Allison DeFord: Marketing That’s More Than Seen and Heard, It’s Felt

by | Branding, Manufacturers

Allison DeFord’s focus on helping manufacturers build a brand isn’t a throwback to earlier days. Research shows that it might be the best move for your company’s future.

When I was working at an ad agency in my younger copywriting years, brand, not content was king. And as I’m entering pre-geezer stage, I have to mention those were the days when people were just starting to realize the value of a website and this Internet thingee.

Digital marketing was not yet a term, and the Mad Men (and Women, yes) of the day focused on slick magazine ads and TV spots. The goal was to build a killer brand. 

Allison DeFord

Allison DeFord, Felt Marketing

Allison DeFord of Felt Marketing has never lost sight of the power of the brand. But she now delivers it in the context of a connected digital marketing plan (think retrofit), reinstating one of the most critical aspects of marketing.

And as we’ll share in a minute, that’s essential, because research shows building a strong brand (culture, content, community) just might be your most valuable asset for gaining customers. 

Manufacturer’s challenge is making emotional connections

Allison and her team handle many of the tactics of today’s digital marketing campaigns. But what I like is the brand she’s built behind it; a clear indication of what she delivers for her clients as well.

Felt Marketing Logo

Start with the company name: Felt Marketing. She and her creative director developed the name after discussing how your marketing shouldn’t just be seen or heard — it must be felt.

The challenge for manufacturers is to make those emotional connections.

Allison DeFord

Felt Marketing

We can’t understate the importance of delivering emotion in your marketing, as market researcher Grant Gooding shared with us in an earlier post. In the evolution of humankind, the new brain, which processes data and makes logical decisions, is a newcomer.

It’s the old brain, which our Flintstone-era ancestors used to make fight-or-flight decisions, still makes all the big decisions. And despite the preponderance of engineers and technicians in manufacturing, those decisions still are based on human emotion (90% of the time).

Retrofitting your marketing requires a combination of right-brain and left-brain thinking

The big joke from ad days gone by was that advertisers knew 50% of their marketing worked, they just didn’t know which 50% it was. Sometimes, focusing on brand alone feels like you’re taking that approach.

Retrofitting your marketing

What I like about Allison and her team is that they’ve moved branding beyond that old misconception. They tag themselves as “The Marketing Retrofit Company for Manufacturers,” and while that includes retrofitting your brand with emotional appeal, it’s delivered in today’s digital delivery systems.

“Companies hire us to do a rebrand, everything from the ground up — customer persona, brand style guide, marketing and content strategy,” Allison said.

The company then helps manufacturers struggling with the new digital landscape to modernize their traditional marketing with omni-channel marketing communications. Their Marketing Retrofits reinforce the infrastructure of your lead generation and nurturing system by helping you:

  • Discover your unfair advantage
  • Boost your best channels
  • Shorten your buying cycle

That includes giving junior and senior sales members the “language to connect.” And if you don’t think this is critical, let’s take a look at the data that backs it up. 

Studies show why focusing on emotions makes these sales happen

If you’re of the left-brain nature and still think Allison’s insistence on integrating emotion and brand into your digital tactics is smoke and mirrors, consider some of the data from the industry’s top market researchers. 

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio conducted a study of people with a damaged limbic system, which impaired their abilities to produce emotions. These people were unable to make even the simplest decisions — they became paralyzed with endless logical deliberation. 

Research from Binet and Field indicates that “optimum effectiveness” for the share of voice in your marketing is 60% for brand building and 40% for activation (or selling products). 

Support with emotional brand building.

Emotionally Engaged Buyers Are:

33% less price sensitive
44% less likely to go to competitors
300% more likely to recommend you

That backs up the emotional data post we referenced earlier, and underscores Allison’s approach to retrofitting your marketing.

So if you’re focused on feature-saturated messaging and aren’t making sure emotion is part of the picture, then you have something to fear: becoming irrelevant or even extinct.

Give Allison a call, and stop wasting time and money on marketing that doesn’t grow sales. Start connecting to the heart of your ideal customer and make sales easier.

You feel me?


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Greg Mischio

Greg Mischio

Greg Mischio has been creating content for many moons. He is the Founder and CEO of Winbound, a sales and marketing agency that provides content and marketing services with a focus on manufacturing and industrial verticals.

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