Are you exceeding your sales targets?
Or do you get to the end of the month and have to have a call blitz; 100 cold calls and no one wants to talk to you. There has to be a better way to get sales...
Most marketing up until the advent of the internet has been outbound or interruption marketing. This is everything from TV spots, newspaper adverts, cold calling, direct mail, and anything else that interrupts people with a message.
Now you can add to that list email marketing, banner adverts and pay per click (PPC) and similar online interruptions. Studies show that people viewing websites now automatically block out banner adverts. Anything that looks like an advert is less likely to be seen.
Most businesses still rely on outbound marketing but they are getting less and less return from it. Newspaper adverts no longer have the pull that they once did. There are more magazines than ever and it is becoming more difficult to reach your prospects.
So what so the answer?
In a recent article I suggest that all advertising should have a social media element to help engage with your audience. Now I suggest going one step further and having an inbound marketing campaign in operation at all times.
Inbound marketing includes SEO, content marketing, social media engagement, video, guerrilla tactics and more. Using a combination of tactics across several platforms is most effective. You can aim your inbound marketing accurately to where your target audience is.
The big advantage of inbound marketing is that you are not interrupting people with your message. Prospects come to you and come predisposed to purchase. Studies show that around 80% of people research a purchase before contacting a business. Inbound marketing puts your business at the top of the searches and in front of prospective purchasers.
Here are some interesting statistics about inbound marketing.
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads such as direct mail or print advertising have a 1.7% close rate. (Source: @SEJournal, 2012)
- 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog. (Source: @HubSpot)
- B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not. (Source: @FactBrowser)
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. (Source: @Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
- Companies that acquired customers from Facebook: B2C is 77% and B2B is 43%. (Source: @Hubspot, State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
- Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound channels. (Source: @HubSpot)
- The average cost to generate a lead through inbound marketing ($143) is less than half the average for outbound marketing ($373). (Source: Econsultancy)
Inbound marketing tends to be less expensive and give a better return on investment. However it is no so immediate as outbound marketing. With outbound I can place an advert in a Sunday paper and have calls on the Monday. How many and how good the leads are is another matter.
Which is best for your business?
Inbound marketing takes time to build and the effect comes after several months of effort. So a combination approach, especially in the early months, is always recommended. However many businesses have already found inbound to be more effective and have now dropped outbound completely.
Some businesses are more suitable to inbound and others must retain at least an element of outbound. Striking the correct balance will come over time. I suggest starting a program of inbound marketing to see what returns you get over 12 to 18 months.
Once you can clearly see that this will work for your business you can commit more fully to it. The future for most businesses will involve increasing amounts of inbound marketing and for a large number of companies this will become the model for future marketing.
Interruption marketing is harder to make work. It is far better to be a business people are talking about and engaging with regularly. In this way when a purchase is to be made your company is the first choice. This takes time and concerted effort, but I believe it is worth it and will give you a sustainable marketing model that gives a great ROI for the future.
For more information on how Inbound Marketing can work for your business get in touch with Alex and the CR4L team.Contact Us or use the form below...