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Half-Brained Marketing: Why Martech And Content Need Each Other

by | 12.Mar.18

Think of the human brain. On one side: emotion, intuition, and creativity. On the other: logic, linearity, and analytics. Remind you of anything?

In years past, marketing was very much a right-brained activity, with the Don Drapers of the world using their powers of intuition to capture the Zeitgeist. Today, the pendulum has swung from one hemisphere to the other, and marketers are more likely to be left-brained technical wizards who architect complex, precise, data-driven martech solutions.

DemandLab has always been on the leading edge of technology-enhanced marketing. In 2009, when the company was founded, there were fewer than 100 marketing technologies on the market. Today, Scott Brinker’s martech supergraphic captures more than 5,000. Entirely new categories of martech have emerged in just a few short years—personalization, predictive analytics, and content optimization, to name a few—and every marketer’s vocabulary has become an alphabet soup of AI, IoT, VR, AR, and on and on.

There’s no turning back the clock: marketing is now a technical discipline. Our customers live online and look to the digital world to inform, enlighten, and entertain them. Martech enables us to meet them where they live and be part of the conversation.

But while marketing can’t rely on gut feel and two-martini lunches anymore, it won’t survive very long without that intuitive, creative, human magic. Martech is ultimately a system for delivering and optimizing customer experiences at scale, which means that, more than ever, we need to ask ourselves: what experiences are we delivering?

And whatever shape that customer experience takes, it is created by the content that flows through the system. Only by choosing the right words, visuals, and interactions—whether on print, on screen, or in person—can you communicate the ideas that engage, the information that educates, and the emotions that inspire and connect.

To make the most of the opportunity, we need both hemispheres of our brains working together, and content—whether it intrigues, informs, entertains, or inspires—is that often overlooked and undervalued right side of our brains.

Taking content to the next level

From the beginning, DemandLab has included content in its service offerings. But this year, we doubled down on our commitment and launched a dedicated content division, because content and martech are the two halves of a powerful whole, and when we focus on one half of the equation only, we expose ourselves to the dangers of half-brained marketing.

Our new content division formalizes and expands on the key service components we’ve been delivering for years:

Content strategy

A content strategy is critical to success. According to B2B Content Marketing: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America, 62 percent of top-performing content marketers have a documented strategy, compared to just 16 percent of the least successful practitioners. Yet according to CMI, only 37 percent of B2B marketers and 40 percent of B2C marketers have a written plan in place. DemandLab’s content strategy services are designed to help our clients identify the essentials, including an understanding of who they’re trying to reach (personas), how they need to reach them (content channels), what they need to say (content themes), and how they need to say it (key messaging and brand voice).

Content creation

As content consumers, whether B2B or B2C, become more sophisticated and exacting, no organization can afford to treat content like a commodity or a one-size-fits-all proposition. If the quality of idea, expression, and execution don’t reach the level your audience demands, the most powerful demand-gen machine in the world won’t widen your funnel or accelerate your pipeline. DemandLab’s award-winning content creation services span content ideation, writing, design, and development of content assets that strengthen the organizational brand, inspire confidence and trust, and further a specific marketing goal.

Content Performance

Content needs to be high-quality and on-brand, but that’s not enough. It also needs to measurably improve the customer experience and the bottom line. DemandLab’s content performance services establish clear goals for content, identify success metrics, and build data-driven systems of measurement that enable our clients to quantify the return on their content investment and use performance data to continually optimize the customer experience.

Marketing on all cylinders

Our new content division enables us to offer “whole brain” marketing strategies that fire on all cylinders and leverage both capabilities. On one side: the techy. On the other: the touchy feely. And in the middle, customer bliss:

Because while the right martech offers a powerful means of scaling operations, generating meaningful data, and supporting seamless customer journeys, the right content turns every customer touchpoint into a meaningful, memorable, valuable experience.

See whole-brain marketing in action. Read this DemandLab case study to find out how marketing automation and interactive content helped a fintech company generate $800K in new opportunities.

Learn more about our content services.

Ready to talk? Reach out to discuss your content needs.

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