The Changing Landscape of Inbound Marketing and Why Should Marketers Care!

Traditional Marketing – including advertising, print media, branding and corporate communication – isn’t the same anymore.

Physical subscriptions have significantly dropped. People now handle all their bills online. Interruptive cold calling is a big no-no. And yes, more marketers are rolling their eyes than ever before.

With access to a wealth of information literally, only a click away, the former ‘loyalty’ driven state of consumer’s mind has given way to a more fluid (movement marking) thinking; wherein all buyer decisions are taken, often though the internet, after referring to several online sources such as authority blogs, articles,  word-of-mouth social recommendations or customer reviews.

Besides, the new social media paradigm has changed the way traditional marketing communications once functioned. The 4 Ps marketing elements which involved a systematic gathering of data from customers to identify their needs simply won’t work for someone wants to do Facebook marketing.

If that’s not enough, consider the following statistics-

86% of People Don’t Watch Television Ads. (The Guardian)
44% of Direct Mail is Never Opened. (The EPA)
Nearly 60% of marketers and business owners have adopted Inbound strategies. (HubSpot)
87% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. (Aberdeen Group)

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)

So what is Inbound Marketing, anyway?

The Boomerang Effect called Inbound Marketing: When Customers Come to You

Like the boomerang, getting customers to come to you, takes skill and strategy. ‘Inbound marketing’ refers to a series of marketing activities that gets you customers in when they are ready, rather than you going out and bombarding them with ads to grab their attention.

Unlike print and TV ads, inbound marketing requires the right dedication, commitment and resources to have a significant impact on ROI. Its rightful execution depends on building and staying true to your core customer personas while relentlessly tracking you lead goals. SEO is a classic example of inbound marketing. It typically works like this:

  1. A woman is looking for a nice photo frame to gift to her loved one.
  2. She goes online to research frames that can be delivered at her place. She Googles to search for {best photo frames}.
  3. She decides on one and orders it.

If you are a dealer in photo frames, this is great news for you, since you didn’t need to head out or cold call people who might be looking to buy photo-frames. You also didn’t have to spend heavy bucks advertising about your frames on print or radio. Actually your target customer found you online when she was looking and was ready to buy.

With inbound marketing you can match product related content, educational content etc. into a customers buying process, thereby increasing leads for your business. Lead nurturing keeps you at the top.

The Process

Inbound marketing is a holistic, data-driven process. Not only it involves creating personalized, content-rich and customer-driven strategy for each and every stage of customer interaction – not interruptive messages – but also looping them through ongoing engagements that pulls interested customers to your company and deepens their connect.

Why Should Marketers Care?

Marketers have heralded inbound marketing as the next must-do activity. A necessary integration in order to reach customers in the right channels at the right time, is keeping it folded into larger business planning. Content that is created for consumption form the backbone of all inbound efforts and must be supported with other paid, owned and earned tactics. Companies are finding these efforts worth because:

  • It is more consumer-focused.
  • It’s cost-efficient than traditional, outbound marketing
  • Inbound forms better long-term customers than short-term sales
  • Inbound creates better brand-building
  • Inbound is global. Yes, you can reach out to customers anywhere
  • Customers best interests is the guiding force for all inbound activities

While it is encouraging to look at companies increasingly adopting inbound marketing techniques, its full potential cannot be realized until its efforts are threaded through – and success measured by ones – larger marketing goals.

Can Inbound marketing help Software Product companies create demand on their websites?

The answer is “Absolutely,Yes !”.

Here is an upcoming free webinar on how you as a software product company embrace inbound marketing to its fullest potential.

Register Now for FREE webinar on “Inbound Marketing for Technology Companies.

Good luck and let me  know if I can be of any help !