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What is Inbound Marketing?

What is Inbound Marketing?

Traditional Marketing is broken.

86% of people skip television ads.

200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the do not call list.

Cold calling doesn’t work 90% of the time.

Let’s face it: consumer behavior drastically shifted when digital hit the scene.

No longer do people buy things simply because we tell them to. More and more, people buy because:

  1. They have previous exposure and experience with a brand
  2. They researched the product online

Or, in the case of Inbound Marketing:

     3. The brand offers customers value that goes beyond just the product or service itself

While #1 and #2 are valid reasons for purchasing – they are both out of the marketer’s control.

This is what makes Inbound so powerful.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing: A holistic, data-driven marketing strategy that utilizes various digital marketing methods in order to attract, convert, close and delight people into becoming loyal and long-lasting customers.

Proven to generate 56% more leads than outbound marketing methods, Inbound Marketing relies on audience insights, market research, big data to implement ultra-personalized marketing strategies, which – in this competitive market – is what brands need to stand out from the crowd.

Essentially, Inbound is marketing that doesn’t feel so…sales-y.

Inbound Marketing isn’t much different from digital marketing. Rather, it is a complement to digital marketing. Inbound helps businesses identify the right kind of buyers and attract customers through the following digital channels:

Last week I was out shopping with my mom and I wanted to go into this cool store. She said no, because last time she was there, she felt like the sales people were following her around.

So… we didn’t go there. We went to another store where the salespeople didn’t bother us at all – only initially greeting us and answering questions as we asked. And guess what? We bought lots of fun things we didn’t need!

This is the difference between Inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is the stalker salesperson, and Inbound Marketing is the laid back, helpful salesperson. See the difference?

Inbound ensures that buyers don’t go to your competitors over silly things like annoying ads.

Instead, with Inbound, customers come to you because you’ve established yourself as the solution to their problem.

Is Traditional Marketing dead then?

If you’re a savvy marketer or business owner (and you probably are), you’ve probably already read marketing reports and projections for 2015 and found that spend on direct mail and other outbound marketing methods are on the rise from last year.

However, there are 3 caveats to the statistics:

Individuals over 45 years old are the most likely demographic to respond to direct mail.

Individuals are more likely to respond to direct mail if it comes from a company where they were previously a customer.

In 2007, it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today, it takes 8 attempts.

I’m not saying that you should ditch outbound marketing altogether. Outbound marketing can still work. But you still need the right audience, business model, sales cycle, and brand affinity.

How can I integrate my current marketing methods with Inbound?

The thing about Inbound Marketing is that it doesn’t mean completely overhauling your marketing strategy. If you’ve found some success with outbound marketing methods like direct mail, brochures, in-store promos, by all means, keep doing it.

Just know that there is a huge, profitable online market you could be missing by not going Inbound. Don’t be afraid of transitioning to digital and complementing your current marketing tactics with Inbound Marketing methods. Be afraid that your competitors are already doing it.