Why marketers need inbound marketing
Gone are the days when digital marketing was about spamming people’s inboxes. Today inbound marketing is the only thing that drives results. This post is a primer.
Marketing and communication has been existent since pre-historic times. Though the tool used may have evolved over time the need to do so has been quite the same – To call for attention. From smoke signals to carrier pigeons to drum beats all have been used. From using this as a means of communication for day to day needs it evolved into usage for selling goods which was when the usage in the proper marketing sense started evolving.
If we take the days gone by we could actually realize that there have been glimpses of inbound marketing which was being used. Small shop owners shouting at weekly flea markets attracting people who have already stepped into the zone and are on the lookout for specific goods that they need.
Jump to the 20th century. With new channels and technologies having evolved there was a huge shift in marketer’s approach. This shift was also fuelled by the explosion in newer products coming into markets. Every business was plagued by self-centricity and started pushing products they made to the consumer. It worked as the consumer of the 20th century were being exposed to new products and less competitors for each, and the products that came on, had a higher degree of uniqueness in them. In addition to this the channels by which business could reach their target audience was limited. Mass means of reaching out was being used – television, radio, print.
Jump to the 21st century. Quite a bit has changed. Intense competition in any industry you take. Difficulty in establishing your USP, thanks to the large number of options available to your target group. Well informed customers. Explosion in the number of channels that can be used to reach to your customers. The biggest of the last mentioned reason for change – the explosion in availability and usage of the internet and the proliferation of digital marketing methods. Marketers have to understand precisely what their target group wanted. Approximate match lost its meaning. The size of segments that marketers need to develop to be able to do powerful targeting has been decreasing that increases the meaning of contextual marketing. All this led to the emergence of the Inbound marketing. With inbound marketing, the traditional practice of chasing new business by mass media and by buying media time and space slowly withered away. The objective shifted from brands finding customers to customers finding brands.
It has been observed, based on surveys conducted by multiple players, that in inbound marketing
- The average cost per lead for businesses predominantly using outbound marketing was found to be more than 1 ½ times that of businesses that predominantly used inbound marketing.
- Inbound marketing channels have lower operating costs when compared to outbound marketing channels. Channels voted to having lowest costs were organic search, social media, blogs.
- Inbound marketing budgets have been steadily increasing.
- 52% of companies that blog say cost of leads from this channel is below average.
- Average portion of budget allocation to inbound marketing has increased from 32% to 35% in a year.
- Comparing inbound and outbound channels the lead to customer conversion rate is the best with inbound channels (Search, Direct traffic, Referrals, Social media, outbound in that order)
Powerful inbound marketing tools:
- Social Media
- Organic search
- Email marketing
In contrast to traditional outbound marketing activities that makes measurements not a easy chore, most inbound channels are conducive to set up measurement systems and create metrics to track and analyze how they are working. This empowers marketers to make necessary changes wherever required and scale up successful strategies. In fact, you will be armed with lots of marketing intelligence that will help you make your inbound marketing into a strong lead generation tool.