Inbound marketing (getting customers to come to you) and outbound marketing (approaching customers actively) have different approaches in reaching and attracting customers. Shifts in customer behaviour means that more and more people are opting for the internet to find answers to their queries which has significantly changed the way people buy, and, importantly changed the way people obtain information about what it is they need. Consequently, this has changed the marketing focus in order to gain more sales.
So, which marketing approach is best suited for marketing today?
Outbound marketing includes most of what could be called traditional marketing. Some common methods include TV/radio, billboard, magazine, direct mail advertising. Outbound marketing has been around for many years and is still largely adopted by many businesses for reaching mass audiences. The question is, can it keep up with today’s fast-moving business environment?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many times have you changed the channel during an ad break?
- How many have you hung up on a telemarketer?
- How many times have you closed the door on a salesperson?
- When was the last time you used the yellow pages to search for a business?
The point here is that outbound marketing is becoming less effective and less responsive than it once was. Some people feel the traditional form of marketing can be quite interruptive as they are consistently exposed to hundreds of marketing messages daily causing a less engaged audience.
This is not to say the method has completely perished. If an outbound marketing strategy is executed effectively then it is still capable of capturing the attention of your target market and delivering optimal results. However, the downside to the outbound way is that it is harder to measure ROI and is often a lot more expensive than the inbound way.
Inbound marketing serves an online purpose to generate more traffic, leads and sales. The inbound marketing methodology is about creating useful and relevant content that helps visitors make informed purchase decisions or answers queries to their questions. This is know as content marketing, a strategic technique to naturally attract leads and drive sales. It is less interruptive than the outbound method and more ‘attractive’. Blogs, search engine optimisation, eBooks, email marketing and social media are examples of ways to reach your ideal customer. One of the key benefits of the inbound methodology is that leads that do come to you are ‘pre-screened’ and educated in the way you would want them to be educated. This means that you can reduce the amount of time you spend in the sales cycle and increase your chances of converting the lead into a customer.
Now ask yourself these following questions
- How many customers to you currently get through your website?
- Would building a strong online presence increase your perceived expertise in your field?
- Would educating your customers about your products or product category assist in the sales process?
- Do you want customers coming to you?
Since the digital age is largely driven by the internet Inbound Marketing is a solid strategic approach for achieving business growth and sales leads. Many B2B and B2C companies have adopted an inbound marketing strategy simply because it is easier to measure ROI and generates good quality leads.
A combination of both inbound and outbound techniques is most likely the best approach for most companies. However, many companies are well behind on the inbound methodology because it simply has not been around as long.
The Beginners Guide To Inbound Marketing provides you with a clear and simple overview of inbound marketing; the philosophy (why inbound works) and methodology (how it works).
If you require more information about inbound marketing or would like to develop an inbound marketing strategy for your business, feel free to contact Fit 4 Market.
Fit 4 Market are specialist marketing consultants operating in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth