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Inbound marketing campaigns are very different than traditional marketing.
But let’s get one thing straight: “marketing” can mean many different things to many different people.
For a Fortune 1000 consumer products company (B2C), marketing may include buying prime time television advertising to create “brand lift.” For a local “mom and pop” restaurant, marketing may consist of advertising in direct mail coupon packs.
But for IT channel companies, such as IT consulting firms, computer repair businesses, MSPs, and VARs, marketing is typically centered around lead generation and lead nurturing.
Years ago, when looking to reach B2B decision makers for professional IT services, preferred marketing channels included trade shows, print advertising, cold calls, and direct mail. However because of how dependent we’ve all become on our mobile devices, search engine results pages (SERPs), and social networks, traditional “old school” marketing doesn’t work nearly as well as it used to. After all, consider:
How many trade shows have you visited during the past 12 months? How many online webinars have you attended during this same time period?
How many printed newspapers or magazines do you still subscribe to? Or do you get most of this same information online, in a better format, with near real time availability, via your smartphone or tablet?
When was the last time you answered a phone call without checking caller ID?
When was the last time you made a major purchase from a direct mail promotion -- without first consulting search engine results or social media contacts?
When watching a TV show that you recorded on your DVR, how often do you watch the commercials?
Do you know anyone that subscribes to satellite radio, or a streaming music service, or even just relevant podcasts, to completely opt out of listening to radio advertising?
When was the last time you said gee, “I wish there were more banner ads on my favorite website”? Or, “I wish I’d get more calls from pushy salespeople to interrupt my workday or family’s dinner time?”
It’s no surprise that people got fed up with interruption marketing -- because it’s so gosh darn...well... “interrupting.”
Inbound marketing campaigns fill that void because they allow your company to get in front of the right decision makers at the right time -- with exactly the kind of information that they’re looking for at that precise moment.
Inbound marketing campaigns aren’t magical, but they are much better tuned into the true needs of your targeted market. Why you ask?
Did you know that 57% of the typical B2B sales cycle is over before a potential client contacts any vendor? (Source: CEB on “Why Solution Selling No Longer Works”)
So, if your company isn’t in that consideration set, your company is either:
Entire industries, such as phone books, newspapers, and magazines, have been disrupted by mobile devices and social media.
And with instant gratification squarely on the mind of decision makers, the salesperson is no longer the gatekeeper and educator he or she once was for IT channel companies, such as IT consulting firms, computer repair businesses, MSPs, and VARs.
With almost 60% of the typical B2B sales cycle over before a potential client even reaches out to any vendor’s sales department, your firm has to reach leads much earlier on in the sales process.
To do this most effectively, inbound marketing campaigns are the way to go, so your firm can:
Attract the right visitors to its website
Convert visitors to leads
Close sales with new clients
Delight clients for long-term retention