In the digital age, the traditional outbound way of marketing is no longer effective. In order to convert visitors to leads and close sales, a more modern approach is needed. This is where inbound marketing comes in, a method HubSpot describes as “the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business” and also the fundamental basis of our marketing strategy at TREW.
To help you differentiate between traditional, outbound marketing and modern, inbound marketing; let’s break down the two.
Traditional outbound marketing is focused on the marketer. When you think of how marketing used to be, you likely think of cold calling, trade shows, emails that look like spam, and interruptive banner or pop-up ads online. All of these activities feel very invasive and bothersome to the potential customer you are trying to reach.
Cold calls likely ended in an answer along the lines of, “We aren’t really interested in that right now” or “You aren’t really a fit with our needs.” Pop-up ads and banner ads resulted in pop-up blockers, as the end-user wanted more privacy and not to be bothered by ads when surfing the web.
As the digital culture continued to grow and social media became more and more prevalent, a change in how we reach customers as marketers was necessary. This is where inbound marketing comes in.
Modern inbound marketing actually focuses on the customer. The inbound methodology involves four stages: attract, convert, close, and delight. Whereas outbound marketing focuses on reaching the customer by going out of your way – and their way – to contact them, inbound marketing reaches them in a more organic manner by focusing on content.
The foundation of inbound marketing is built on creating and sharing content that is specifically designed to reach your customer base. This way, when someone visits your site, they are actively looking for the information you are providing. How is this done?
In the attract stage, you focus on creating content to attract the ideal visitors to your site, leveraging blog content, keywords, and social media to do so. The convert stage seeks to make your visitors become leads, using forms, calls-to-actions, and landing pages The close stage leverages a CRM tool and marketing automation to close these leads as customers. Lastly, the delight stage makes these customers fall in love with your business and become active promoters of your product or service.
Ultimately, while traditional outbound marketing hopes that cold calling, trade shows, and disruptive ads can bring visitors that could potentially become a lead and eventually a customer, inbound marketing uses a step-by-step methodology actually achieve these results. Going the extra step, inbound marketing does this in a manner that seeks to attract the right kind of customers from the very beginning, being customer centric from step one.
To learn more about inbound marketing and sales platforms, visit our HubSpot resources page by clicking the button below.
Learn the fundamental steps to creating an inbound marketing approach to help you stand out, get found, and engage the right audiences by downloading our updated ebook: Smart Marketing for Engineers: Build Your Foundation.
This post has been updated since it's original publication on March 24, 2016.