In the marketing world, most tactics will fall into one of two categories: interruption marketing (also known as outbound) or permission marketing (also known as inbound). Interruption marketing refers mostly to old-school marketing tactics such as telemarketing, cold calling, email spamming, pop-up ads, and other methods that aim to capture the audience’s attention through interruption.
Permission marketing, on the other hand, is considered to be much more user-friendly and effective when it comes to gaining customers. Rather than annoying your audience by invading their awareness, permission – or inbound – marketing is about knowing who your prospects are and putting out content they would naturally be searching for. This way, you are allowing your business to be found by consumers who are actively searching for a solution, rather than forcing your message onto people who may or may not be interested.
So is inbound marketing better for your business? Probably. Here are a few reasons why:
Modern Audiences Are Great at Tuning Things Out
According to HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan, “your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day.” As a result, people have adapted to block these messages out with caller id, spam filters, mute buttons, or simply by mentally tuning them out.
Not only does this mean your message isn’t getting across, it also means you could be wasting valuable dollars marketing to the wrong audience. Consumers these days simply don’t want to be sold to, they want to be educated, which brings me to my next point…
Today’s Buyers Do Their Own Research
According to research, most buyers have completed over 50 percent of the sales cycle before they ever reach out to a salesperson. Furthermore, only 18 percent of buyers will rely on your sales team as an information source when making a B2B purchase. This indicates a major shift in power from the seller to the buyer. It also indicates a need to reach buyers while they are in the research stage.
If you are not connecting with your prospects while they are doing research, you are missing out on a huge conversion opportunity. By publishing educational blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and other types of content, you can attract qualified visitors to your site who will engage with your brand when and how they choose to.
Inbound Marketing Builds Trust
The core concept behind inbound marketing is to build trust with your audience. Like I mentioned earlier, consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be educated. In fact, most buyers will need to encounter at least three pieces of content before they engage with your brand and volunteer any contact information. If you can convince your prospects that you understand their problem and how to solve it, you have already won half the battle.
We Have to Sell the Way Our Customers Buy
Pumping your product and brand messaging into the ether is unlikely to get you anywhere these days unless you have an unlimited marketing budget. Consumers have grown weary of this kind of advertising and, more often than not, brush it off as white noise. With the power now in the hands of the buyer, we need to figure out a way to sell the way our customers buy. Inbound marketing offers a more effective – and generally less expensive – alternative.