In this online age, people are well accustomed to dodging adverts, and being in control of their buying choices. Half of online searches are conducted through smartphones, and the way consumers interact and engage with brands has made a seismic shift thanks to social media. Being able to respond to these new habits effectively is the key to staying relevant as a brand. Add to this emerging and growing technologies like AI, and you have a completely different marketing landscape to the one we had just a decade or two before.
Inbound techniques embrace these trends, actively engaging with audiences to develop brand identities, encourage interaction and generate leads. At its heart, inbound puts the consumer at the centre of its world. As opposed to vying for attention through marketing that shouts for attention, it draws people in through smart content and marketing techniques.
Just look at the four strands of the inbound methodology and you’ll see how consumer-focussed it really is. To attract, convert, close and delight, that’s what inbound seeks to do. Attracting through valuable content like blogs and social media, converting with the help of things like CRM systems and live chat tools, and using techniques such as effective pipeline management and lead nurturing to close the deal. From there, the lines of communication don’t shut. Instead, brands are encouraged to keep up the good work, delighting consumers with things like targeted content.
As with any type of marketing, all this is not to say that outbound marketing has died a death to be sure. But in today’s increasingly digitised world, interruptive advertising like TV ads, direct mail, press and radio have more than a few challenges to contend with. You only need to consider how we consume TV on-demand to illustrate how in control consumers are when it comes to advertising and content.
According to stats from HubSpot, outbound practices like advertising are top of their list when it comes to wasting marketing budgets. The key to understanding this gripe, is to delve deeper into what marketers are actually trying to achieve. The same survey revealed that marketers struggle most with generating leads and traffic. In fact, solid metric-driven results are rated as the most important thing for marketing teams. Compared to outbound, inbound methodologies deliver on this through creating effective customer experiences based on metrics, and pitched at specific points in the sales process.
Appreciating exactly how inbound works best is the key to getting it right. Through insightful data and targeted engagement, inbound creates a two-way dialogue that outbound marketing lacks.
Here’s what inbound really does for businesses:
Now is the time to review your approach to marketing if you want to take your brand into the future. Technology continues to advance so rapidly, the way we interact with each other, brands and organisations is evolving at a pace.
Inbound techniques seek to tap into these trends, through understanding that the consumer has control over what they absorb and act on. Rather than seeing this as a barrier to getting brand messages across, finding fresh, exciting ways to capture attention and create meaningful interactions is something inbound does, and does with aplomb. The key is to approach it right and develop a strong strategy that fits with your business and your audience.
Want to discuss how inbound marketing can help transform your business? Get in touch with our expert team today.