1. Getting Up
Whether you’re in the start-up phase or working for a well established organization, when it comes to marketing the first thing we tend to think of is getting our message out. Whether you know it or not, the times have changed and today’s consumers are better equipped to drown out your message (and with very good reason).
“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention. Thirty years ago, people gave you their attention if you simply asked for it. You’d interrupt their TV program, and they’d listen to what you had to say. You’d put a billboard on the highway, and they’d look at it. That’s not true anymore. This year, the average consumer will see or hear 1 million marketing messages – that’s almost 3,000 per day. No human being can pay attention to 3,000 messages every day” – Seth Godin (Source)
The idea that companies are shifting from an outbound focus to a better balance of inbound and outbound efforts is becoming more widely accepted in light of, well, evolution. Businesses are realizing that their outbound efforts need to become more personal, more relevant and contain genuinely unique content; hence, becoming more inbound focused.
Square one for most businesses is to develop powerful email or newsletter campaigns that will afford them the means to engage their audience on a regular basis. Although email is often viewed solely as an outbound activity, it doesn’t have to be (at least not completely).
If executed properly and with the bigger picture in mind, a powerful email campaign will begin capturing and storing your audience’s interests, granting you the ability to segment send-outs and facilitate a multitude of powerful capabilities in the future. There certainly is a difference between emails that are part of a broader ‘inbound’ focus and emails that simply scream, “me, me, me – thanks for reading – want to buy?”
If developing a newsletter campaign flow is something your company is currently diving into or if you’re already rolling along when it comes to this, make sure that your emails are designed with mobile in mind; this can’t be stressed enough!
With the overwhelming data regarding how many emails are being opened on mobile devices and conversely, how many emails are being deleted when they aren’t mobile responsive; your business cannot afford to damage it’s image by sending pre-historic (lacking mobile responsive design) emails. Times are a changin’ and you need to keep up in order to keep at it.
2. Getting Out
“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. It recognizes the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.” –Seth Godin (source)
This excerpt from Mr. Godin’s article above really hits the nail on the head; on the contrary, failing to ‘get out’ properly can result in something along the lines of a boomerang to the head (you get the point).
Rather than taking on a marketing model where you’re interrupting, businesses need to focus on creating an experience that brings value to people on the receiving end. The fact that consumers are becoming better equipped to drown out interruptions drives home the idea that in order to survive this shift, businesses must adopt an inbound strategy.
The video above is good for a laugh but it also serves in highlighting a more crucial point, which is that if you aren’t paying attention to your inbound flow your outbound efforts are going to end up hitting you where it hurts.
A great way to get started with this ‘Permission Marketing’ that Seth discusses above is to begin engaging with your audience real-time; a great email campaign, while necessary, simply won’t cut it on it’s own. With successful and immensely popular social media platforms such as Facebook, companies are able to converse real-time with their audience in a one-on-one manor.
Leveraging social media gives your business the opportunity to treat clients and prospects with respect and to nurture conversations of value that pertain directly to your audience’s interest or questions.
Getting started with Facebook marketing is more than just creating a profile and slapping a copy of your next outgoing email template onto your “wall,” which is why you should begin researching how to make the most out of your businesses Facebook page in order to get the most out of your time spent on this platform.
3. Success Means Finding a Healthy & Balanced Approach
The boomerang, from the point of being thrown all the way back to being caught, can be used as a unique take on the modern sales journey from prospect to client. A successful boomerang throw, just like enabling a successful sales journey, is all about technique, precision and practice.
On this journey to becoming a Smart Marketeer, it’s important to learn how to properly execute the outbound while fusing inbound elements into your strategy every step of the way.
How can I achieve this balance?
Well, there are quite a few ways to make sure you’re taking a mixed approach when it comes to your marketing strategy.
For starters, does your business have a blog that’s being updated with fresh content on a regular basis? Are you fusing elements of your blog content into your email campaigns and social media strategy or repurposing this content so that you can use it in other ways?
Getting started with a blog for your business is a great way to ensure that you’re taking on a healthy and balanced approach when it comes to your marketing. Once you have your blog up and running you can now begin fusing marketing automation elements into this channel just like you (hopefully) have been doing on your website, social media posts and newsletter send-outs; this is smart-marketing.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by putting too much on your plate at once; find out what works for your business. Even if it’s one post a month, that’s a start! Once you’ve shifted your focus to adopt a more mixed approach you must have patience and keep in mind that if you stick to your plan, a year from now you will have a higher number of quality leads finding their way to your sales pipeline.
Did you know…
Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)
4. 2014 – The Year of the Smart Marketeer
Once you’ve selected a platform that allows you to begin automating your marketing processes, in a relatively short amount of time you will begin fine-tuning it all; you’ll be able to attract and convert leads in streamlined fashion while simultaneously delivering them to sales at the most opportune of moments.
Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months.
(Source: Gartner Research) Tweet This!
It may take some inspiration to get you going, but once you do you’ll be saving valuable time and allowing your business to scale in an efficient way.
If you’d like to see first hand how easy it is to get started, you can request a ‘virtual tour’ of our marketing automation software. Here you’ll get a first hand glimpse at how eMarketeer allows your business to do all of this and a little more.
Thanks for reading and if you happen to have any unique analogies or ways of describing this inbound – outbound approach to marketing & sales, we look forward to reading all about it in the comments below!