Marketing has changed - have you?

By: Marketing Donut contributor

Date: 16 August 2011

We all know business never stops moving. So why are people still using traditional marketing methods to tell the world about their brand?

Why continue with those approaches when there’s another way, a way that gives more results, faster and at less cost, results like:

  • Generating a business lead at 62% lower cost than with outbound marketing
  • Your potential customers finding you instead of you finding them
  • More leads transformed into committed customers
  • A higher profile and more established brand.

The world is changing fast — and the way people buy into brands and businesses is changing even faster.

How has marketing changed?

In the past, businesses would spend a great deal on separate campaigns, almost always including a separate marketing budget that would equal (if not exceed) their other operating costs. However, a new method has emerged more recently: Inbound marketing, using social media as its platform of choice. This method is much more flexible. With social media marketing, the whole company becomes one, with people at all levels working towards the same goal: creating interest, nurturing leads that emerge, and progressing towards a sale. With the enormous added benefit of a drastic reduction in the budget.

The costs involved in traditional marketing are not inconsiderable and can often escalate over the course of one campaign. With inbound marketing and social media, it is far easier to allow for specific budgets. There are few unexpected costs, and the price of any specific campaign can be accurately assessed far earlier in the process, without fear of unexpected increases.

Inbound is the way forward. As with any new approach, there is a learning curve. But inbound marketing is intuitive. As long as you understand the key ideas, the ease and cost effectiveness it provides make it a much more attractive strategy to maximise results on a far smaller budget.

Outbound is dying

Consumers now undertake a great deal of their own research. For many people, using the internet is easier and more convenient, for example, than shopping around in the high street to find the best price for an item. Now a customer can switch on the computer and with a few clicks, find exactly what they want. This is rapidly becoming the norm for everything — from food to high-end electronics and from CDs to pet supplies.

It poses a big problem for businesses operating under the old outbound marketing strategy. Outbound is the marketing idea that most people identify with as advertising. Whether it’s newspaper or magazine adverts, roadside signs or TV adverts. But perhaps the most intrusive tactics are those such as telemarketing, postal, and email marketing — methods that actively reach out to a consumer, whether they like it or not, and require an active choice on the part of the receiver.

People often automatically sift out and reject these forms of marketing, from changing channels on TV to avoid adverts to automatically throwing away junk mail. Instead of building a positive relationship with the customer, these forms of marketing often generate a negative view of that particular company. What’s more, marketing campaigns of this scale cost thousands, and could yield very few results.

People are becoming more adept at filtering out adverts and other forms of outbound marketing.  Yet some businesses are still thriving. There are some brands whose customer base is likely to last regardless, (such as banks and supermarkets), but those who offer specific services or products have found another way of keeping themselves close to their target client base, using a far more effective (and cost-effective) method: inbound marketing, using social media.

We all know business never stops moving. So why are people still using traditional marketing methods to tell the world about their brand?

James Walters is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and is an Account Director at Inbound Marketing Consultancy, Tomorrow People.

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