Relying on traditional marketing methods for your company in the digital world that we live in is a recipe for disaster. Inbound marketing allows you to approach potential customers in a helpful way that they will appreciate, rather than interrupting them with the intrusive marketing methods of the past. If you haven’t jumped on the inbound marketing bandwagon, it’s time to make a change. Below are five brutally honest reasons why your business needs inbound marketing.
- Your Customers Think You’re Annoying
Traditional marketing methods such as television commercials, cold-calls, and radio advertisements all have one thing in common: they interrupt an enjoyable activity that someone is partaking in to offer information that they probably don’t want. There’s no way that most people won’t see these interruptions as annoying.
Since consumers are constantly flooded with marketing attempts, they’ve learned a very valuable skill, and that is how to tune everything out. The minute the TV switches from the show they are watching to a commercial, most people either change the channel, use DVR to fast forward if it’s previously recorded, or pick up their cell phone or lap top and zone out. Very few people actually sit there and enthusiastically watch the commercials at this point. The same can be said for just about any other traditional marketing attempt.
With inbound marketing, the customer is coming to you and seeking out information that you have to offer. Rather than being aggressively interrupted, they are going out of their way to search for valuable information about products or services that they have an interest in. When they stumble upon your blog article or website, they are happy to hear what you have to say rather than looking for every opportunity to get away from you.
- Your Marketing Efforts Are Old News
There is really nothing exciting about traditional marketing at this point. No one enjoys a radio ad, commercials are just an interruption, and most people simply ignore billboards and toss any direct mail. Even if you think your attempts are innovative and impressive, it’s unlikely that most consumers would agree.
On the flip side, inbound marketing is nothing if not innovative and fresh. Interesting blog articles, informative eBooks, fun and creative videos – these are all things that today’s consumer enjoys and finds value in. One plus for these inbound marketing methods is that even though they “technically” could be considered an advertisement of sorts for your business, they certainly don’t feel like it. Potential buyers may never even realize that they are being marketed to.
- Your Customers Don’t Like You
With traditional marketing efforts, everything is pretty much one-sided. In no way, shape, or form are you making an attempt to build a relationship with your client base. You may think you know what they want and need from you, but you don’t have any way of communicating with them to find out if you’re on track. In the eyes of the consumer, you are the big corporate company, and they are your target. They have no loyalty to you because they don’t know you. You provide them with a product or service, and that’s that.
With inbound marketing, you are actively building a relationship with your customer base through social media. By responding to blog comments, answering questions that come in through your Facbook or Twitter page, and posing thoughtful questions for your consumers on your various platforms, you are constantly building and nurturing a relationship. This leads to more loyal customers, more positive reviews, and more referrals.
- You Never Listen
Since you aren’t making an effort to build a relationship with your consumers, there is no ongoing conversation. If there are questions, concerns, or complaints, you aren’t hearing them. Consumers most likely have to call a 1-800 number to speak with a representative, and the odds of someone in power hearing about any issues are very slim.
By taking the time to actually listen to what your consumers have to say, you have the opportunity to learn so much about what’s working for your company and what is not. If you notice that there is a common complaint on your Facebook page regarding a particular product, then maybe it’s time to take a good look at that product and make some improvements. If you hear multiple times that your sales associates at a specific store are rude, you have the opportunity to not only personally address the situation, but to implement some changes. Listening to the customer can be incredibly good for business.
- You Have Nothing to Offer
When you think about it, what does a commercial, flyer, or advertisement do for the consumer? Pretty much nothing. Sure, it gives them information they might need about what you have to offer or a sale that’s going on, but that’s the extent of it. In a world where everyone is hoping to get something for free, these traditional marketing methods aren’t doing much for them.
With inbound marketing, you are consistently providing valuable content to your current and potential customers. From informative and entertaining blog articles, to enjoyable and instructive videos, to free downloads in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, checklists, and more, you are constantly offering something that they want. Even if all they are looking for is information, you have an abundance of that to share. This puts you in a position of being viewed as a helpful resource that they might come back to again and again.
As you can see, there just aren’t many benefits to relying on traditional marketing methods for your business. For the sake of your company, it’s time to make a change and begin marketing in a way that will get you noticed for all the right reasons. To get a more in-depth look at this topic, download our free eBook "How Inbound Marketing Drives Real Results".