Every once in a while, a new marketing term emerges. I recently came across the term "Intrigue Marketing" and thought to myself, "Oh not another one!" I decided to write this article because marketers are way too dependant on marketing automation. A human touch is needed in everything we do, after all, we do market and sell to humans!
Intrigue marketing is much the antithesis of conventional automated marketing practices. Whereas automated systems allow for efficient, planned and sequences communication with targeted prospects, the goal of intrigue marketing is to humanize the interaction that your business has with new prospects in such a way that you can leverage personal rapport, credibility, and engagement to get a buyer excited about your solutions. In essence, you want to blend the old-fashioned handshake approach to doing business with highly-efficient digital communication technology.
The concept of intrigue marketing is relatively straightforward. Rather than hitting a prospect with a traditional marketing pitch through direct mail or digital channels, you use these communication channels to create interest, curiosity or "intrigue." With a clever hook, you invite or nudge an intrigued prospect to a more personalized or humanized interaction.
Contrast the "Intrigue" approach with the typical automated marketing system used by many modern marketers. With an automated strategy, companies deliver brand and product messages through such platforms as direct mail, websites, e-mail and social media. As buyers seek out answers to problems, they come across these content messages through search engines or social connections. Educational content and calls-to-action are used to push prospects farther along the marketing path until they are ripe for a call from a sales representative.
Despite the more human communication delivered via webinars, the engagement opportunities they provide are often minimal.
On the surface, the process of intrigue marketing doesn't seem that much different than the conventional inbound marketing system employed by many companies. In both cases, content such as blog posts, case studies, white papers and videos are distributed with the goal of catching the attention and interest of prospects.
The subtle but hugely important distinction with effective intrigue marketing is the more assertive, outbound communication that replaces the automated e-mail campaigns and message delivery systems implemented after a buyer is intrigued. Rather than sending e-mails for days or weeks and then have a sales rep call, intrigue marketers engage potential buyers through social channels or via other electronic formats with an invitation. Many of these concepts have been wrapped into the new Inbound Sales methodology developed by Hubspot.
Despite the use of terms like "intrigue marketing", the real principle to take away from this system is the value of humanizing your marketing efforts. People respond better to actual people and human interactions than they do constant and uninspiring e-mails or direct mail pieces.
Sure, the punch line of intrigue marketing is a social event or personal gathering. However, the momentum of this approach lies in your ability to connect with leads on interactive channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. On LinkedIn, for instance, you can interact with contacts through personal messages, groups and discussion forums. All of these methods allow for informal, personal exchanges that help you evaluate the interests of a buyer. Twitter enables concise exchanges with prospects that appear interested in your company and solutions. Build the connection with a humanized marketing strategy, and then submit your invitation to the interactive marketing experience.
Converting intrigue into an invitation acceptance is the next important step in intrigue marketing. To succeed, you need a clever hook that gets the prospect excited about the opportunity. Car dealerships have often mailed keys to car-buying prospects with a personal invite to a limited-access weekend sale. Individual tickets or similar props can also give off the perception that a prospect is receiving the invitation based on unique or special qualities. E-mail and social media invites can work just as well, as long as your message is personalized and suggests the prospect is among a select group.
The more closely your intrigue marketing invitation aligns with your business, the stronger the potential impact it has on prospects.
The types of social invites you can hold for prospects is only limited by your creativity, and of course, your geography. A primary reason webinars have become a standards event type with intrigue marketing is they allow businesses to bring together a group of prospects from around the country. If you choose this route, figure out ways to make the event interactive. In some cases, leaders will use tools that enable chats and Q & A during the presentation.
When practical, other events include dinners and social gatherings. In local markets, marketers might hold a 7:00 p.m. gathering in a local hotel conference room with appetizers and drinks. Attendees engage social interaction and then listen to information about the host company and its products. Dinners or social gatherings at the business are options as well.
Whether you intend to implement an intrigue marketing approach or not, the points about humanizing your marketing are valid. Combine effective inbound strategies like content marketing and search engine optimization, with personalized outbound research that generates more excitement from core prospects. In general, the more engaged your interact with buyers during lead nurturing, the more you understand their needs and the more trust you build up when it comes time to deliver a need-satisfaction presentation.
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