Are You Asking ” Is Inbound Marketing Right For Our Company ” ?

The Role of the Modern Marketer In Your Company

Any student of business management knows the roles of the CEO or business owner is to maximize profit for shareholders  while at the same time providing sustainable benefits to all stakeholders whose roles are to help the company achieve its profit maximization goals.

However, sometimes the roles of the marketer is not as clear. Obviously, your goal is to attract the right prospects and delight existing customers to help the CEO or business owner achieve his/her ultimate goal… positive revenue as often as possible. But, what is the marketers real purpose? How is this purpose measured? If it is achieved how would anyone other than the marketer know? You need objectives, metrics, and feedback.

Similarly, when your company Senior Marketer recommends the implementation of any new marketing initiative, odd are that the value of such proposal will always lie in the ability of the marketing campaign, program, or tool to deliver a positive marketing return on investment. And, the only way to know if it worked is the evaluate it versus the current campaign, program, or tools, establish benchmarks and goals , execute the implementation and strategy, and examine the results of key performance indicators as well as, overall goal achievement.

For years, the CFO, Sales Managers, and Operations have been held accountable for revenue and production. But, not the CMO, customer service representative, or marketing intern.

The Modern Age of the Inbound Marketer

Is inbound marketing right for my businessAs a traditional marketer your education into this new world has you riddled with buzz words and terms like traditional/outbound marketing, digital marketing, inbound marketing, lifecycle marketing, and revenue-driven marketing.

Now, you need to weigh the opinions and understand the minute nuances of each approach. DIR Incorporated delivered services for each of these methods.

Yet, it is important for you to know this post is not designed to make a choice for you, but, to equip you with an understanding of what Inbound Marketing really is, what it is not, and then leave you with the decision to learn more, or move on to another marketing strategy.

What exactly makes inbound marketing different, similar, and unique?

  • Traditional/Outbound Marketing: On most occasions, if you are not a marketer, when you hear the word marketing you automatically think of commercials, advertisements, brochures, promotions and trade shows; yet all of these would be considered part of the outbound marketing ilk. These increasingly lack-luster tactical marketing tools cost a lot of money, require a large investment of time, and typical deliver little to no positive results.
  • Digital Marketing: As “new tools” for marketing developed digital techniques involved email automation, social media, website SEO were added to the traditional marketers toolbox. Yet, traditional marketer continued to use old-pushy and intrusive marketing strategies with these new marketing tools. Not only could the traditional marketer cold call prospects, but, now he/she could send spam emails too. While traffic generation results are better than before, the increase seldom converts into to new sells or repeat business.
  • Performance/ Inbound Marketing: A “modern way” of marketing surfaced to include two-way communication with prospects and customers while offering non-disruptive content so that people come conduct research without feeling the need to hide from a sales or marketing person. Inbound techniques developed with the use of marketing automation tools, like Hatchbuch for young small business and Hubspot for distributors, manufactures, and service providers to help keep the modern consumer in mind. A strategy for using the “new tools” with a “modern approach” was born. It is called inbound marketing.
  • Lifecycle Marketing: Quite similar to inbound marketing lifecycle marketing is built with a customer journey to online purchase in mind. Marketing automation software like Infusionsoft help ecommerce based-businesses and real estate professionals excel at two-way communication and a modern approach to lead generation and sell conversion.
  • Revenue-Driven Marketing: All of the marketing methods discussed so far look at what is happening from the outside in. “Where is traffic coming from? How many leads are converting? How many people visited the trade show booth?”

In contrast, Revenue-Driven Marketing looks exclusively at what is happening from the inside out and the inside in. “How are we segmenting the traffic that is coming in? Why are does programs converting better? Would sales consider this a cold lead in need of nurturing or a hot lead ready to buy?”

Revenue-Driven Marketing works as a compliment to Performance/Inbound Marketing and Lifecycle Marketing. It creates service level agreements between sales and marketing, marketing and production, and attributes revenue responsibility to the CMO and marketing team.

Now, let us turn our focus back to the main question. Is Inbound Marketing Right For Your Company and what are the benefits of inbound marketing ?

Content is King & Communication is President

The chief objective of inbound marketing is about providing valuable content. This content will be able to capture and earn a customer’s attention and ultimately loyalty. Now, I know what you are thinking … “Content creation is nothing new”. And, you are correct in doing so, but, the way content is created and shared has changed immensely.

Content Curation is not a new convention
Photo Credit: OpenTopic

The Benefits of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is about understanding that your main website needs to be equipped with all of the information your prospects and customers need and are looking for to educate and entertain themselves.

While they conduct research on your website and occasionally share at your images and tweet your posts … you benefit from their sharing of your information and by obtaining a better understanding of what your visitors are truly interested in learning.

How do you track web visitors behavior?

Several tools exists to achieve this; one of the best free tools is Google Analytics. However, when talking about inbound marketing your are typically going to be using marketing automation software to tracking multiple metrics like visitor behavior, lead conversion, sales conversion, and customer lifetime value. Some of the better marketing automation platforms like Hatchbuck, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, and Leadsius also integrate with your CRM.

How Inbound Marketing Benefits From Tracking Data?

You use this data to create premium content about the area you detect are of interest to your various audiences, as known as, buyer personas. You uncover the pain points and provide alternative solutions to these challenges. It is critical to understand that inbound marketing does not included disruptive, unwanted content through use of such marketing tools as banner ads, sales flyers, or spam mail. However, search advertising, content distribution services, social promotions, and even some traditional tools can be careful blended into the inbound marketing mix.

How Much Does Inbound Marketing Cost?

The proper execution of inbound marketing at a minimum will require a monthly marketing budget of $3500. However, when compared to traditional outbound techniques inbound marketing has arguably the biggest benefit and delivers a lower cost per lead.

Cost of Inbound Marketing Survey versus Actual performanceIn fact, according to a survey conducted by HubSpot in 2012 called State of Inbound Marketing, the average costs per lead for inbound marketing was 61% less per lead than the cost per lead of outbound marketing. Honestly, we have never achieved that great of a savings for our clients, but, an average cost reduction of 54% is still pretty favorable.

In fact, of the 972 marketing professionals surveyed to create the Inbound State of Marketing the average cost per lead for companies using outbound exclusively was $346, as compared to the average cost per lead for companies using inbound exclusively was only $135.

** It is important to note most of our clients also engage in Google Adwords and Outbrain Content Distribution campaigns, which might contribute to the slightly high cost per lead rate.

Additional Benefits of Inbound Marketing By The Numbers

After actively using inbound marketing software for at least 6 months 92.7% of users experienced an increase in leads.

Nearly 39% of marketing automation users report an increase of more than 100% in their leads and 83.9% of these individuals noticed the change within 7 months. In fact, the typical non-eCommerce DIR clients sees an increase within 4 months, and eCommerce clients see an increase in 9 months.

In terms of sales, 49.2% of customers experienced a higher lead-to-sales conversion rate and 49.7% noticed this increase within 7 months.

At this point you should have two questions left in determining if inbound marketing is right for your business. They are (1) are my customers and prospects online, and (2) Should our company invest of inbound marketing.

Think about it for a day …. and I will address those questions tomorrow.