Why the Marketing Mindset will always challenge the SEO Mindset

Why the Marketing Mindset will always challenge the SEO Mindset

Everytime I work and collaborate with a Marketing professional, whose background is in traditional marketing (Advertising), there is always strong deliberations from both sides.  Its important to note that all arguments are valid, particularly when both people are experts in their fields, meaning, they have been working in their respective professions for over a decade.  In the corporate setting, it can get frustrating for SEO professionals because most Companies will integrate an SEO position under the purview of a Marketing Manager.

Fevi Yu
Date Published: November 9, 2023

If you are an SEO Pro and you’ve ever wondered why your Marketing Manager completely ignores all your suggestions, this is for you.

Traditional marketing or Advertising has long relied on brand advertising and emotional appeals to customers, while SEO Campaigns prioritize catering to user expectations and attitudes online. Lets explore the fundamental differences between these two mindsets and why they often find themselves at odds.

Brand Advertising vs. User-Centric Approach

Traditional marketing places a heavy emphasis on brand advertising. It revolves around creating a strong brand image and promoting it through various channels like television, radio, billboards, and print media. The goal is to create emotional connections with consumers, making them loyal to the brand.

On the other hand, SEO professionals adopt a user-centric approach. They recognize that the online landscape is driven by users’ preferences and behaviors. SEO aims to provide users with what they are searching for and ensure a seamless online experience.  SEO’s cannot be creative in a sense because they need to cater to the expectations of Users and Search Engines.  I’m not saying that SEO’s cannot be creative at all, on the contrary, you need to know the rules in order to break them.

The fundamental difference in focus — Marketing’s focus is on emotional connections, whilst the SEO’s focus is on online conversions — is two different things. This often leads to conflicts between the two mindsets even if they have the same objective.

IMO, they are both important and both professionals must work hand in hand and make compromises in order to achieve desired results.

Emotional Appeal vs. Data-Driven Decisions

Marketing leverages emotional appeals to persuade consumers. Advertisements often tap into human emotions to create memorable and impactful campaigns. Marketers use storytelling, catchy slogans, and visually appealing content to connect with their audience emotionally.

In contrast, SEO professionals rely on data-driven decisions. They analyze user behavior, search trends, and keyword research to optimize online content. The focus is on meeting the user’s informational needs and aligning content with their expectations, which may not and usually doesn’t align with emotionally driven marketing campaigns.

Push Marketing vs. Pull Marketing

Traditional marketing strategies are often categorized as “push marketing” because they push products or services in front of consumers, hoping to influence their purchase decisions. This approach can be interruptive and can sometimes be met with resistance.

SEO, on the other hand, embraces “pull marketing.” It aims to attract users who are actively seeking information or solutions of products and services. By providing valuable content that aligns with user intent, SEO professionals pull in users who are already interested in what the website or business has to offer.

Long-Term Brand Building vs. Immediate Results

Traditional marketing typically focuses on building long-term brand equity. It recognizes that creating a strong brand takes time and consistent effort. Marketers invest in brand building with the expectation of reaping the rewards in the future.

SEO, in contrast, often aims for more immediate results. It focuses on optimizing content to rank higher in search engine results, which can lead to quicker visibility, traffic and online conversions. This difference in timeframes can often lead to friction because the priorities of campaigns need to be taken into consideration.

The Marketing mindset, with its emphasis on brand advertising and emotional appeal, will always challenge the SEO mindset, this is because the SEO’s mindset is rooted in meeting user expectations and behaviors online. While both Mindsets have their strengths and can complement each other, finding a balance between the two is the key to a successful digital marketing strategy in today’s ultra competitive landscape. Marketers and SEO Pros who can bridge the gap between traditional and SEO mindsets are likely to thrive in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.

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