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There was a time, when advertising was all about Mad Men in tailored suits tippling away in smoke-filled rooms and, occasionally, talking copy. Their dominance in the industry is over.
Once upon a time, we were easily seduced by ad copy; when the “Mad Men” were the rockstars of our time.
Today, we have the web guiding even the most uninformed prospect. More so in B2B purchases where sometimes up to 80% of the decision is made even before contacting sales.
As a marketer, life’s getting harder with shifting content consumption habits. With social media exploding and the proliferation of mobile, many have ‘emotionally unsubscribed’ from the barrage of ads.
But all hope is not lost. Content marketing could be the answer.
Content that is informative, helpful and regular can help break through this emotional unsubscription. Brownie points if it entertains and strikes a chord with the audience.
Smart words and pretty ads still matter. But marketers are no longer blessed with unlimited budgets. The return on every cent spent is measured more critically than ever before.
Say you have crafted a great email with a catchy call to action. What really matters is how many clicked through it.
Maybe your blog post’s supremely well-researched and dazzles with its copy. How many of your readers engaged with it? Did they share it, with how many?
Measuring these gives new insights into what works best for conversion. Businesses have realized this, giving rise to a rapidly growing marketing analytics and automation tools.
Metrics like click-through rates, traffic, unsubscribe rate and cost per customer are good indicators of your content performance. Imagine Don Draper trying to wrap his brain around these.
Creatives thus are no longer the only ‘stars’ of marketing. Data scientists or ‘Math Men’, who analyse performance indicators and draw insight that helps the business, are now in the limelight.
Popular culture has sold us the notion that the Math Men are left-brained or analytical and logical, and the Mad Men, right-brained or creative and emotional. You still hear Don Draper wannabes trying to convince you that they are right-brained and you are not. Don’t listen to them.
It’s time to dismiss this as pseudoscience, once and for all. Studies have shown this left-brain right-brain claim to be a myth. A simple Google search will yield more results that disprove it.
Consider the rise of ‘data storytellers’ in content marketing. These are storytellers who are adept at crafting emotional stories by interpreting data with their logical minds. With big data turning from hype into reality, businesses are looking for talent to put it to use.
Our decisions are driven by logic and emotion, and sometimes they are at odds. Authors Dan and Chip Heath make the analogy of a rider (the rational mind) trying to steer an elephant (the emotional mind) in their bestselling book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.
The rider symbolises our need for facts and logic to make decisions. It is the part of our mind that persuades us to go for the iMac that has the best processor and the most reasonable price. The elephant symbolises the impulsive decision-maker in us: that inside voice that says, “Forget the price, look at the shiny surface and the colourful images on the screen.”
Good content should appeal to both for maximum impact.
Show your readers the logic in your points with hard facts and ROI calculations, and make them care with story-driven elements like case studies. In a world increasingly influenced by data and measurements, marketers who can create content grounded in data will create business value.
Businesses now see the need for these Math Men marketers as well. By identifying how prospects respond to different types of content, they can divert resources to more effective channels for conversion, reducing costs and driving revenue in the long run.
The content marketer of the future will don even more roles, including that of a scientist, journalist, developer, designer and artist among many others.
A far cry from the Mad Men of the ‘60s.
Do you see any chance of Mad Men turning over a new leaf? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Read more: Content marketing solutions from GetIT Comms.