There are primarily two forms of marketing to consider while spending your marketing moolah: inbound and outbound marketing. While most businesses can benefit from integrating inbound/outbound marketing campaigns, it’s important to consider the pros/cons of each form. Here’s how these two styles compare.
Outbound and inbound marketing differ in the approach they use. Inbound marketing’s goal is to bring the customer to you, while Outbound takes your products/services to the customer. Hence, outbound is considered to be a “cold” approach and inbound a “warm” approach.
Customers are “warm” toward your products/services once they find you through the inbound marketing approach because they have already expressed interest in your type of business by performing some type of search. Inbound marketing has a positive RonR (Return on Relationships) which goes beyond revenue.
When buyers actively seek information about a product or look to be educated, their “anti-marketing” shields go down. This enables you to be more operationally efficient, target your marketing efforts directly to motivated buyers, and build better products/services.
HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report conducted a survey of 972 marketing professionals in January 2012, found that inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a 61% lower cost per lead. The average cost per lead for outbound-dominated businesses was $346. In comparison, it was $135 for businesses leveraging primarily inbound techniques. Some aspects of inbound marketing campaign can be easily completed by the business owner or team members.
A successful outbound marketing campaign could procure results right away. Inbound marketing campaign, might take time, reason being, the search engine optimization techniques you use has to increase your site ranking and alert your presence on the Web.
Why Integrate Inbound Outbound Marketing?
Inbound and outbound are not mutually exclusive. A balance must be struck, mainly driven by the cost trade-off of acquiring customers under each strategy. Integrated marketing, does not limit or confine you to just one operational paradigm. Function boundlessly in your marketing — drawing on inbound and outbound tactics on a case-by-case basis.
While inbound marketing can be highly effective for most types of prospects, others — like the CEO — can be immune to its charms. A potent mix of PR, outbound marketing, traditional advertising and high-powered face-to-face networking could offset that. Not all professional networking happens on LinkedIn…A firm handshake, a killer golf swing, the ability to hold your scotch could not hurt either. A business should not be confined to genders or inbound/outbound marketing exclusively.
Integrated inbound outbound marketing promises access to a single view of campaign effectiveness. Top questions for marketing accountability include: The campaign management pipeline; return on investment (ROI) for campaigns; budget for future for Campaign/offers/channels etc. An integrated inbound/outbound environment will provide more data to start answering these questions.
Integrating inbound outbound marketing capabilities, one inbound outbound-capable dialogue, a common set of analytical tools and a signal-administration for sign-on, can significantly provide effectiveness and efficiency. Reduction in campaign creation time, execution and reporting, combining inbound and outbound customer data can all allow marketers to make necessary changes to ongoing campaigns based on the real-time response and feedback of customers en route.
Understanding the marketing campaigns targets, the offers of the outbound campaign, the communications from an inbound offer and reconciling the two for consistency are key benefits for inbound outbound integration. Capabilities (such as a common data source, access to an online/offline shared offer and segment library) and connected inbound outbound-capable dialogue will have a substantial impact on a consistent customer experience. The ability to extend a relevant, planned offer during a spontaneous customer interaction has shown response rates approaching 15 times that of non-targeted outbound campaigns.
When done in unison you can scale quicker and more efficiently. Try and test aggressively with inbound tactics and apply findings to outbound marketing efforts. Test offers and/or messaging first and concentrate on key metrics – conversions instead of clicks. Successful outbound marketing campaigns can be reposted on social media for more exposure. Aligning the two strategies will give your business a consistent brand reputation.
An integrated inbound outbound marketing implementation takes into account that your potential clients are increasingly busy and resistant to impingement on their time. Advent of white papers, industry analyst reports, email campaigns, business blogs, webinars, search engine optimization, etc., can help you provide prospects information needed to make their own decisions “independently”. As an added bonus, with strategic integrated marketing campaigns, prospects will be more receptive and informed about your company/solution and thereby it may lead to shortening your sales cycle!
Careful implementation is crucial for the smooth integration of separate marketing campaigns. Inconsistent messages make the integration ineffective. Thus, the positioning strategy of different campaigns needs to be consistent so that prospects are always getting a coherent message. Results should be monitored and integrated marketing campaigns adjusted accordingly. Part of campaign management involves selecting the best marketing tactics. Whether you are better served with an internet marketing campaign or a trade show exhibition, should you opt to invest in search engine optimization or online advertising campaign, it is important to select an approach that matches your offering.
Integrated inbound outbound marketing strategies can bring breakthrough results to a B2B company’s marketing effectiveness.
The marketing strategies of B2B businesses are, in many ways, different from the marketing strategies of a B2C business, simply because their products and targets are dissimilar. B2C strategy is designed to incite desire for a product or service, creating a specific call to bring the customer to action by purchasing the product, while a B2B has a trickier end goal – creating a long-term relationship as they partner with other businesses.
Successful B2B (and B2C for that matter) marketing has and always will be about understanding your customer via research to uncover insights. The focus should be on integrating inbound outbound marketing efforts to gain and use the best results/insights to craft the right marketing mix for your company and brand. Most effective B2B marketing programs today actively manage integrated campaigns and regularly balance tactics and execution, managing and trialing their efforts based on measurable campaign results and pipeline contribution.
iEntrepreneur recommends that businesses integrate their inbound and outbound marketing for better overall results. Marketing success in today’s highly competitive Communications and Media market requires integrated, real-time communication across all channels and traditional inbound outbound activity. Contact us to find out more.