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What is Intrigue Marketing, and Can Your Business Benefit From It?

Dave Orecchio
by Dave Orecchio on Apr 10, 2016 8:00:00 AM

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.

Intrigue Marketing Basics

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.

Conventional Approach to Intrigue Marketing

Driving prospects toward webinars and other social activities is a standard approach employing intrigue marketing. The theory is that you intrigue buyers with your content, and then invite them for a more interactive experience in your webinar.

The challenge with using webinars to enact the personalized component of intrigue marketing is their natural limitations for personal interaction. If the webinar presenter delivers the content with a camera on his face, the personalization is perhaps beneficial. However, webinars more often play out with other pictures, sound, and visual elements on a screen. Audience members more often listen throughout the entirety of the message rather than having a compelling interactive experience with the company representative.

Intrigue marketing

Despite the more human communication delivered via webinars, the engagement opportunities they provide are often minimal.

The Role of Outbound in Intrigue Marketing

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. 

Importance of Humanizing your Buyer's Journey

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.

The Great Invitation

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.

intrigue marketing is about humanizing your marketing

The more closely your intrigue marketing invitation aligns with your business, the stronger the potential impact it has on prospects.

Types of Events

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.

Conclusions

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.

Get our White paper: Stand Out From The Crowd: 24 Inbound Marketing Tips To Set Your Company Apartfor more differentiating marketing strategies.

24 inbound marketing tips to set your company apart

Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of  Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line.  Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow. 

Tags: Digital Marketing Inbound Marketing Marketing Events

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Dave Orecchio
Written by Dave Orecchio
Dave Orecchio is one of the earliest adopters of Inbound Marketing. As one of Hubspot’s first customers and CEO of a Boston-based startup, he experienced the benefits of this effective digital marketing methodology. Dave now provides Inbound (marketing & Sales) services to businesses to help them grow and realize the positive results that an integrated program can provide. Dave is a high-tech marketing and sales expert with more than 25 years of business experience.
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