Traditional, or “outbound” marketing is becoming more and more off-putting to today’s consumers. People no longer want junk mail from stores they don’t visit and car salesmen yelling at them in radio commercials. The average American today is inundated with over 2,000 outbound marketing interruptions per day and is figuring out more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Netflix, and satellite radio. Those companies are wasting time and money on direct mail ending up in the trash, radio commercials not listened to, and spammy emails never opened. No one is benefiting from this type of pushy advertising. Inbound marketing, however, takes a different approach. The process begins with attracting viewers to a company’s website through relevant content that the consumer is interested in, and then converting them into leads and ultimately into buyers. The differences between the two methods are quite numerous, and it can end up costing you a lot of money if you don’t understand which will work best for your business.
Difference #1- Traditional advertising is company-focused, while inbound marketing is consumer-focused.
In traditional advertising, it’s all about the company trying to push their way into a client’s mind and sell- whether the consumer is ready or not. They blanket the entire city with direct mail coupons, hoping a few will take them up on their offer. This mindset is why this type of marketing has a 1.7% close rate. Inbound marketing, however, is focused on nurturing someone from a stranger to a viewer to a lead to a customer, when they are ready. When consumers are looking for an answer to a problem, and not yet even ready to consider a company, inbound marketing helps guide them in the right direction. This process takes time, but it is much more successful. Viewers who find your company organically online have a 14.6% close rate, a much more satisfying number.
Difference #2- Traditional marketing interrupts a person’s life, while inbound marketing helps them solve a problem.
When a business advertises its products and services by presenting information to consumers even if they are not looking for those products or services, it is commonly referred to as “interruptive marketing”. This is how traditional advertising worked, but, unfortunately, such methods are usually abrasive and poorly timed. Your customers don’t want to hear about your low-priced lawn services during their favorite TV show; they want to watch their show! And how many of those watching don’t own their home, live in a condo, or chose to cut their lawn themselves? Instead, inbound marketing puts content on the web like “ 5 Signs It's Time to Hire a Lawn Service” to attract those who already know they have a problem. This significantly cuts down on wasted marketing efforts.
Difference #3- Traditional marketing talks at the consumer, while inbound marketing is interactive.
A traditional advertisement tells consumers exactly what they want to say, which could or could not be what the audience actually wants to hear. Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing allows you to have direct communication with the consumer. Blogs and social media allow your audience to speak back to you. Keep the conversation going! In a recent Forbes survey, 62% of millennials (young adults born between the early 1980s and the year 2000) say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. Of the same group of people, only 1% say they trust what a brand tells them in a commercial. The tides are changing and people want to interact with a company, not be sold to.
Difference #4- Traditional marketing can have quick results, while inbound marketing is a process.
Despite all of the negatives of an outbound marketing strategy, it can work quickly to bring people in. If you fill the radio airwaves with commercials about your big event going on this Sunday, your return on investment (ROI) can be determined by Sunday’s sales. Inbound marketing however, is a much slower process. Search engines like Google take a while to crawl your new content, and your authority will increase over time. It will take time to build your social media followers, as well. Don’t give up too early, inbound marketing relies on quality content that brings you in quality leads, those more likely to turn into customers.
The switch from traditional outbound marketing to inbound marketing may be one you have been considering for a while, or the inbound methodology may be completely new to you. All companies, no matter how big or small, should use inbound marketing techniques. It is truly the way to market for today’s modern consumers. If you still need some advice on what the best tactics are for your company, download our free inbound marketing ebook today!