Friday, December 14, 2012

Everything Has Changed…Inbound Marketing is the Future

I taught a marketing and advertising class to college freshmen a few years ago and almost everything we covered in that classI wouldnt give a minute of time today. The days of relying solely on the tradtional ways to market your company like  tradeshows, mailings,  cold calling list, and print advertisements are over. The fact is that people tune out many traditional forms of marketing. And who can blame them? Let’s face it, we all screen telemarketing calls, commercials, and direct mail, to name a few. 

Prospective buyers can afford to do so because we live in a world where they can educate themselves before engaging with sales. The Internet allows them to research their options without the annoyance of a hard sales pitch.In the new world where buyers are in control of self-educating, your job as a marketer is not to find leads; it is to help leads find you. Inbound marketingis a way of reaching prospects in this new buying model. In fact, as outbound marketing gets less effective and more annoying, inbound marketing takes on a bigger role in your marketing mix. So what is inbound marketing? The definition of inbound marketing is:

The process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.

At its core, inbound marketing is about creating interesting, informative, and even entertaining content and optimizing and distributing it across online channels so it can be found by – and hopefully engage – prospective buyers.Fortunately, when a buyer is actively seeking information or passively looking to be entertained or educated, their “anti-marketing” shields go down and you can begin to engage and build a relationship with them. When done right, this approach returns dramatically better results than traditional marketing techniques that rely on interrupting prospects. Over the next few weeks I will be giving you tools to utilize and maximize inbound marketing to improve your marketing programs. 

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