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Blood, Sweat, and Tears sang it like this: “What goes up, must come down”.
Sir Issac Newton framed it like this: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The absolute truth of duality:
At least on this planet, we are governed both physically and metaphysically by the absolute law of duality. For something to be static, there must be motion. For there to be passive, there must be intrusive. For there to be a response, there must be a stimulus.
Many inbound marketing hounds forget this very important nugget. I understand the “shift” from push-market strategy to pull-market strategy, but that’s just it… For there to be pull, there must be push. Inbound marketing efforts are a response to a stimulus.
Inbound marketing strategy is about one side of the coin, conversion; the scratch to meet the itch. But in order to search for an answer, there must be a question. Google now has a near monopoly on the answer part, but before Google we used yellow pages, or newspaper, books, directories, articles, etc. There has always been stimulus and response, connections and conversions. For all the new age ‘lead-gen’ inbound strategists out there, many forget that coins have two sides.
Duality: The paradox of Connection vs. Conversion
Advertising strategy isn’t about “online” or “offline”. Advertising strategy is about connection or conversion. As duality would have it, without push there can be no pull, yet if I’m pulling I cannot be pushing. Similarly, a solid advertising plan will have paradoxical strategies and languages for connecting with your customers and converting your customers. You cannot have one without the other, yet they are mutually exclusive.
Connection advertising (Outbound) is about stimulus; priming thoughts and inserting yourself into the conversation. Connections are about just that: connecting with people emotionally. It is not about lead generation or tracking. Connections are about the stories that leave people touched, moved, and inspired. You want your connection ad strategy to leave people wanting to hear more from you.
Conversion advertising (Inbound) is about facts; about being there when your customer gets there and providing the answer they’re looking for you. Conversion is about completing with people intellectually. Conversion is about tracking and lead generation because that’s what it’s designed to do. You want your conversion ad strategy to leave people fulfilled on the promise that you’ve made by delivering on the details necessary to complete the sale.
Media Tools for Connection and Conversion:
One can make an argument here, but for my money Intrusive media like broadcast media (Radio/TV) are excellent at the former, less so the latter. Passive media like Google is excellent at the latter, less so the former.
Messaging: The language of Connection vs. Conversion
Consider these paradoxes when writing for connection or conversion
- Heart ————————————–Mind
- Priming Conversation——————Generating Leads