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Inbound Marketing in 2016

Inbound Marketing is a term being thrown around in the marketing world.  What exactly is it?

Inbound marketing means marketing to prospective clients or customers when they come to you.  For example, they come to your website.  There are many systems and tools on the market today that focus on inbound marketing - HubSpot, Infusion Soft, Act-On, Marketo, Pardot - are some of the most recognized.
The philosophy relies on content (the words, text, articles, blogs) that you post on your website. Search engines and digital spiders recognize your content to answer the questions of your potential customers when they do a Google search relating to your services and products.

The magic lies in the ability to create specific campaigns and actions that engage those potential customers in relinquishing their information to you - the tools then can track and score the various activities of the prospect.  The top scoring prospects can be automatically sent communications or your sales team can be notified of potentially "hot prospects" - All very exciting and targeted ways to increase your sales and customer acquisition efforts.

If this sounds perfect for your business, it is important to remember the following:

  1. The systems and tools do not increase your revenues just by purchasing them.  You must create your strategy and set up the system to do what you want.  Many of these systems are complex, to allow for flexibility.  There may be many functions that require technical resources and go beyond the capabilities of a standard sales team member.  In depth training will be required, or you may have to hire an agency to set up and manage the system on your behalf.
  2. The systems and tools do not WRITE content for you.  The fuel that runs these marketing automation engines is content - either you will need to pay someone to write the blogs, articles, etc., or you will need to allocate the task to an internal team member.
  3. The systems and tools do not SELL your product/service for you.  For 90% of companies, the resulting efforts from these tools will be lists of hot prospects - they will still require efforts on behalf of your sales team members and need to be taken through your traditional sales pipeline process.
  4. The systems and tools are one piece of a balanced marketing plan.  Marketing tools, websites, search engine optimization, traditional advertising, email blasts, direct mail, social media, press releases and others, still may have a valid place in your marketing plan.  It is never a good idea to have all of your eggs in one basket.

Marketing Management Solutions helps clients in all aspects of inbound marketing systems - selection, implementation, management, writing content, creating email templates, etc.  If you are considering a marketing automation or inbound marketing system project for 2016 - contact us for a complimentary strategy session to make sure your implementation is successful in achieving your goals and not just another sunken investment that never gets working for you.

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