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There is a lot of talk about inbound and outbound marketing these days. Many businesses are moving their marketing practices towards Inbound Marketing and away from Outbound Marketing in order to reach, potential customers more cost effectively. However, what is the difference between inbound and Outbound Marketing?
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing (also called content marketing and pull marketing) is the process of bringing potential customers to your business by going where your potential customers and customers hang out, engaging in conversations with them and drawing them to your website, blog or brick and mortar store.
Inbound Marketing is about providing content that is interesting to people who want to learn about the subject you are addressing. It is about sharing your knowledge and message in a variety of forms to readers and engaging them in conversations.
Inbound Marketing tactics used by businesses to reach potential customers and current customers include blogs, articles, newsletters, twitter, facebook, webinars, podcasts, videos, social networking sites, and websites just to name a few. The key to Inbound Marketing is integrating a variety of methods to reach readers.
Pros of Inbound Marketing:
• Can be handled by one person
• Effective for all size businesses
• Levels the playing field
• Reaches targeted buyers
• Build credibility and loyalty
• You know that prospects are interested because they have engaged in conversations with you
Cons of Inbound Marketing:
• Time consuming
• Can be overwhelming
• Can be slow to produce results
• Learning curve can be long and confusing
• Can be difficult to measure results
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound Marketing (also called interruption marketing and push marketing) is the process of pushing potential customers toward your business by interrupting potential customers and customers with your message in places where they hang out. Outbound marketing is about telling listeners about your product or service and pushing them toward your website, blog or brick and mortar store.
Outbound Marketing is about telling the people who are listening what you think is important about your product or service. Outbound Marketing is about reaching the masses and telling talking to them, interrupting as many people as possible in order to find potential customers.
Outbound Marketing tactics used by businesses to reach potential customers and current customers include cold-calling, commercials, post-cards, direct mail, radio spots, trade shows, just to name a few. The key to Outbound Marketing is reaching as many people as possible to attract enough people to purchase your product or service.
Pros of Outbound Marketing:
• Reaches the masses
• Effectiveness can be measured
• Offers tried and true results
• Potential customers are familiar with Outbound Marketing methods
Cons of Outbound Marketing:
• Conversions rates are very low, usually 1-3%
• Harder to get prospects to listen to messages
• Prospects are turned off by interruption messages
• Prospects are less trustful of outbound messages
• Does not engage prospects
Should you choose one method over the other?
The answer to this question depends on the type of business you operate, your objectives and budget. A good marketing plan will encompass a combination of inbound and outbound marketing to reach prospects and current customers.
What are your thoughts?
In what ways are you using Inbound and Outbound marketing effectively?
What I want you to do next:
Leave a comment on my Blog, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for the Financial Services Industry and sign up for my NEWSLETTER
One of the biggest obstacles that businesses face today is a lack of trust. According to recent survey, 62% of Americans do not trust businesses. A survey by the Better Business Bureau found that those surveyed chose business accordingly:
- 53% said the company’s reputation for honesty and fairness
- 57% said the company’s reputation for being both dependable and reliable.
- 54% said the company’s reputation for providing good value for money
It is paramount that to build a successful business, you have to build trust to gain new customers, keep current customers and to get current customers to refer you to other potential business.
How can you go about building trust so that prospects will do business with you and current clients continue to do business with you?
Here are four areas where you can build trust and build client relations.
1. Establish Core Competencies
Let prospects and customers know what you do best and the value that you offer. If you offer excellent customer service, then make sure you are known for your excellent customer service. If you deliver the fastest, then make sure you are known for your fast delivery. Know what your company strengths are and do everything that you can to convey this message and offer proof of the message that you are conveying. If you work with surgeons, let them know that you specialize in helping then achieve financial success. For instance, my core competencies are to help financial service firms create plans that help them market themselves easily, effectively and economically.
2. Show that you have your customers well-being in mind.
Make sure that your customers know that you will do everything that you can to make sure that they are a satisfied customer. Yes are you in business to make money, but your first priority is the customer. Take a return at times when you normally would not, to make sure that the customer is happy. Return phone calls in a timely fashion. Check to understand what your customers concerns are and work to resolve those concerns. Make sure that your customers know that it really is about them and that you want them to be just as successful as you want to be.
3. Show Integrity.
Be honest in your business transactions and show consistency in your actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcome. Stand by your word, offer guarantees, and show that you are not just giving lip service, but mean what you say and show that you mean it by the actions that you show. Offer the best quality service that you can offer, admit when you are wrong and then work to make things right. If you do not know something, do not be ashamed to say that you do not know.
4. Provide Information.
Provide prospects and customers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Give away your knowledge, before you ask prospects to shell out their money. Educate the masses about the services that you offer and build credibility becoming the business they turn to when they need an answer that they can trust. Do not worry about giving away the farm there will always be buyers. Educate prospects and customers enough so that they will know that you are the person to buy from when it time to buy.
While all of this sounds simple, most businesses are not doing these things that build trust among consumers. We all experience bad customer service and we wonder if businesses even care. Now more than ever it is easy to kill your business reputation. With the worldwide use of the internet, one bad customer service experience and spread like wildfires. Wildfires are easy to set and very hard to put our or contain and in the end your reputation could be dead.
How are you building trust among prospects and clients?
What I want you to do next:
Leave a comment on my Blog, like me on Facebook, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for the Financial Services Industry and sign up for my NEWSLETTER