The Shift: Outbound to Inbound

The Shift: Outbound to Inbound

According statistics posted by HubSpot:
– 200M Americans (2/3 of the U.S.) are on the “do not call” list.
– 86% of people fast-forward or skip advertisements on television.
– 84% of 25-34 year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising.
– 44% of direct mail is never opened.

As technology continues to empower prospects to control the information that they receive, how can companies acquire them as new customers? They must earn them by doing remarkable things. Earning customers is the hallmark of inbound marketing. In contrast, outbound marketing focuses on buying customers with advertising. Advertising is considered interruption marketing because its goal is to stop you from what you are doing and sell you something. To better understand the shift toward earning customers, below are the four building blocks of inbound marketing.

  • Content – Inbound marketing requires creating great content and promoting it within the right context. Content means blogs, infographics, etc. Context means the subject and tone of the content is relevant to the forum.
  • Social – Inbound marketing uses social media to share (educational) content and engage with prospects. The goal is to get found by prospects with a business problem that your product or service can solve.
  • Search – Inbound marketing uses search to increase visibility with prospects. Search is the primary way prospects find things. Prospects click 80% earned results (middle column) and 20% paid results (right column) on Google.
  • Conversion – Inbound marketing drives traffic to the website via content, social and search. The goal is to convert traffic into leads (forms, landing pages, etc.) and convert leads into customers (nurturing and closing).

Inbound marketing is about pulling customers to your product or service. Outbound marketing is about pushing your product or service to customers (a disruption they actively seek to eliminate). Inbound marketing is a two-way communication (dialogue) while outbound marketing is a monologue (one-way). Inbound marketing is also 62% less per lead than outbound marketing ($143 versus $373 on average). In fact, 57% of companies have acquired customers via their blogs/content and 41% of B2B companies have acquired customers via social.

The shift from outbound marketing to inbound marketing will continue, as more companies see its benefits. Does this mean that companies should stop their outbound marketing efforts? No. Education-based marketing continues to be effective because it focuses on the prospect, not the company or its product or service. Its core principle is that companies will attract more prospects by offering to teach something of value than by trying to sell something. The more outbound marketing focuses on educating prospects and solving problems, the better.

All contents copyright © 2012, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


One Response to The Shift: Outbound to Inbound

  1. Amparo Valazquez says:

    I am sure this post has touched a lot of Internet users. It is a really its really nice piece of writing.


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