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Too many companies today still rely heavily on cold calls, emails, physical mailers, and other forms of outbound marketing to drive their marketing efforts, despite many surveys saying these efforts are becoming less effective. There is another option- inbound marketing. Inbound marketing seeks to attract new visitors, educating and entertaining them, so that when they’re ready to make a purchase, you’re the first company they go to. Whether this is the first you’re hearing about inbound marketing or you’re already considering making the change, here’s a few key points you need to know:
#1 Consumers are Avoiding Salespeople
Gone are the days when a salesperson could open a phone book and cold call a customer and have a reasonable chance of success to land sales. In the modern market place, cold calls are much less effective. Why? Because customers no longer want to be interrupted and sold while they are trying to go about their daily life. In fact, people are taking measures to avoid what we call “outbound sales.” Your potential customers are now filtering emails, blocking calls, and simply ignoring junk mail to make sure that they don't receive any spam or solicitations from marketers. People know when they see an ad or hear a sales pitch, and today’s consumers don’t want to be a part of it.
#2 Information is Easily Available Online
How can these customers get away with avoiding salespeople, but still making informed purchases when they’re ready to buy? The internet, of course! Traditional techniques are less effective because they are reaching customers after they have already done research and formed initial impressions on the product. People no longer have to wait and hear information about a car from the dreaded used car salesman yelling in a TV commercial. Now, people can go online and find information direct from the manufacturer, 3rd party reviews of the specific make and model, plus see what others in the area have paid for the exact vehicle. The power in the relationship between salesperson and consumer has thus heavily shifted to the consumer.
#3 Their Attention is in Other Places
People just don't read physical mail any more, especially flyers and letters from companies they don’t recognize. Only a few short years ago, people would spend time open letters, read the newspaper every morning, and even purchase monthly magazines on niche topics, totally absorbing themselves in physical written content. Because of this, companies were able to embed their message in this physical content with the hope that the receiver would read it. With the rise of digital media, physical media has become much less relevant. While people used to spend time reading mail and magazines, now people spend time online. If people's' attentions are online, then that's where your company’s marketing should be, too.
#4 You Aren’t Just Guessing
It’s important to understand that inbound marketing isn’t just having a killer website and producing content, only to sit back and hope it works. Your inbound marketing efforts will be a data-driven strategy. While cold calling is little more than a shot in the dark, a proper inbound marketing strategy means you're gearing your content toward the right people, collecting basic info on your Leads, and only reaching out to those most like to convert to being a Customer. It will save you time and money, plus make your customers a lot happier. Inbound marketing allows you to be precise with your marketing efforts by analyzing the results from your campaigns.
#5 People Expect Value
We’ve already established that the consumer has more power in the sales process than ever before. With so many competing companies out there, that translates to them expecting value out of their relationship with your brand. If you are not providing content and value to your customers then you are providing less than other companies.
Clearly, inbound marketing works best for both brands and consumers. If you use the proper techniques, inbound marketing can be your company's most valuable asset. Impulse Creative can help explain those techniques to you, in our eBook The Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing. Download it for FREE today!