If you don’t know what Inbound Marketing is, better late than never.
In with the New, Out with the Old
Okay, not exactly. Marketers haven’t stopped using means of Outbound marketing altogether, but the shift has been towards businesses putting their marketing dollars into Inbound marketing.
So, what is the difference? Put simply, Outbound marketing is means of promotion that reaches out to a capture a customer’s attention. These are often unsolicited by the prospect. Examples include, print ads, TV ads, cold calling, trade shows, and email blasts.
Inbound marketing is when customers chase you. When they seek out information related to your business out of pure interest for that information. Means of Inbound marketing include, blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn groups, search engine optimisation and RSS feeds – and are primarily forms of Online Marketing.
Big Businesses Bank on Inbound Marketing
Millions of people around the world now do their research on products and services online. The purpose of marketing and advertising still remains the same – to promote and sell the product, but the way in which businesses need to craft their messages has been revolutionised. Online/Inbound marketing has been around for a while, but it is the past two or three years where there has been a significant shift in the way businesses spend their marketing budgets.
Andy Lark, the Commonwealth Bank’s chief marketing officer (and controller of the business’ marketing purse strings) estimates that close to 45 per cent of the bank’s advertising and marketing budget will be spent on digital marketing by the end of this year.
Customers are connected to the Internet wherever they go. It’s a struggle to get them off their iPhones and the Internet even when crossing a street!
That being said, the digital marketing industry is ever-changing, which creates a challenge for business to their digital marketing right and produce a decent ROI.
This isn’t stating the demise of traditional media, but to say that online marketing can also be used to boost traditional media. For instance, a promotion on Facebook, or Twitter channels of a business can often lead to increased viewership of a television show, when the message goes viral.
Marketers need to identify complementary media to ensure they are using multiple channels to spread their message. The way in which this integration is achieved depends on the product or service.
The Shift In Power: Regain Control Over Your Brand’s Communication
The move from Outbound to Inbound marketing shows that the power has shifted from big companies to consumers. There are ways to harness the power of online marketing to regain some degree of control.
Let’s take for instance Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Social media is now regularly used to praise, recommend or condemn products. We are, as a result having to manage other people transmitting information about us – something we weren’t used to when we controlled all forms of communication.
There are tips and tricks to manage and monitor conversations to regain some of that control and what’s more find opportunities from the conversations that consumers are having about a brand or a product.