Content marketers are challenged by many aspects- from conceptualization to production- but one of the core responsibilities becoming more critical is to rethink the funnel, or the way that people search for information.
Andrew Davis, best selling author of “Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships”, encouraged marketers at Content Marketing World this week in Cleveland to rethink the traditional funnel with a new formula: MOI creates ROI, or “moment of inspiration” create return on investment. Davis presented an inspiring and colorful discussion that ultimately turned the traditional search process we know as marketers into a more realistic (but perhaps harder to follow) pattern. Check out this “Search for meatloaf” that highlights our typical pattern to purchase (there’s nothing consistent about it!)
"Funnel that," Davis joked.
Encouraging marketers to rethink the consumer journey to bypass active evaluation stages, Davis asked marketers to focus primarily on creating these moments of inspiration as opposed to creating content before the “moment of purchase” stage.
“Stop creating campaigns,” Davis advised. “Start making commitments to a valuable audience and story — something that’s lasting.” One master of this strategy, Davis said, is Disney, which has fueled our consumer culture by creating demand for items like clown fish after “Finding Nemo” was released (among countless others).
Davis also encouraged the audience to “think like TV executives,” noting the massive spike in sales for items like Lucky Strike cigarettes and Canadian Club whiskey, as a result of their incessant appearances on the AMC hit “Mad Men.”
While not all of us marketers have the luxury of marketing such exciting products that lend themselves to television shows or other pop culture phenomena, we still can and should always be thinking about innovative ways to engage with our audiences. Davis offered these 4 secrets to creating moments of inspiration, or “MOI”:
1. Build Suspense- “Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty,” said playright William Archer. Focus on offering a story that creates a reason for your audience to continually tune in or enhance their interest in the discovery process engaging with your content.
2. Foster Aspiration- Create content that’s focused on a lifestyle or movement your audience wants to embody. Particularly for technology companies, such as the Oracle Marketing Cloud, we focus not on selling technology, but the lifestyle our products help support for the marketing leader, with simplicity and organization.
3. Drive Empathy- Understand how to create a connection with your audience. IBM achieved this in its initiative to transition from a manufacturer to service provider by creating Watson, the computerized machine introduced on “Jeopardy.” According to NOVA special on PBS the company has seen a 20% growth in Q1 in analytics business – as IBM invested to prove leadership applications for clients. Anecdotally, we’re still talking about Watson.
4. Harness Emotion- This is incredibly important when you are sending people on a journey, Davis noted. If you’re trying to foster a content environment that encourages people to take action, emotion is a primary reason people act. “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions,” according to Dr. Donald Calne.
Davis left the audience with one question that we’ll pass along to you: What if you uncover the raw emotions attached to the products and services your company offers? How do you do so?