Why co-discovery is a great tool for B2B marketing content

They don’t call it the Lecture Channel:
Why co-discovery is a great tool for
B2B marketing content

A little more than 20 years ago, the science show “MythBusters” premiered on the Discovery Channel to wide acclaim. Its quirky hosts used all sorts of gadgetry, computing technology, and — everyone’s favorite — explosives to explore science and prove again and again that the world is not always as we think.

“MythBusters” is one of the smartest and most successful educational shows in history because it began with a permanently interesting premise: 

We’re going to do some bold experiments, we don’t know exactly what will happen, and we’re going to show you the whole thing. 

Another word for the open-endedness of learning alongside the audience: co-discovery. 

The myth of thought leadership

Discovery is the opposite of how a lot of marketing works. Too often, our starting point as marketers is that we have solved the Big Important Thing and must therefore feed the audience our insights.

Call it thought leadership if you want, but the potential problems with this approach include: 

  1. It might be untrue. 
  2. It conflicts with the market reality of constant evolution and innovation.
  3. It puts you behind a lectern, separating you from the audience instead of uniting everyone as partners.

Happily, co-discovery is a natural messaging tool for B2B because, here, discovery is often the most important practical step in the buying or partnering decision. Decision-makers at an international airport don’t procure extensive weather alert technologies on impulse. They want to know what your whiz-bang device does, sure, but they really want to how you will think about your next round of innovation when the world changes. They want to know that you will bring them along on a journey of co-innovation. 

Moreover, a brand promise that focuses on constant discovery — not finite resolution — is the truest and most useful commitment you can make to your prospects in today’s world of constant churn. 

Discovery is engaging

A recent Foundry report confirmed the value of discovery to a wide range of consumers.

Uncovering a new strategy

Within the word “discovery” is the word “cover.” The marketer’s job is to dis-cover — to open the conversation, not close it. 

Here’s what this might look like in practice:

It’s no accident that the discovery-style versions above have a more positive, open-ended tone, whereas the lecture-style examples feel more guarded and closed off. Discovery casts its gaze at the future, at possibilities. It gives the audience the initiative and power — not just you. 

And there’s a great word for what you get when you get rid of the lectern and meet people as co-discoverers: 


For further reading: See how discovery relates to creating a shared journey