If you didn’t already guess, inbound marketing is a revolutionary way of marketing!
Marketo, a company who makes marketing automation software for companies, defines inbound marketing as “The process of helping potential customers find your company, often before they are even looking to make a purchase, and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue”. Because inbound marketing is targeted to people who could be potential customers, the approach shows better returns than any other traditional marketing technique. What’s good about inbound marketing is that there is many ways to reach to people in just specifically your target market, such as through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Anyone can share your advertisements and companies content in order to expand your reach even further. Since I started learning about marketing (fairly recently), inbound has been introduced to me. It’s a marketing strategy that has been around but has thrived because of the growth of social media and search engine optimization. But in the past, mass marketing was done a lot more to get the attention of consumers. From reading the e-book from Marketo, I am surprised that there were inherent flaws to having inbound marketing. Although there are these flaws, I still believe that inbound marketing is the best way to reach out to your target market. However, a benefit about outbound marketing is that there can be an element of personal touch like establishing a one-on-one relationship that is not possible with inbound marketing.
Marketing automation is the “use of technology to manage and automate the process of converting prospective customers into actual buyers”.
Marketing Automation supports inbound marketing in the following ways:
- Raises raises open and click rates
- Enables A/B testing beyond just landing pages on your website
- Creates new landing pages in minutes without IT
- Shortens sales cycles
- Let sales know when their prospects are engaging online
- Automates repetitive tasks
- Delivers sophisticated reporting and analytics
- Wins more deals and generates higher revenue per deal
In these ways, your marketing program can be dramatically improved and reduce the costs across the sales and marketing organization.
Marketo has a Proper Program Mix that can help tell you how far along your company is and enhance your marketing success. I wont list them all there is a checklist in every area. Inbound marketing, outbound marketing (online/offline campaigns & field marketing), corporate marketing, marketing automation, and metrics that matter.
I found an interesting article that shows how some companies are using inbound marketing in the right way! Orange Line, Australia’s leading strategic inbound marketing consultancy, blogs about companies with “an innate sense [on] what it takes to attract a market”. Read about it HERE!!
In the HubSpot: Inbound Marketing Web 2.0 case study, founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah express that there was a “new way of doing business that would fundamentally change how marketers reached their customers”. Now what do you think that “new way” is? … I hope you thought Inbound Marketing!
This article starts off in a dramatic way saying that there is a way that HubSpot has been, but they know their way of doing business was going to change forever. This way of starting off the article seemed very engaging. The author made you want to know what happens to the company HubSpot. It was almost as if this was a documentary about the company with a man with a deep voice doing a voice over.
Once companies noticed that inbound marketing was the new to market their company, there were many things that they would have to change. HubSpot noticed that outbound marketing was pulling people away from their families and interrupting their lives. They decided the best was to get people interested in their product was to blog with interesting content so that people WANT and are INTERESTED to hear what they have to say. Maximizing inbound marketing requires three distinct skills.
- The ability to write compelling content that would attract customers to the business.
- The ability to distribute that content so that it is easily found by perspective customers using search engines, which requires a sophisticated understanding of search engine optimization.
- The ability to attract and engage a community of followers who interacted with the content, added their thoughts to it in an ongoing dialogue and disseminated it to others.
So what HubSpot created was a software that allowed those unfamiliar with Web 2.0 to manage a thriving inbound marketing program. This software had templates for websites, blogs, and social networking sites, as well as tools to help customers optimize their exposure on the internet, help customers solicit and engage the right customers, and analyze their results. This is especially helpful with SEO because businesses are able to see what keywords people are using to find them. I know that for my blog I wish I had this! Sometimes I never know what keywords to tag so I wish I could see how people are finding my website.
The low cost of using their software got companies hooked on their product. Halligan and Shah realized that there were many different types of companies using their product. These companies were separated into two categories; Owner Ollies and Marketer Marys. Owner Ollies owned small businesses with 1-25 employees and busy simultaneously managing HR, marketing, sales, operations, and finance areas. Marketer Marys were marketing professionals working in companies that ranged from 26-100 people and supported by a marketing team. With these two different type of target markets, HubSpot tried their best to reach out to both. However, because their policy is that with inbound marketing there is no need to make cold calls. This makes it harder for HubSpot because they are depending on the companies to call them. Their image restricts them from doing some outbound marketing. Because of this, HubSpot believes that although their founding vision was “centered around inbound marketing”, most businesses must rely on “a mix on inbound and outbound marketing”.
Check out HubSpot’s Blog to see if you like what they have been up to!
Thanks for reading,