The era of digital communications requires people, governments and companies to reinvent and adapt themselves, which is why “infoxication” and “empowerment” must be taken into consideration. Infoxication is a problem due to the many sources of information that exist on any given topic, preventing users from finding what they seek and making it difficult to process the amount of data they receive (Cifuentes & Vanegas, 2016). This has led, in turn, to empowerment, in which users consume and share information without any validation from outside sources or detailed arguments, leading to a vicious circle that increases this infoxication until consumers reach the point of infosaturation.

The solution to this challenge is to keep communications from becoming a part of the landscape in the digital ecosystem through something called “Inbound Marketing.” This strategy helps communications reach those it should, with useful and accurate information worthy of being shared. This form of marketing uses digital communication strategies based on technology, which can recognize and focus content on possible customers to best introduce a product or service (Steenburgh, Avery, & Dahod, 2011).

There are three basic requirements for applying this strategy:

1.            User segmentation

2.           Understanding of the demand and the Zero Moment of Truth

3.            Useful content

Additionally, Inbound Marketing has three keys to capturing user attention: Transparency, Personalization and Empowerment. To start off, Capitec Bank exemplified Transparency with the launch of a website where customers could ask any question they wanted about the services provided by the bank at its branch offices. The bank found it highly successful, later saying, “Asking ‘Why?’ helped us build a simpler, more affordable bank that gives you the power.” (Capitec Bank, 2017)

A clear example of Personalization is Erica, a chat bot similar to iOS’s Siri, developed by Bank of America. Erica analyzes user information and recommends ways for them to save or invest their money. It is designed to respond to individual user concerns, provide recommendations and offer personalized service through the app (Noto, 2016).

To explain the Empowerment aspect of Inbound Marketing, it is necessary to recognize that the examples above contain many of the improvements the digital ecosystem requires. But beyond empowering users with an app or initiative, there is a social aspect companies should recognize.

Take the example of FirstGem, a service offered by FirstBank to women entrepreneurs by providing different benefits and events to support and develop gender equality in Nigeria. According to the bank, “FirstGem for Women will provide opportunities to enable women to achieve their financial goals and aspirations.” (Business News, 2016)

Identifying users is one of the pillars of Inbound Marketing; Therefore, it must be based on the digital consumer lifecycle and its eight stages (Ilias & Tsachtani, 2015):




Identify possible users and establish initiatives to reach them.


Attract users through offers, strategies, etc.


Users share their experiences and obtain information on the product or service


Ensure the user has the best possible experience


Knowledge, evaluation and cost of current clients


Foster loyalty through focused, user-recommended benefits


Ensure new products and services are used, driving the business model


Identify which users do not generate value and understand the reasons why


But, how can a user-based communication strategy be designed?


  1. Research

Understand and analyze the offering and market to identify key actors and market needs the product can address; Focus on users, the company and the competition

  1. Define

Define virtual user profiles to help develop a digital positioning strategy

  1. Strategize

Develop an online positioning strategy based on Attraction, Conversion, Closure and Benchmarking

  1. Implement

Disseminate marketing and press pieces, and even communicate directly with users

  1. Measure

Define KPIs and develop a plan with daily, weekly and monthly targets. This is how improvement areas are continuously identified to ensure they are addressed


Useful and intelligent content arising from a personalized Inbound Marketing strategy must be linked to a LEAD to segment and capture data. Here, we highlight a model proposed by Salvador and Ikeda:


Active Listening

Report regarding what users say, digital channels and what is happening in the sector

Market Intelligence

Monitor behavior of the target audience when faced with various content to refine efforts

Research New Techniques

Both to improve products or services and for Inbound Marketing strategy, divided into:

  1. Segmentation and positioning
  2. Improving the product or service
  3. Recognizing whether users are interested by the information (or not)
  4. B2C communications with brand targets to expand actions


Inbound Marketing, though logical in nature, requires the right digital team, one capable of interpreting user messages and needs, able to understand the importance of correctly using data and LEADS. In addition, this team must also understand results will never be rigid, as Inbound Marketing is geared towards accommodating users and making communications efficient. This only occurs to the extent that, upon recognizing opportunities for corporate improvement, the team can help the organization prepare for the moment users develop a new demand—also helping anticipate reputational crises. There is a possibility this demand has been formulated directly by a brand or company.

Iván Pino, Senior Director of the Digital Area at LLORENTE & CUENCA

Diego Romero, Manager of the Digital Area at LLORENTE & CUENCA