As consumers continue to obsess over their smartphones and Social Media, and the Internet, a fundamental shift in the way we market products within media is almost unavoidable. Because of this, Marketing Departments everywhere are suddenly having to understand: inbound marketing. What is this “new marketing”? How does it compare to traditional “outbound” marketing? How should my company incorporate this strategy?
Inbound Marketing: a marketing strategy that focuses on attracting prospective customers by offering useful information. (wikipedia.org) It’s basically a marketing tactic that operates on gaining consumer trust online and through different channels by providing value and [obviously] interest instead of selling/buying it. Essentially consumers have become more in control of how/what/when they receive information So, here’s a quick rundown:
- Clients find you via google, social media, etc
- You make a company Twitter account, Clients, Providers, Members, and everyone interested follows you.
- Communication becomes virtual (interactive)
- Social Media is glorious for creating conversation and interactivity B2B and B2B. So- that Twitter account you made, people start replying to your Tweets and asking questions, you reply with answers (ideally), thus yielding a loyal consumer (or follower).
- You provide value through education, entertainment, contests, etc.
- On that Twitter account, create a small budget for doing give aways, contests, or do a fun fact of the day, latest news, you get the picture…
Outbound Marketing: a marketing strategy that is more “traditional” in terms of media outlets. Outbound Marketing includes TV commercials/ad’s, radio ad’s, cold calls, print mailing and advertising, tradeshows, etc. Depending on industry– there has been a serious decline in these types of Marketing techniques. (44% of direct mail is NEVER opened!) Why?
- Communication is one way
- Sending out a postcard announcing a sale along with a 40% coupon, but if you’re not on my twitter feed getting me excited to attend and showcasing the amazing deals you have, I probably will forget and shop elsewhere. #sorryimnotsorry
- Consumer is sought out (“interrupted”) via ads, mailings, calls, etc.
- One word: Telemarketing. GAH.
- How many of your like those randomly EXTREMELY LOUD TV COMMERCIALS THAT TELL YOU ABOUT THEIR DEBT SOLUTIONS? yeah, me neither.
- Marketer is selling not providing value– nor being entertaining/educational
- I’m going to give a shout out to @Walgreens on this one because they do an excellent job of making a pharmacy the most exciting thing in the entire world. But really… daily gift card drawings, hilarious #’s, and events. It’s an awesome yet valuable marketing strategy.
Inbound = Results!
If you haven’t integrated (or at least considered Inbound Marketing) your company definitely should start doing some E-commerce and Inbound Marketing. Your company should find a way to integrate both types of marketing into your strategy– both are very important to consider, and how you choose to execute it will depend entirely on your industry and business type. For example: Technology Company would want to focus a lot on Inbound types of marketing as that’s how people would be accessing their information. Please feel free to reach out to me @trishbaden with any questions about both inbound and outbound marketing.