The marketing industry has changed in recent times. We only just left the era of interruption marketing and are now fully adopting the power of inbound marketing.
The term “inbound marketing” was coined by companies such as HubSpot, which defines a type of technique, concept, and strategy of drawing (potential) customers’ attention to products via strong content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and branding.
The goal here was for the content to match the needs of a target audience, to provide the value of some kind, and to motivate this audience to engage with a brand or product.
In just the last decade, inbound marketing has brought in major successes for many startups and scaleups. Think of Hubspot, Atlassian, InVision, Intercom, as some of the stories of companies that put all inbound techniques at the center of their growthToday, 55 percent of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority (reported by HubSpot), and 68 percent of B2B businesses are using landing pages to acquire leads (published by Marketo). It’s safe to say that the amount of content available—and the noise—keeps on growing. This is why performing experiments and data analyses that will help you learn about the behaviors and preferences of our customers becomeever more relevant.
These latest efforts to gain customer insights and perform rapid experiments have won the hearts of a new generation marketers—the growth hackers. They have translated these efforts into a simple recipe: take a hypothesis, rank ideas, experiment in rapid successions and iterations, implement data-driven revisions, draw conclusions, and finally find what triggers the audience to convert.
To follow this recipe, a wide array of tactics and tricks was required finding permitted (and even non-permitted) customer data, which naturally increased the tension between the user and ad, content, and ultimately, forms. Overall, this wasn’t much of a frictionless experience you’d say.
And that’s exactly why I’m referring to this piece of history within the evolution of marketing. Because in recent years, Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Booking.com, and the likes have introduced the concept that anyone can enjoy a product or service without any friction, purchasing products or services within just a few clicks. A frictionless user experience has become the norm. And this norm is dictating companies to provide a seamless experience across all customer touchpoints.
One must ask, does all content require customer data to be created, to be successful? Why can’t your customers, followers, or potential hires be able to consume knowledge as much as they want without having the feeling they’re“selling out” their details?
Marketing lives in a B2H (Business-To-Human) world now, where frictionless experiences only work if they’re authentic. This means you should stop looking at the number of contacts that filled in a form. Instead, build content that make people hang around longer on your website, by tracking the time on page, for instance. Your goal is not to get leads for the sake of getting in leads, but to provide value to your potential customers, giving them a reason to respect and connect with your brand.
Bottom line is reduce friction, stay sincere, and provide real value, without expecting to get something in return…just yet. The brands that stand out today stand for something. Because if they don’t, they might fall for anything.