Part 1 – Marketing Has Changed, Are You Changing?
How has marketing changed? In the past, marketing was a much more defined term. Businesses would spend a great deal on separate campaigns, almost always including a separate marketing budget that would equal (if not exceed) their other operating costs. However, a new method has emerged more recently: Inbound marketing, utilising social media as its platform of choice. This method is much more flexible. With social media marketing, the whole company becomes one, with people at all levels working towards the same goal: creating interest within the public, nurturing leads that emerge, and progressing towards a sale. With the enormous added benefit of a drastic reduction in the budget.
The costs involved in traditional marketing are not inconsiderable and can often escalate over the course of one campaign. With inbound marketing and social media, it is far easier to allow for specific budgets. There are few unexpected costs, and the price of any specific campaign can be accurately assessed far earlier in the process, without fear of unexpected increases.
Inbound is the way forward. As with any new approach, there is a learning curve. But inbound marketing is actually quite intuitive. As long as you understand the key ideas, the ease and cost effectiveness it provides make it a much more attractive strategy to maximise results on a far smaller budget.
Outbound is dying With the rise of computers and the Internet, consumers now undertake a great deal of their own research. For many people, using the Internet is easier and more convenient, for example, than shopping around in the high street to find the best price for an item. Now a customer can switch on the computer and with a few clicks, find exactly what they want. This is rapidly becoming the norm for everything – from food to high-end electronics and from CDs to pet supplies. It poses a big problem for businesses operating under the old ‘outbound’ marketing strategy. Outbound is the marketing idea that most people identify with as just ‘advertising’. Whether it’s newspaper or magazine adverts, roadside signs or TV adverts. But perhaps the most intrusive tactics are those such as telemarketing, postal, and email marketing – methods that actively reach out to a consumer, whether they like it or not, and require an active choice on the part of the receiver.
People often automatically sift out and reject these forms of marketing, from changing channels on TV to avoid adverts – to automatically throwing away junk mail. Instead of building a positive relationship with the customer, these forms of marketing often generate a negative view of that particular company. Unfortunately for most businesses focusing on this method, there is a high cost. Marketing campaigns of this scale cost thousands, (often being the core of the business strategy, too) and worse, could yield very few results.
People are becoming more and more adept at filtering out adverts and other forms of outbound marketing. Yet some businesses are still thriving. There are some brands whose customer base is likely to last regardless, (such as banks and supermarkets), but those who offer specific services or products have found another way of keeping themselves close to their target client base, using a far more effective (and cost-effective) method: inbound marketing, utilising social media.