Back to Basics: The IEEO Marketing Formula

The purpose of all marketing is to lead the prospect to choose your product or service. With the advent of sophisticated computer modeling, marketing algorithms, and demographic stratification, it’s important to remember the basic marketing formula that is the core of any effective print marketing piece – IEEO, or Interrupt, Engage, Educate, and Offer.

business planInterrupt means more than simply capturing your reader’s attention with an unusual graphic or crafty headline. You may have only succeeded in confusing the customer, and the first reaction of a confused brain is to say “no.” Within the first few seconds, demonstrate What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) or you will never have the opportunity to connect with your prospect in a meaningful way.

Engage is typically a short section, such as a subheading, that follows the interruption to promise relevant information is forthcoming. Think of the telemarketer analogy. Your first reaction is to say no and hang up. But what if the caller said something of interest that prepared you to participate in a conversation? Your printed piece must quickly engage the reader.

Now that your prospects are engaged, you have the opportunity to Educate them on what makes you different from your competitor. If you have multiple target audiences, you may need several versions of your printed piece to tailor your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) effectively. Testimonials are a great way to promote your current clients while showing the prospect in a detailed, quantifiable way that you’re the expert who will solve his problem. Move the reader from thinking emotionally to making a logical purchasing decision.

You’ve been successful in engaging the prospect long enough to educate him about your project or service, but to make your piece work you have to present a solid Offer. Directly tell the reader what to do – return the business reply card, request a report, call or visit your website now. Use words like guarantee, discount or free trial to give the prospect a low risk way to evaluate your product or service. If you’ve executed the first three steps properly, the reader will likely take advantage of this offer.

Consistency is a critical element in branding your product or service in the marketplace. The linear IEEO steps give you the proper framework to achieve consistency in your marketing message.