Are you still grasping at straws and using traditional outbound marketing techniques and know that you are not only getting poor results, but annoying people in the process? Are you gambling with the latest technologies hoping that some combination of pay-per-click and SEO optimization will finally reach your target market and a ‘maybe this time’ attitude? As Seth Godin writes, if you have a 1% success rate and 99 out of 100 don’t click onto your direct mail, you’re actually doing well. This is obviously painful for both sides.
Since the days of Mad Men, how businesses market has changed dramatically, and in other ways, not at all. Even back in the 1960s, the marketing world was discovering that we buy emotionally first, and then our minds catch-up to either support or dissuade our desired purchase. In today’s world, why we buy hasn’t changed. For whatever reasons, we have an often unconscious emotional connection with a brand or product or even sometimes a great experience with a salesperson.
Yet how we buy has shifted dramatically. From TV programs to direct mail and cold calls of the past to internet mediums and social media today, we are bombarded more than ever with an overwhelming amount of choices via advertisements and pop-ups ad nauseum.
With less privacy comes more responsibility
Today’s audience has less tolerance for being distracted and invaded by these tactics. In fact, I recently looked at Mini Cooper's website (warning - you’ll be followed) and started noticing those cute little cars becoming less cute and less little on every subsequent website I perused. And while we all know that privacy is now a joke on the internet (hopefully you didn’t need to wait until Jennifer Lawrence’s example), there is still a level of respect and care that a company can truly have with its customers. And I offer because of the lack of privacy, it’s even more incumbent on businesses to tread with care when interacting with the public.
Thus the growing popularity of Inbound Marketing makes intuitive sense in today’s internet traffic jam. Instead of bombarding your target audiences with cold calls, eyesore billboards and spam, what if you crafted content that you were passionate about, and it attracted and spoke to the heart of the right customers?
Don’t Push the River Uphill
When I heard EMyth's CBO Jonathan Raymond share the way HubSpot describes it: ‘Market with a magnet, not a sledgehammer,’ something inside of me relaxed. This is exactly why outbound marketing had often felt like a cross between a sledgehammer and a dental chair. And most people who do it know that it’s often intrusive and a fine line to walk. And wouldn’t you want to draw the right people toward you versus push them away?
Do you currently put attention on creating incredible content through articles, blogs, video, infographics, design and smart social media that draws your ideal buyers to you instead of throwing your messaging against the wall and hoping that something sticks?
As one of the leaders today of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot really gets the B2H (Business to Human) interaction that has been lost with more traditional outbound marketing. And while Inbound Marketing is not the full answer, the tide is turning toward creating meaningful content that comes from your brand and expresses out to your ideal buyer.
And before you take any action, it’s critical to get clear on exactly what your business is standing for, and who is your ideal buyer that you are spending your time and energy engaging with.