The brand and the consumer sit on either side of the ‘isthmus of marketing’. This separation between the two can seem like a wide barrier or a narrow, slim, space.
It keeps the brand from reaching the consumer and the consumer from reaching the brand, and keeps them both from joining forces and both benefiting from the convergence of their needs and desires.
Brands need to build a marketing canal across the ‘isthmus’ to allow consumers to select the lane or lanes that best fit their needs and the media channels (omnichannel marketing) that allow the brand to communicate with the prospect and the consumer to respond to the brand.
Start the big dig
I think my rule of relevance is the critical and first aspect of the program needed to develop this multimedia, omnichannel canal. A rule of relevance is the architectural planning, the blueprint, that the ‘build’ is based upon.
My rule of relevance states: “The message must be relevant to the needs and desires of the prospect, and must be media rich’ to enable the prospect to respond.”
Are you of the ‘content is king’ or the ‘context is queen’ school?
- Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action
- Context marketing is a set of best practices designed to amplify the value of your content to your prospects and customers, and you need to know how, when, where, and to whom you should deliver the content
Thanks to the sources listed above I have what I consider to be a near-perfect definition of both content and context marketing
How did you answer the question: content or context marketing? I am a student of the university of content/context, or UC&C. Yes, for me, both have equal impact; it is the combination, the balance, and the use of these two critical tools that makes the difference.
Content and context marketing are the actual canals that can be used to allow the other media tools—advertising, the seven pillars of sales promotion, digital and legacy marketing to flow simply across and back from the brand to the consumer and back to the brand.
It is not about your ship coming in; it is about the prospect’s ship coming in and staying for a while. Consider the analogy of the consumer’s ship—large or small—arriving in your brand’s port.
Part of the success of the visit will be based on the journey to your port, how the ship was met on arrival, and what is being offered in your port. That is where the correct balance of content and context is needed.
- What is the value of your messaging?
- How have you prepared the messaging to be relevant?
- How will you deliver the message via media that has value to the consumer or to you?
- When will the message be deployed, delivered, and viewed?
- Where will the message be seen, viewed, linked, responded to?
- To whom will the message be delivered?
- What is your reply process?
All the steps are needed but perhaps the most important step is to track the process, the results of the process, and the ROI of the process.
Consider this as passport control, through which you carefully review your prospects’ travel credentials and stamp off the destinations, media, tools, and links used prior to the arrival and determine which worked best, which proved the most relevant to the prospect, which helped get the message across the most clearly, and which provided the most responsive tools to allow easy and measurable reply.
Stamp each page on the passport, analyse the use, and plan you next campaign.
No matter what the results, you might end up on an unexpected vacation yourself, and hopefully one to celebrate a positive ending for a highly successful campaign that exceeded all goals.
And, hopefully, the experience will enable you to issue your own (your brand’s) travel documents through a well-planned canal that crosses the isthmus of marketing and allows easy access both from the client/consumer to your brand and from the brand to your consumer or customer!
Once linkage, convergence occurs across the ‘isthmus of marketing’ response increases, replies become common, interaction blossoms, sales grow, and information is exchanged and profits increase.
If you have an existing client friendly canal offering passage across the The Isthmus of Marketingyou may not need to start the big dig, you may need to rethink your existing canal, and expanded, offer new services all based on the needs of your client and prospect base.