Inbound marketing is a term that was coined in 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, founders of HubSpot, one of the leading providers of marketing solutions. They explain the benefits of inbound marketing the following way:
"Inbound marketing pulls customers to your company and creates lasting relationships. More than just a tactic, inbound is a philosophy. It’s fundamentally rooted in the principles that people value—personalized, relevant content and connections, not interruptive messages, and that marketing can and should be more lovable."
This sounds great, but how does inbound marketing compare to traditional marketing? What is the difference between "Marketing and Selling" and why should we continue to invest in Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is about providing your target customer with the right information they need to help them to buy your product. It is a bit like planting or fertilising the soil so that when you sow seeds (Sell) the seeds germinate and grow more easily. The more fertilised your soil is the less work you have to do to germinate the seed.
"The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the second best is today"
Inbound Marketing creates inbound leads, in a business sense it is about building Awareness, Consideration and Desire. There are 2 main things we need to build Awareness:
1. Brand - Brands build credibility and credibility builds Trust. Trust leads to Sales.
2. Products - Having a product the target market wants to buy.
The more Inbound Marketing that is done, the less process is required in the Sales pipeline. Each business will have its own unique sales process and timeline to close. Inbound Marketing helps to shorten that process and provide you target market with the right information to move them along the sales pipeline faster. In the ultimate inbound lead generation process, the Sales Process becomes simply "Taking an Order" because trust has already been established.
Setting up the inbound marketing mindset includes mapping out the journey that your target customer goes on before the decide to buy your product. It can take years or days to execute this type of pipeline and we always recommend that the first 90 days are spent testing the funnel pipeline and tweaking what needs to be improved. Once your inbound pipeline is built you nurture it and tend to the garden on a monthly basis so as to keep improving the results.Examples of inbound marketing include:
- Building Funnels - digital advertising such as Facebook ads, Google ads and Re-marketing
- Optimising Landing Pages
- Email Nurturing Sequences
- Events, Workshops and Conferences,
- Partnerships and referrals
- PR and articles
- Organic Social media
- Website, SEO optimised and offering downloadable value.
- Thought leadership and publishing branded content
Each business, target customer and buyers persona is different so there is no one fit solution that meets every business. Finding out who your potential customers are and making them familiar with the products and services so that they choose you takes time but it is an effective and money saving solution in the long run. It is a far more sustainable way to repeatedly have customers choose you.
According to LinkedIn Advertising and Marketing has the Rule of 7
"The idea of communicating a message over and over again isn’t new, and it has its roots in advertising and marketing. Effective frequency is a term used to define the number of times a person needs to hear an advertising message before responding to it. Different experts have different ideas for what that magic number is. The most famous is probably the “Rule of 7,” which suggests consumers need to hear a message seven times before they will consider taking action"
Thus making the Sales Process so much easier, the less Marketing that is done the more that's required in the Sales Process. If a prospect has no familiarity of the Brand there is no trust and therefore no credibility and maybe even suspicion. In this environment the Sales Process is much more difficult and expensive and labour intensive. You will have to rely much more on a costly sales team and the individuals skills to convert a customer. It's much more cost effective and scalable to invest in Marketing so that by the time the prospects sees you it's simply "order taking".
So where should you invest their money?
The answer is where your customers are online and what they are searching for. Understand the customer journey and the pains/gains they need answered to move them further along the funnel. Ineffective marketing can be a huge waste of money. But if measured and managed by someone with experience in building lead generation funnels based on your target customer - you will see a significant return on your investment over time.
Need some help to build your inbound lead funnel?
As a Chartered Marketing Firm we undertake an audit process before we begin recommending any proposals or solutions and we are Regional Business Partners for our programs. Your business may be eligible for a funded voucher for the process. We would love to help you, this is a great way to get your plan in shape and a good time to do it with the ever changing environment! Book a meeting with us and we will walk you through the process of developing the right metrics for your team. Remember, if you are not talking to your customers, your competition is.
What is your plan for scaling your business?
Disruptive Unicorns is an award winning Chartered Marketing Firm using Design Thinking for developing transparent ROAS campaigns. If you would like to talk to us about how you can develop the right campaigns for conversion you can book a consultation with us! Or reach out at anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org