Television commercials, radio commercials, print advertisements, direct mail, telemarketing and trade shows used to be an effective method to reach customers. These methods, known as outbound marketing, would push out self-promotional content in the hope of attracting new business.
Then one major new factor appeared: The Internet.
The Internet provided consumers with alternative sources of information on products and services. And for most consumers, this alternative proved to be more cost-effective and useful than traditional methods. The Internet, with the addition of new technology, enabled consumers to block out traditional outbound marketing messages.
When I talk with most marketers today about how they generate leads and fill their sales funnels, most say trade shows, seminar series, email blasts, purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, and advertising. These are primarily methods of “outbound marketing” where a marketer pushes his message out far and wide hoping that it resonates with those needles in the haystack.
The New Customer Mindset
In this day and age, customers are particularly disinterested in outbound marketing methods such as cold calling because of the internet. They don’t want to be bothered with weighing the pros and cons of a decision before that product or service is a necessity. And when they deem it a necessity, they simply look up the required information online.
Today Outbound Marketing Is Dead
More than half of all US residents and more than of all US adults are online. That’s 164 million adult internet users. One third of US consumers spend at least 3 hours online, ever day. At the same time, most Americans block TV ads (Tivo), are on the FTC’s Do Not Call list (or don’t have a home phone altogether) and a good half of them never open direct mail (44% to be exact). Marketers have taken notice.
They understand that interruption advertising such as print and TV ads and direct mail are being blocked by the consumer and they’ve shifted gear.
A wise marketer doesn’t force consumers to conform to former methods but instead shifts his focus to where consumers are shifting theirs
Inbound marketing consists of techniques and ways to pull-in the thousands of online prospects to your site. The idea is to turn your website into a hub of marketing and sales activity – a destination where prospects have directed to in order to convert as a result of the content on the site catering to their needs.
Some of these marketing channels include blogs, using a fan base on Facebook, creating connections on LinkedIn, getting followers on Twitter, driving traffic on Digg, being bookmarked on Delicious, or being found on YouTube.
Reasons To Make The Switch
There are several reasons why inbound marketing trumps outbound marketing. One reason is the long-term value and decay rates. Through inbound marketing, marketers invest in long-term value versus the quick spikes in traffic, which are a staple of traditional outbound marketing campaigns.
For outbound marketing campaigns, there exists a decay rate. The decay rate indicates a lack of traffic once the traditional outbound campaign runs its course. For instance, businesses may see an increase in traffic once a billboard is posted, however there is a drastic decline once it’s removed. With inbound marketing, business receives lower decay rates because the process is on-going and continues to expand. Inbound marketing allows companies to continue to drive traffic and convert the traffic into sales.
It is for this reason that you should shift your focus towards inbound marketing. Publishing genuinely valuable information on your website will help generate premium, pre-qualified leads and here is how:
1. Become an authority in your field.
2. Potential clients will associate you with your topic or service.
3. You’ll be able to network better with others in your industry.
The culmination of these efforts will lead you to better and more lucrative business opportunities within and within your industry.