The Marketing Dilemma
Traditional marketing, also known as outbound marketing, has become less of a focus for many companies who are implementing more modern methods of internet marketing. Many ask: Can you really run a thriving business with internet marking alone—without direct mail, print advertisements, custom marketing material, and other offline events? Others question: Can you still run a successful business with traditional marketing methods alone?
The answer to those questions is “no” and “it depends.” There are always examples of outlier businesses that still thrive by using old-fashioned marketing techniques or that thrive on internet marketing methods only. For the majority of companies, however, balance is crucial.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is also known as disruptive or interruptive marketing, because it disrupts the consumer. Television advertisements, radio advertisements, and trade booths are highly disruptive, and often turn away consumers rather than allure them.
Many marketers still report that over half of their leads come from outbound marketing and still rely on phone calls and newspaper ad responses. However, many marketers also suggest that the majority of their leads come from inbound marketing. So, which is the correct method?
HubSpot, an online company that compiles the latest marketing statistics and trends, reports that more than 12 million searches on the web are performed each month in the U.S. alone—that doesn’t even take into account Australia and the rest of the world. 61% of global internet users research products online, and 54% more leads are generated via inbound marketing, according to HubSpot.
So, if this is the case, why do so many of your peers rely on outbound marketing only? Is outbound marketing truly more effective?
Delving Deeper into Outbound Marketing
In essence, outbound marketing can still be highly successful, but it depends on how sophisticated the marketer is and the sophistication of your ideal client. For sophisticated clients and marketers, traditional marketing is still successful for attracting and winning new customers, but this method alone likely won’t result in extreme success in this digital age of content marketing.
There is no question that outbound marketing is still an important part of any marketing strategy—especially in certain niches, industries, and regions—but inbound marketing remains the direction of marketing in the future and should be a part of your overall strategy. Ideally, to be the most successful, you should use inbound marketing and outbound marketing in your overall marketing strategy—for now anyway.
Balancing Inbound and Outbound Marketing Methods
Marketing expert Chris Coward states that “a happy customer is an informed customer.” Risk surrounds the purchasing decisions of customers who feel either undersold or oversold. If a customer hasn’t been educated on the true value of a product or service, he or she could become disappointed or unappreciative. Disappointment can lead to low customer satisfaction which can decrease customer retention and have a negative impact on word-of-mouth referrals.
Inbound marketing is known as an educational tool. Today’s consumers seek out information, reviews, and research products and services before they buy, and inbound marketing allows you to be just a few clicks away with that information.
If you position yourself as an industry leader who provides the information your consumers need, your consumers are more likely to become happy customers who are well-informed and who attribute you with providing the necessary information. You’re now in a position to convert that happy customer to your happy customer.
The right marketing mix will consist of both inbound and outbound marketing so you can still reach the sophisticated customers while being attentive to other customers’ needs for informative content. This now begs the question: Is modern marketing just about high-quality content creation? The answer to that is “no.”
Inbound marketing includes informative and helpful resources, optimised landing pages, search advertisements, and more. When it comes to inbound marketing, there are a number of innovative techniques, including using public speaking to attract leads. In order to strike the right balance between your inbound and outbound marketing efforts, you’ll have to take a deeper look at your audience and target market.
If your ideal customers are young and tech-savvy, you may require little outbound marketing methods. However, if your ideal customer typically reads newspapers, magazines, or attends launches and events, you’ll likely need to rely on more outbound marketing techniques.
When it comes to inbound marketing vs outbound marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all formula that every business can follow, because every business is different and every target market is different.
Your business likely shouldn’t ignore outbound methods altogether, but also shouldn’t bypass inbound marketing methods. You should be doing a mix of both, while continuing to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing trends. The digital age is ever-changing and marketing will continue to change with it as buyers’ habits change. What you’ll need to remember is what marketing really is: the art and science of compelling and convincing humans.
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