To hear some people tell it, any effort and money spent on traditional marketing methods is wasted. They will say that small businesses need to focus on directing traffic to their websites, since that is where most people find you today. In their opinion, outbound marketing, which is an umbrella term for all traditional advertising practices, simply won't draw prospective clients to the Internet side of your business. These experts will advise you that budgeting for print media, bulk mailings, or trade shows is passí©. Just throw the dollars out the window, because at least someone on the street below will benefit.
I think that we can all agree that cold calling and telemarketing have lost their effectiveness (if they ever had any). Not only are those methods intrusive, they basically frustrate both parties. That type of outbound marketing probably can't fade from the scene fast enough for most of us. The same holds true for direct mailing, which is costly and largely ignored.
By the very act of reading this, you and I are engaging in content marketing. You have found your way to the CommonPlaces blog, where I have written something which I hope will interest you, and help you in your business. If you like this post you might return, or read another blog while you're here. Feel free to add a comment or question, and download one of our offerings. Perhaps, from this, you will decide at some point that the marketing services or, maybe, the website services that CommonPlaces offers will serve your needs. Everyone benefits.
Inbound marketing incorporates content marketing into a broader spectrum of practices, including (but not limited to):
- SMM (social media marketing)
- Email marketing
Inbound marketers also analyze data derived from their website's performance, making decisions which reflect the best ways to grow opportunities and determine the ROI (return on investment) of their marketing plan.
Ultimately, though, personal contact still sells. Once the inbound marketing team has produced a legitimate lead, the sales team has to leap in. Getting to know your client is vital, starting with a phone or Skype call, all the way through to a handshake, a golf game, or a dinner meeting. Some marketers still see the benefits of pressing the flesh and handing out business cards at a trade show or conference. Not everything is conducted in 140 characters.
At CommonPlaces we fully support inbound marketing techniques, but we wouldn't pick out the casket for outbound marketing just yet. It would be presumptuous of us to think that we know what is best for your business. You know your clients better than we do, and we recognize that your business may need to conduct some traditional advertising in order to continually reach your base. By all means, go with what works!
We'd love to hear what outbound marketing methods you still employ. Have you integrated outbound with inbound? Are you still trying to make the leap to inbound? What works for your business? Please let us know.