Outbound marketing is something that most businesses are very familiar with – getting their message to customers through TV advertising, email and newspaper. But in this age of consumer, inbound marketing is the fastest way to create trust and authenticity. The process and value of inbound marketing for pulling customers to your brand is something that only a few really understand.
Rather than accosting customers at every turn, inbound marketing is all about convincing potential customers that they found you and have a relationship with you. This method works best through effective use of mobile apps, social media, societal initiatives, influencers, and providing a modern easily-found web site with credible customer-focused content.
Daniel Cobb, Emmy Award winning advertisement executive, writes in his new book about how we are seeing the first of several waves of change in the new world of digital marketing. How consumers, unless initiated by themselves, are immune to most marketing influences and are basically in charge.
Inbound marketing is just the start of brand leadership in this digital age, with much more to come. Below are some of the key reasons to use inbound marketing as a focus for the next generation of your business and customers:
- Self-service marketing – Consumers don’t want to have to deal with a pushy salesperson or message, they are now carrying out their own research instead. They want to do their own value comparisons, see confirmation from friends and other customers. Providing credible content, assistance and sources is where the challenge lies.
- Search engine optimisation to get attention – Having a consistent and valuable presence on your site and social media channels gives you a much better chance of a higher ranking on search engine result pages. This is important to have as recent reports state that 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine.
- Participating in the top social media sites – The top social media channels for participation include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Making sure to have great content for search engines is also very useful for social media too, as it gives your social media manager plenty of valuable social information.
- Pull marketing is cheaper than push marketing – Website, social media management and content creation costs for pull marketing tend to be lower than with push marketing. They start earlier and can be spread evenly over time. Conversations get started, word-of-mouth referrals are initiated, which are self-perpetuating and the cheapest by far.
- Pull marketing is more effective – With the explosion of technology over the past decade, push marketing effectiveness has dropped sharply. Consumers now demand to make their own choices, with input and interactivity from friends about the type of data they receive, with the trend growing.
- Mobile apps and devices enhance social interactivity – As mobile activity averages are reaching up to 5 hours per day, and smartphone penetration exceeding 80 percent, the advantages of inbound marketing continue to increase. Making sure this channel is used is important.
- For ROI inbound marketing data is more easily measured – Inbound data such as blog reads, site page visits and actual orders linked to content are far more relatable to return-on-investment than TV show ratings, email blasts and sound-bites. The process is getting much more automated, as many tools and apps are being delivered to assist with this.
Inbound marketing is a change that we will soon see in the age of the consumer. Making sure you stay up to date with this change rather than waiting for it to wash over you will be an important step for your business.
Hellena Crompton, Director of Client Development at XCM commented:
“Focusing on inbound marketing doesn’t mean that you need to decrease the level of relevance that a customer experiences. At XCM we can push customer data back out from the single customer view. Data such as customer segment, gender or value can be used to tailor messaging and incentivisation via the website and the call centre.”