Despite the recent trends, many companies are still not making the best use of inbound marketing. Companies still rely heavily on outbound calls, emails, physical mail, and other forms of outbound marketing to drive their marketing efforts. While there are many instances where outbound marketing is an asset, inbound has been the new trend in recent years. Despite the widespread success that inbound marketing has offered companies of all different types and industries, many organizations are still reluctant to transition their marketing efforts to inbound. Some organizations feel that they have more control with outbound marketing, or that outbound marketing is more predictable or dependable. If you use the proper techniques, however, inbound marketing can be your company's most valuable asset. Here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about your company's inbound marketing plan.

Several years ago you could open a phone book and cold call a customer and have a reasonable chance of success (with enough outbound volume, that is.) Today, however, cold calls are much less effective. Why? Because customers are very aware of the impact of salespeople. People are accustomed to it. So accustomed, in fact, that they have taken measure to avoid outbound sales and marketing strategies. People have begun blocking emails, blocking calls, and filtering mail to make sure that they don't receive any spam or solicitations from marketers. People know when they see an add or hear a sales pitch. Thus, outbound efforts have to get threw layers out doubt to have any impact or effect.

People don't read mail any more. Years ago, people would spend time opening letters, going through magazines, and absorbing themselves in physical content. Because of this, marketers were able to imbed their message in a magazine or a physical letter with the hope that the receiver would read it. With digital media, physical media has become much less relevant. If someone receives a marketing pamphlet in the mail, the will usually recognize what it is and discard it. Physical mail has a much weaker impact, if any at all. While people used to spend time reading mail and magazines, now people spend time online. If peoples' attentions are online, then that's where your advertisements and marketing should be, too.

Before the days when the internet became a trustworthy and prevalent source of data, people would have to work harder to seek data out. If, for example, you wanted to buy a new vacuum cleaner, you might call the vacuum company and you would take them more seriously if they were to cold call you. Now, however, people can go online and find 3rd party reviews of vacuum cleaners. Thus, outbound techniques are less effective because they are reaching customers after customers have already formed initial impressions.

With so many inbound marketing companies out there, people have come to expect content and value. If you are not providing content and value to your customers then you are providing less than other companies which can hurt your brand.

Outbound marketing is like shooting in the dark. You don't have real tools to measure the success, nor can you efficiently allocate resources. Inbound marketing allows you to be precise with your marketing efforts by analyzing the results from your campaigns.

 

 

Published on: Feb 8, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.