Previously, we discussed channel selection and introduced the concept of omni-bound marketing, which combines inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Omni-bound marketing and channel selection go hand-in-hand, so some of the information in this article may sound familiar. However, the thing to keep in mind is that channel selection is just one part of the bigger picture, while omni-bound marketing IS the bigger picture that encompasses a variety of components. But before we dive into the nuts and bolts of omni-bound marketing, let’s review the reason it was developed.
A Marketing Conflict
Prior to the rise of the personal computer, traditional marketing (now also referred to as outbound marketing) was the only option, and the number of channels was limited. With traditional marketing, the businesses controlled the conversations. That has changed now that we live in the age of technology. Digital marketing (now also referred to as inbound marketing) has become a popular alternative to traditional marketing because of the plethora of new, trendy channels. In addition, consumers are more informed than ever, and they now control the conversation. Digital marketing can be leveraged to win them over. In today’s marketplace, businesses are scrambling to capitalize on the shift to inbound marketing, and outbound marketing is getting left behind. But outbound marketing is still viable, which is why there’s a conflict, as the graphic below illustrates.
Inbound marketing is receiving hype for a reason. It offers plenty of new advantages. However, outbound marketing is far from dead and still has value to marketers. Make it a point to weigh the pros and cons of each before making your final decision.
Today, it’s easier than ever to find information. The Digital Revolution, especially the internet, have put it at the tip of our fingers. As a result, consumers no longer wait around to receive messaging from businesses; they seek out what they’re looking for on their own. HubSpot is credited with developing the term inbound marketing, which is defined as an assembly of digital marketing tactics designed to attract and engage prospective customers and pull them toward a purchase relationship with your company.
Inbound marketing has been promoted as the replacement to traditional push marketing, and it’s here to stay, so if you don’t jump on board you’ll get left behind. Statistics show that the average budget spent on company blogs and social media has nearly doubled in the last two years. There also has been an 83% increase in the number of marketing managers who say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their businesses. These moves have paid off, as 41% of B2Bs have acquired new customers by utilizing social media tactics.
The focus of inbound marketing is providing quality content. Companies that produce quality online content that contains a variety of keywords will maximize SEO and pull in sales leads. If those leads find value in your content, they’ll not only keep your business in mind as they move through the buyer’s journey, but also help you compile additional leads by sharing your content with others. One disadvantage is that it can take a while to see a significant ROI from inbound tactics, but it can be huge when it finally takes off. Here are some inbound marketing channels:
There’s no doubt that inbound marketing has stolen some of outbound marketing’s thunder. Print materials like the Sears and Roebuck catalog have fallen by the wayside with everyone now flocking to Amazon.com. But outbound marketing is the time-tested, tried-and-true method of marketing, and it shouldn’t be completely abandoned.
Businesses have found that pushing their message to their targets is still effective. In fact, 74% of B2B marketers rate direct mail as very effective, while 72% say the same about live events and 71% call email marketing critical. And digital reading materials aren’t as popular as you might guess, as 70% of Americans polled said they prefer to read print and paper communications rather than reading off a screen. Additionally, U.S. advertisers spend an average of $167 per person on direct mail, which results in $2,095 worth of goods sold. That’s a 1,300% return!
Outbound marketing doesn’t hold the power it once did now that consumers are in control of the conversation. However, it’s the faster and more efficient of the two options. Here are some outbound marketing channels:
Omni-Bound Marketing is Better
Many businesses stick with the marketing methods they have used in the past or use the ones suggested by their marketing agency. The problem with that is many agencies simply sell what they have in their inventories. A digital agency will push SEO and not much else. A direct mail house will push direct mail and not much else. A good marketer will realize that those kinds of limitations will not maximize results.
Your approach to marketing needs to be one that embraces both inbound and outbound tactics. It’s not about one or the other; it’s about how much of one and how much of the other. Omni-bound marketing is all about finding the right mix of inbound and outbound tactics to get the job done in the most effective manner. Think of inbound and outbound marketing like tools in a toolbox. There are tools that aren’t flashy and have been around for a long time, and there are those that are newly developed and state-of-the-art. You’ll pick the ones that work the best depending on the situation, and it doesn’t matter if the tool is old or new.
This needs to be the mindset of your marketing agency as well, if you choose to go that route. Rather than hire a specialty agency, work with one that has an understanding of multiple channels and is dedicated to understanding the buyer’s journeys of your personas so that they can provide you with the best possible strategies for your company.
Deliver a Singular Customer Experience
Omni-bound marketing is all about synergy. Whether the channel is inbound or outbound, all parts of your marketing need to work together cohesively. Consistency is key, which means you need to deliver a singular customer experience regardless of the channel. Elements like branding, language, offer and colors should be the same regardless if you’re using social media, a trade publication advertisement or a mailer. Your marketing is your lead-generating machine, and all of the parts need to be working together in order for your company to reach its goals.
Delivering a singular customer experience will help strengthen your brand, which is a major factor in beating the competition. We will explain the keys to good brand development and other steps you can take to stand out from the competition in our next post. Don’t miss out!