The Three-Martini Lunch Is Back -- And It's Called Content Marketing

Decades ago, the “three-martini lunch” was famous (or infamous depending on your viewpoint) for the pure luxury of time (and liquor) it offered business executives during the middle of the day. For the advertising industry, this lunch gave the Don Drapers of the world the opportunity to sell prospective customers and clients on how their marketing ideas would change their businesses forever.

Fast-forward to today, and this cocktail-laden lunch just isn’t an option for most business professionals. We can no longer rely on hours of face-to-face time with prospects to convince them of the value of our products or services.

What we do have today, however, is content marketing, which is arguably more effective than any martini at getting a prospective customer to say “yes” to your product or service. Here’s how to apply the ideas behind the three-martini lunch to make your content marketing simply intoxicating to prospects (minus that awful hangover):

Reach and impact your prospects outside of the office environment. One of the biggest benefits of the three-martini lunch was that it gave businesses the chance to get people out of the office and have a conversation with them in a more relaxed atmosphere. These days, you can still reach people after the work day is over, engaging them with your brand’s content while they’re on the train home or at the gym through always on marketing channels such as display advertising, and by taking advantage of where people are spending most of their online “leisure” time: on social media. Plus, for those in B2B marketing, reaching business professionals on social networks is getting easier and more sophisticated every day, with advanced targeting capabilities available through paid advertising on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Thought-leadership content is the best substitute for all that awkward small talk. The last time someone took you out to a business lunch, how did the conversation start off? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t remember. With content marketing, you have the ability to make a lasting first impression with effective thought-leadership content.

It can be useful to think of your top-funnel content as you would a conversation-starter at a business lunch. A great way to get the conversation going with new prospects is through blog posts on industry trends, research reports that provide eye-opening statistics, or predictions on the latest merger or acquisition in your space. By using broad, interest-generating topics to first capture your prospects’ attention, you set yourself up as a thoughtful and intelligent expert in your field.

Cocktails buy you short-term affection from anyone. Targeted content marketing wins you long-term loyalty from the right audience. No one can resist a free drink (or two). And that’s exactly the problem with the three-martini lunch, because you could be wasting hours of your time with less-than-qualified prospects who are only interested in skipping work and drinking for free.

In contrast, great content marketing helps you every step of the way in finding your next best customer. By keeping in mind your target buyer personas when you create your content, you’re taking the first step in identifying who your best prospects are, and giving yourself the chance to focus only on the people who matter to your business. And with key marketing technologies in place to help you decipher your prospects’ “digital body language,” over time you can discover what your most valuable audiences are most interested in online, and tailor the content you serve them based on what would be most relevant.

Knowing prospects’ favorite cocktails at lunch is impressive. Offering them an eBook that will help them earn their next promotion makes you unforgettable.

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1 comment about "The Three-Martini Lunch Is Back -- And It's Called Content Marketing".
  1. Karen Ticktin from brandthis , March 10, 2014 at 5:44 p.m.