Remember the days when the best way of marketing something was TV, newspaper, or giant billboard ads? If not, you might at least remember when banner ads and pop-ups all over your browser were considered a great marketing strategy. But none of those methods are terribly effective today, unless you already have a great deal of brand recognition. Sure, you can get thousands or even millions of people to see your ads, but due to the overwhelming number of disruptive ads we all see daily, consumers simply disregard any ads that aren’t personal. In this case, the money spent towards outbound marketing, could be money wasted.
Our business advice is instead of broadcasting generic ads to broad audiences, carefully target and understand your target demographics before investing. Inbound Marketing and Direct Marketing are two important strategies in modern advertising; which executed well in combination, yield far greater results than blindly spraying your message (money) away.
Inbound marketing encompasses the idea that a consumer that seeks or welcomes your message is far more valuable and likely to increase your bottom line; than given otherwise Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of your prospects; or being of value to your community and sought after. An example of “inbound marketing” might be creating a valuable video that delivers content which is highly sought after in your product industry. Inbound marketing can also catch references to “Permission marketing”, as in the consumer had opted in their email address for in return, your valuable content.
Consumers using search engines to mine information is another result of permission marketing, and can be capitalized on by SEO (search engine optimization) and Google Adwords. Google Adwords is an important subset of your SEO strategy; and is a vast topic all on its own. Other examples are blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, whitepapers, SEO, and social media marketing
The overall idea of Direct Marketing is that a message is directly sent to a recipient; a common example of direct marketing is email marketing. Other examples include: text messaging, promo letters, and catalogs. With email marketing, marketers rely on the inventory of email addresses opted in from prospect consumers or purchased through reach companies. The next thing to consider is the quality and/or relevance of your list of consumers.
If your list of prospects were purchased, it’s going to be important to analyze closely the demographics of your leads. Purchased lists can be associated with an outbound marketing strategy; because the message that will be delivered wasn’t requested of and might be disruptive. In contrast, If your email or contact information was opted in on your blog or social media outlet, you can bet those leads will be much more relevant and valuable to your cause. Emails which are opted in are highly targeted by nature, and highly increases the chances of being read.
Implementing a well thought out direct marketing campaign; in addition to the overall inbound marketing approach will deliver the strong, scalable results. Your inbound marketing will support your direct marketing strategy, and your direct marketing will be used to re-affirm your overall inbound marketing message. In addition to employing well targeted, highly relevant ads, “inbound marketing” provides better measuring tools to analyze your campaigns effectiveness.
There is a fundamental shift occurring to the way marketing is thought-over and practiced moving forward. As consumers become less susceptible to outbound or “push marketing”, more and more marketing efforts today are focused around inbound marketing. According to a study done in 2012 by Blog HubSpot, 89% of businesses are either maintaining or increasing their inbound marketing budgets. That same study went to show that the average cost-per-lead for inbound focused businesses was 61% less; when compared to outbound leads. Tell us what you think a great example of Inbound Marketing is!