Not just content, content, content
There is so much that has been written about inbound marketing and we are, no doubt, really beginning to understanding how effective content can be and turning ourselves into publishers at the same time. And publishing is a great thing as it gets our story out there and lets customers understand what they need, where they can get it, what they are going to receive and how best to assemble / use / consume their purchases. The only thing is that providing valuable content isn`t the same as creatively inspiring people.
Rationality v`s emotional appeal
The basis of my argument really rests on how you view `in-bound` and `outbound` marketing and if you think that they can be used separately or if you believe that the best results come from a combination of the two?
Whilst I think that in-bound has revolutionised marketing, there is a tendency to use content that is mainly product specific and factual as buyers already have an intent. and are looking for the best purchase option. So you are appealing to their heads with pricing, practicality, colour, availability, delivery, how to use and, yes, sometimes with entertainment.
On the other hand, out-bound is best used to do a different job. That`s creating awareness, interest and desire by being visible in the marketplace and inspiring prospective buyers. And this is the stage at the beginning of the sales funnel that is going to add greatly to the initiation of the search process. This is where emotional appeal really scores !!!! (yes, bad advertising can turn people off buying but then so can bad content).
This emotional part of the buying process, which is equally important to the rational part, needs powerful creativity. Advertising generally involves the distilling of a proposition or idea into instant communication that uses emotion to create impact and desire. And it puts it `out there` in the marketplace. It doesn`t matter whether you are considering adding print, film, outdoor or exhibitions, capturing that emotional appeal and getting into peoples` hearts is highly effective and valuable.
Getting the balance right
I`m not in any way denigrating inbound which is just an amazing marketing route, I`m just arguing that when you are re-viewing your customers` purchasing journeys, don`t under-value their needs for emotion as well as rationality. Then plan a complete campaign that will inspire as well as inform. And advertising is still going to offer the most effective ingredient for delivering creativity `visibly`, the opportunity to deliver it through so many media channels and, ultimately help build your brand presence.
Dudley Masters, Account Director, Acumen Marketing Communications