Dictionary.com defines personification as “the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions” or “the representation of a thing or abstraction in the form of a person.” You may have noticed that advertisers are using that approach to great effect these days. And their success can provide a cue for your inbound marketing.
Giving Flesh to Pain Points
A number of ads have caught my eye in recent months because they are bringing abstract issues (medical problems in this case) to life. “Watch out, cancer. We’re coming for you.” “Medical inefficiencies that hamper excellent care, your days are numbered.” I’m paraphrasing, but those kinds of powerful statements are being used to tout the benefits of aligning with these healthcare and health insurance providers. The MD Anderson Cancer Center’s “Make Cancer History” campaign is a prime example. So is Allstate’s “Mayhem” character.
And there’s no question that the same approach can be used in any industry. For example, “You’ve been driving up manufacturing costs for too long, process inefficiencies. And our solutions are taking you out of the equation.” Or “Weekend plumbing leaks, it’s time you stopped wreaking havoc. Our affordable 24/7 service means you can no longer do extensive damage and run up a homeowner’s repair bill.”
Part of the frustration that businesses and consumers feel when dealing with their “pain points” is that those things are invisible enemies. While content marketing messaging can’t actually make abstract issues physical, simply portraying them as living, breathing enemies makes it feel more like they can be defeated.
How to Use Personification in Your Inbound Marketing
So, how do you take advantage of the human mind’s desire to identify foes? It’s fairly simple, actually. You should:
- Identify the problems your target audience faces. These can be “issues” in any sense of the word, from something life-threatening like cancer to a simple inconvenience like not having the information you need as you plan a vacation.
- Paint a visual picture. In my plumbing leak example above, you might equate the hissing of a leak to the sound made by a coiling cobra.
- Clearly define the “tools” to be used to defeat the enemy. Your proven manufacturing processes. The skill and experience of your workforce. Your demonstrated commitment to quality.
- Describe how you’ll bring those tools to bear on the villain. “Our plumbing experts respond promptly, day or night, and quickly attack the leak, bringing it under control. Then they perform a broader assessment to determine the best long-term solution.”
Using Marketing Automation Tools to Enable Storytelling
Going hand-in-hand with the concept of personification is the idea of storytelling. You’ve identified the enemy, now create a cadence for how the narrative will unfold. Marketing automation tools like HubSpot are ideal for managing the flow of information to your target audience and understanding their response to it.
As a leading HubSpot agency in Colorado Springs, CO, our teams here and at offices in Springfield, MO, and Olympia, WA, have extensive expertise in helping clients nationwide combine compelling storytelling with advanced, time-saving technology. Are you ready to call out your customers’ foes and share how you can defeat them? Let’s talk about your battle plan. Reach out to us today.