Inbound Marketing Process – Attracting Clients
One of the most important trends in marketing over the last decade is the shift toward inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing involves getting prospective clients to find you, rather than chasing them.
When most of use think of marketing, we think of outbound marketing – also known as push marketing or interruption marketing. The most familiar examples of this is broadcast advertising, cold calling, junk mail and billboards. The main premise of this marketing strategy is that you need to get out there and interrupt your prospective audience to show them your message, hoping that some of the will be interested and buy.
Not only can this be annoying, but it is becoming less and less effective every day. A few decades ago, before remote controls, TV recorders, the internet and smartphones, advertisers had a captive audience. If people wanted to consume media, they just had to put up with the ads.
Now people have dozens of options to avoid seeing advertisments. They are also much more savvy about advertising and marketing messages.
Even more significant, consumers have become much more sophisticated in their buying processes.
The new buying cycle
Whereas once they would buy after brief exposure to a new product or service, now consumers spend much more time researching their purchases, mostly online – by visiting the business website, reading review sites, forums and industry blogs, and by asking their friends directly via social media or via text, phone or in person.
This means just showing an ad isn’t enough to acheive a sale anymore.
Inbound Marketing means making it easy for your customers to find you, then making it easy for them to buy from you.
Instead, if you want to reach your market and encourage them to buy, you need to be their number 1 source of information, and then remain present throughout the buying cycle.
This means being visible in search results, being mentioned in forums and blogs, and being active on social media. To top it all off, you need to have an awesome product which people will rave about.
Most importantly, you need to create “WOW” experiences and make it sharable
This lets your happy customers tell their friends and other prospective buyers about your product or service.
This all sounds like a lot of work, but this represents the future of marketing. The businesses that understand and implement this new inbound marketing process have a huge advantage over their competition who are still trying to interrupt their prospective customers to tell them how great their product is.
Inbound Marketing Process
How do you set your business up to benefit from the new customer buying cycle? The best explanation I’ve seen of this is by Impact Branding and Design. Their Inbound Marketing Process infographic stands out as one of the most beautiful and informative infographics I’ve seen.