions of wellness

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Matthew Gonnering keynote at 2014 Widen User Summit

We’re still sharing great content from the 2014 Widen User Summit, and now we’re getting into the heavy hitters. We just published coverage of Joe Pulizzi’s talk on content marketing, and this post focuses on Widen CEO Matthew Gonnering’s “7 Dimensions of Wellness”.

Gonnering shared the Seven Dimensions during his keynote address “Connecting Marketing Content”, a talk about how Widen can help you connect the core dimensions of your organization to audiences through high quality content. 

The seven dimensions incorporate research from the National Wellness Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and the University of California-Riverside. Gonnering shows how the seven dimensions can be applied to your content, creating opportunities to highlight the following aspects:

1. Social: Builds relationship, supports community, capture new content, and provide purpose for audiences.

2. Emotional: Allows you to feel your way through content. Can be associated with personal rewards. Includes user generated content, emotional metadata, and meaningful, personal content.

3. Spiritual: Associated with peace and harmony, taps into values and beliefs.

4. Environmental: Aligns with a growing need to protect the world at a time when consumers are increasingly aware of environmental concerns.

5. Occupational: Highlights skills and talent and emphasizes extended training options and workplace functionality.

6. Intellectual: Expands knowledge, introduces technology. Can make you more valuable to your employer with higher earning potential.

7. Physical: Responsible for health and increased performance.

Gonnering’s talk at the summit focused on how Widen helps customers connect their marketing content through the seven dimensions. For each dimension, he gave examples of Widen customers who are meeting needs or excelling at content in that area.

Matthew Gonnering quote

For example, United Nations Women produce content in the social dimension, and brands like Spotify and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism provide content that resonates emotionally with audiences. Customers like the African Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society fall squarely in the realm of environmental concerns.

As he explains it, the more dimensions you can address, the more effective your messaging can be.

I sat down with Gonnering after the summit to ask some questions about how he discovered the seven dimensions and what kind of advice he has for organizations who want to make sure their messages are balanced, authentic, and multi-dimensional.
“The origin of the balance is a childhood thing, from continuous conversations with my Dad communicating the importance of achieving balance. We get enjoyment, and pressure, from all aspects of life, they all need attention,” he explains. By categorizing the dimensions of wellness, Gonnering was able to more clearly examine his own life for balance.

He first applied the idea during a Widen fireside chat. Fireside chats take place in a comfortable company common area and serve as an opportunity for teams to come together and meet as a group.
“It was during a ‘bananas and brands’ chat, and we were talking about communicating a brand, about what brands try to connect to,” says Gonnering. “I realized then that this holistic idea of the dimensions of wellness could be applied to a brand as well.”
Gonnering is quick to point out that while connecting across multiple dimensions is more effective, most organizations can’t authentically reach all dimensions. And they shouldn’t try.

“Every company can probably identify their top dimensions; think about how you are already trying to position in the market and where you already provide value to your customers,” Gonnering suggests. “After that, identify other relevant dimensions, pick one, and increase content production in that area. Don’t try to change too many things at once, or you won’t know what works.”

As for Widen, Gonnering sees the services as sitting squarely in the occupational dimension by alleviating administrative tasks and freeing up time for customers. In secondary dimensions, serving the customer’s intellectual wellness by expanding their knowledge with new technologies, process, trends.  The company also emphasizes social aspects with attention to organizational culture and community development & involvement.

“The more dimensions a brand can connect with, the more favorable the customer will respond. They will see you as more than just the product. They will see you as someone that helps them achieve balance.”

To view the presentation and download slides, visit the User Summit Archives.

Topics: Culture & Company, Widen Summit

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