The debate about outbound marketing being “interruption” marketing, and inbound marketing about “deserving the attention of buyers” is actually a flawed argumentation.
The question is about how you successfully go about in combining inbound and outbound marketing.
It is true that traditional advertising is less effective.
People today like to skip TV commercials when they can. They are blind for online banners (on average 0,2% click on banners). They sign-out for telephone calls (2 out of 3 people in USA are on do-not-call list). And they opt-out of commercial email, with Google Gmail helping them with easy opt-out buttons.
But when you combine the inbound philosophy with the power of outbound, both re-enforce each other. Combining inbound and outbound marketing works when you:
- Using advertising to create awareness, with messages they care about.
- Paid content promotion about content they want to read.
- Send emails that are relevant to them
- Use outbound call center calls that are timed and relevant to them as respond to a pre-qualified need.
Ever since I became ravingly enthusiastic and truly convinced that traditional marketing is dying, and replaced by a new type of marketing, I have been following Hubspot.
This company acts on this new type of marketing.
This new type of marketing throws away manipulation, spin-wizzards, and interruption in its marketing strategy. This new type of marketing is about authenticity, being human and open, and being relevant to your audience. They embrace and understand the digital and social world that companies and people live in today.
Although the company was founded only a few years ago, they are already seen as one of the thought leaders in this area of new marketing. Their marketing is impressive, educating a whole new fleet of young, and not so young anymore, marketers of today.
They preach inbound marketing, or content marketing if you will.
“You must do inbound marketing to survive”
More and more marketers I meet start seeing this as the answer to their problems. They see it as a solution to problems like:
- advertising is not working anymore, or not as it used to do.
- buyers become very informed and lead the buying process.
- search engines and social media are changing the way companies buy.
And Hubspot keeps on pushing out and impressive array of content, which keeps building on these thoughts:
- YOU NEED TO BUILD EPIC CONTENT
- YOU NEED TO DO DIGITAL PERFECTLY
- YOU NEED TO DO SOCIAL PERFECTLY
- IF YOU DON’T DO THESE THINGS, YOU WON’T SURVIVE
This inbound model is about attracting and converting buyers further into the buying cycle. And to be honest, the model really makes sense. I myself am a big believer and defender of this type of marketing. And I really admire Hubspot for what they are doing, and what they mean to B2B companies. Every B2B marketer should check them out.
In essence, you are building content that creates trust from your buyers. Trust that cannot be overthrown by competitors.
But what happens if all B2B companies start following this model?
Imagine that all companies go through this learning cycle, and become great in building content, spreading content digitally, and engage with their audience on social media.
- They all listen to their buyers’ needs.
- They all answer the content needs of their buyers along the customer life-cycle.
- They all have “conversations”.
- They all build trust through “giving”.
What happens then?
This post describes a practical plan on how to do that.
As a marketer, there is so much to take care of to drive the business forward. Not only do we need to create a brand, make sure our brand reaches our target audience through the best communication channels, we need to engage and interact with buyers, generate sales ready leads… the list is endless.
Marketers lack credibility
Many of these marketing efforts cost money, which need to be defended towards the CEO or the management board of the company. Back in 2011, @BrennerMichael posted an article about how marketers have little credibility towards CEO’s. The post pulled numbers from a study reporting that 73% of CEO’s say marketers lack credibility due to an inability to translate the results of marketing campaigns into outcomes that improve business performance such as new demand, sales, customers, or market share.
This is compounded by the study’s result that 69% of the marketers actually agree that they cannot translate the result of their marketing efforts into quantifiable business value. Solving this issue is another debate, but my point is that sometimes you do not have the CEO behind you.
Do you believe in content marketing ?
But if your are reading this post, it might just happen to be that you got so much convinced about content marketing or inbound marketing, like I did, because it touches the very foundations how we do marketing.
And you believe that you should change the way your company is doing marketing in general. You believe that you finally found a way as marketing to grow the business and stand out, but more importantly, keep up with the changing world around us.