What is Inbound Marketing? The term, first coined by Brian Halligan, founder of Boston-based Internet company Hubspot, is simply defined as “marketing focused on getting found by customers.” The goal is to engage with potential customers using valuable content that they can interact with, “pull” them into a relationship, earn their trust, and then receive their permission to market to them. Think of this “permission-based” marketing strategy as a magnet.
This flips traditional marketing (outbound marketing) on its head.
Traditional marketing is all about “finding customers.” Outbound marketers will focus on “pushing” a message into a crowd over and over again in an effort to interrupt whatever they are doing so as to gain their attention. They spray advertising across TV, print, cold-calling, trade shows, direct mail, email campaigns, etc. and then pray that potential customers will respond to it. We are bombarded with over 2,000 of these interruptions every day. Think of a sledgehammer.
This spray-and-pray approach does, to some degree, get a marketing message out there but these techniques have become less effective and more expensive. Thanks to technology like Caller ID, TiVo, email spam filters, and things like RSS, advertising is being dramatically affected.
So the question becomes, “What marketing tactics should I use to earn my way into my potential customers good graces?” Of course you can start by providing great content through a blog, eNewsletter, or Social Media … but one of the best ways to engage a person, create a better customer experience and build trust, is by using mobile marketing.
As indicated below, in the awesome infographic put together by Impact Branding and Design, Mobile covers all of the Inbound Marketing bases:
- Mobile is a two-way dialog (vs. One-way communication)
- Mobile helps build a relationship (vs. “Telling and selling”)
- Mobile is less expensive than traditional marketing
- Mobile can help customers find you (vs. “Buying your way in”)
- Mobile is interesting, informative, and valuable (vs. Irrelevant or intrusive)
- Mobile is measurable (vs. Difficult to measure)
A properly executed mobile campaign will build confidence between the consumer and the company. It will show that the business is not just interested in an immediate sale but is interested in an ongoing relationship with this customer.
Does engagement marketing take more effort than interruption marketing? Yes. Will the permission-based sales cycle be longer? For sure. Will the customer who you market to with relevant content be a better customer in the long run? Without a doubt. Is Permission-based Marketing empowering for a small business? Absolutely!
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