The promise of inbound marketing is that marketers don’t have to interrupt customers when it comes to delivering timely and useful information. It shifts from aggressive push methods such as telemarketing, banners and pop-ups to softer content, SEO and social media methods.
However, a lot of marketers are starting to question the effectiveness of inbound marketing, as often it looks good in theory but not so much in practice. The main critique lies in its inability in delivering sales, marketers are realising that inbound marketing alone is just not efficient enough. If you look closely, a lot of marketers use push methods together with inbound marketing in order to make more sales.
Aside from inefficiency, another downside to inbound marketing is lack of human interaction. Some marketers tend go overboard on automation after they have acquired their leads. Their leads are bombarded with a lot of automated content and it takes a while before they get to talk with an actual human. This process can be off putting because selling is esentially a human activity, so customers feel safer when they deal with a live person instead of a machine.
Customers want to be treated as human beings. Trust needs to be built before a customer buys a product or a concept because they need to feel safe and cared for. Sales between person-to-person has been a tried and tested approach but there have peen pushy sales people who through their parrot memorized lines and lack of humanity have turned off customers. Scripted spiels, although important, need not be mouthed off to each and every customer that’s why automation is still needed. Strike a good balance between automation and personal touch in order to bring up your sales to the next level.
Intrigue marketing is when you marry great content and targeting with human contact. This slightly modifies inbound marketing. How? You will put a lot of emphasis on good content which you distribute to all channels. So you still make use of social media to find new leads, but then humanize the process by starting a person-to-person conversation. Instead of sending an automated campaign, write a personalized email. Anybody who gets that will feel special that you went out of you way to get in touch with them. This is a good way to build trust and rapport with your customers.
You need not to entirely do away with marketing automation; it is more about practicing prudence with your drip campaigns. Maybe you can just limit them to welcome messages, lead nurturing and win back emails and identify where there are processes that you need to do in person.
As always, see what works best for your company. Intrigue marketing may work well for some and not for others. Just like any concept, don’t trust any method blindly. Modify it to your business to see which methods work best.