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Defined by the Quest: The Three Types of Marketing in 2014

One of the most amazing parts of my job is spending time reading, watching, and testing the practices of others. It's conceivable that the true secret to my success over the years has less to do with creativity and more to do with listening and deciphering. You have to listen to the channels like Google and Facebook. You have to listen to your customers. You have to listen to your customers' customers (if you're an agency like me).

The annoying part of my job is sifting through the recycled techniques and reinvented terminology that surrounds so many marketing practices. In most cases, it's the same old things repackaged into a different form or applied from a different angle. Those are valuable, but not gamechanging. Still, it's important to go through them all in order to find the hidden or not-so-hidden gems that arise. The best practices I've found over the years haven't been on the pages of Mashable, Search Engine Watch, or Social Media Today. The real winners have come from some of the least likely sources.

With all of that out of the way, let's get to the point. There are three types of marketing. Despite all of the various names - push and pull marketing, social media marketing, gravitational marketing, search marketing, influence marketing, content marketing - the easiest and arguably most pure way of looking at it is to tackle everything from a perspective of venue and intent. Where are the people going and what are they doing when they get there? It's important for me as well as business owners to look at it from this perspective because the collision of the various marketing types is forcing a holistic marketing model to outperform niche marketing techniques or specialized strategies.

In other words, if you look at venue and intent, you can craft your overall marketing strategy much more easily. We look at it as following the quest - what are they doing, why are thy doing it, and how can we be there to help them choose our clients. When people buy your products, they are fulfilling a quest. No, they're not slaying an actual dragon, but if they're on a quest to buy a car, then your dealership selling them a car is the culmination of that particular quest.

Here are the three types of marketing for 2014 (well, early 2014 at least - it changes so quickly) that we like to tackle:

Fulfilling the Quest

This is the easiest to understand and often the hardest to achieve because of the simplicity of purpose. Everyone knows that if someone is interested in buying a car, they're probably going to go to Google, Bing, or one of the various classified sites to start looking. They might go to review sites and OEM sites as well, but for the most part they're ready to seek the fulfillment of their quest, they're going to try to look for cars.

Search engine marketing of all types, whether it's SEO or PPC, gives you the opportunity to drive them to your website so they may fulfill their quest. They aren't searching for Honda dealers to have fun. They have a purpose. They're in buying mode. This is where you have to be in order to help them fulfill their quest.

Renewing the Quest

More businesses are starting to do this. Many of them tried to do it in 2009-2012 and failed miserably. Part of it was because the venues such as Facebook, banner advertisements, retargeting, and other forms of "passive" marketing arenas weren't developed to the point that they are today.

Now, the goals have come full-circle thanks to the overall availability of the internet. Mobile devices have made checking social media sites and reading websites the common activity when there are no activities to do. As people ride a bus, wait in line at the bank, or even perform other mundane activities like watching television, they are also surfing the internet. They aren't going to Facebook to buy things, but they're open to the concept. They're open to having their quest renewed.

When they go to Fox News to see what's going on and the retargeting ad pops up in front of them, they are reminded that they are still on a quest even if they aren't actively on it at that point. When the business they visited last week pops up on their Facebook news feed, they get that reiteration that they still need to buy something. It might take a dozen instances of seeing a brand and its message before they actually click through, but the statistics are showing that it's working. Not every sale is made through Google. In fact, some of the most important and actionable clicks come through other venues when they're not in active buying mode.

Creating the Quest

Of the three, this is the one that's ignored the most. It's the hardest to do and the least rewarding when not done right. However, it can be the most rewarding when companies are able to make it sing. This is one that we focus on in particular because in our industry, nobody is doing it right.

In many ways it's like good old fashioned advertising. No, it's not like the commercials that we see on television today. Think along the lines of the early days of television when brands were built by establishing a problem that people will see in the normal course of their day and then having that problem solved either in the middle of the initial marketing effort or after further research.

The reason that it's so hard today is because of attention span. We have seconds instead of minutes to get the message out through most advertising and marketing venues. There's no longer time to tell a story...

...or is there?

The art of creating the quest is about putting the right content on the right venues that will reach people and establish a need whether they're in the market right now or not. With this particular article already breaking the 1,000-word mark, there's not enough time to go into it in detail. We'll do that next time. Instead, watch the following video that shows two commercials that worked well in their day. Today, having a minute-long television commercial isn't practical for most businesses, but taking advantage of the various channels online to accomplish the same goal and better is something that we know will move the needle. It's hard. That's the point. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

More on that next time. For now, here's the video:

Views: 300

Tags: marketing, search, social

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Comment by Brian Bennington on January 13, 2014 at 1:21pm

Alright J.D., you've once again dominated my attention with another of your interesting, although somewhat confusing blogs.  When I saw the title, it immediately became a "must read" for me.  Here I am, having professed to be a guy tuned-in to marketing for over 40 years and I never knew there are only three types.  I am gradually catching on to your points, though, but your blog has brought up some questions.

First, in your sequence, shouldn't "Creating the Quest" be #1, followed by "Renewing the Quest" and then "Fulfilling the Quest"?  Next, I've gotta know if this is your thinking, or is this concept from another source?  (If from somewhere else, I'd really like to know who or what it is.)  I noticed everything about them you only related to IT.  Because I see marketing in a much larger scope, I'm doing my best to identify the three types in all I'm familiar with, and they do somewhat hold true to all marketing, but I've been known to "stretch" for a friend.

As to content, in your last sentence of your second paragraph, you state "The real winners have come from some of the least likely sources," then you begin the next paragraph "With all of that out of the way...."  I'm definitely not the "sharpest pencil in the box," but I totally didn't get what those "least likely sources" are?  As to "holistic" vs. "specialized," I have a problem with that, as some dealerships can have great success with a specific program, based on a lot of variables, but fall on their faces in other attempts.  Maintaining a unified direction with unified success is damned near the "Holy Grail" of marketing.

My only complaint with the entire blog is those old TV commercials.  I watched them when they were new, and the big reason they were viewed in their entirety was the minimum availability of remote control TVs.  Really, using them to illustrate commercial story lines is a big time oversimplification.  I could bother you all day with questions about this, but "Duty calls." By the way, I'm not sure if you have a nickname as J.D. is already pretty good, but I'm learning to look at you as "The Professor."  Of note, you and Alexander both agree that logical observation is a big part of your learning and I'm with you on that.   

      

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 6, 2014 at 1:10pm

Great points. I can't say I've created an application or specific process over the years that's driven my customers to the top. What I've done is paid attention to what I've perceived as winning formulas from others and best practices. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 6, 2014 at 1:02pm

I'm with Manny... His wife does make a great cup of coffee!

Comment by Tyson Madliger on January 6, 2014 at 3:16am

LOL Manny. Same here. 10 seconds, move along.

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