Every successful company sees the value of marketing. It is the single most important activity in raising brand profile and getting your business in front of potential customers. But with many businesses, marketing budgets get continually squeezed while business owners still expect results. Sound familiar?
Marketing budgets are all too often squeezed especially when sales are down
How to do more with less, when marketing budgets get squeezed
The answer is to try something different.
Every year you create a plan of how you’re going to spend your annual budget with a programme of activity that’s based on tried and tested activities, experience and knowledge of what has worked in previous years. But do you ever try something completely new? With anything new and untested there is a risk and the biggest risk you face as a marketing managers is a bad programme of activity that doesn’t yield the results you forecasted. So if you’re going to try something new you’re going to want to trial it first before making a full commitment to it. And there’s no better time like the present, you’re half way through the year, a full six months before you have to create next years plan or 9 months if your marketing calendar runs April to April.
Why try something different
Traditional marketing methods focus on pushing your messages outbound, at your customers. But as buyer behaviour evolves traditional methods of marketing (like advertising, direct mail, exhibitions, trade shows and newsletters etc.) get fewer and fewer results. That’s because there’s an increasing volume of marketing messages out here making it harder for your message to stand out, and consumers are becoming increasingly effective at blocking out marketing noise.
What should you try?
Try inbound marketing a proven methodology for attracting engaged visitors to your brand.
"Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online."
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content directly targeted at your ideal customers. It is a way of repeatedly attracting qualified prospects to your business with content that answers questions and problems. Whatever product or service you market, it will solve a problem or need for your customers. Inbound marketing is about identifying these problems, creating content about how your product or service answers them and publishing this content where your potential customers research and source suppliers.
Why you should try it
The primary reason for choosing inbound over traditional methods is results. The investment you make in creating content and building your audience delivers sustained long-term results that will outperform traditional marketing. Unlike a tradeshow or an advertising campaign the content you create keeps working for you 6, 9 or even 12 months after you created it and long after you paid for it.
Consider these stats from HubSpot, taken from a survey of 236 marketing professionals using inbound as part of their annual marketing plan.
1. Blogging is the #1 method for increasing traffic, with SEO in second place,
2. 92.34% of companies using inbound marketing increase their traffic,
3. 49.7% of companies using inbound marketing increase sales within 7 months,
4. And above all, all your activity with inbound is measurable so it’s easy to prove to your managing director what your inbound activity has achieved.
Will inbound marketing work for any business?
Inbound marketing is particularly suited to B2B businesses looking to sell products or services with a particularly complex sales process, or which often sees the buyer researching the product or service before committing to a purchase.
Does inbound replace outbound traditional marketing?
Every business is different but you will have seen that the general effectiveness or results per campaign of outbound marketing is diminishing. As the number of leads and enquiries into your business grows through your inbound activity your focus will naturally shift towards inbound marketing.
How do you try it?
1. Download our Free guide and work through the steps to create your first campaign.
2. Bookmark our blog and come back later this week for our next blog which discusses the four stages of inbound and how inbound and outbound can work together to form a comprehensive strategy.
Based in Stratford upon Avon Quattro is uniquely placed to help businesses across the Midlands with their lead generation. Try inbound today with our FREE guide or call us on 01789 608015 and talk to one of our inbound specialists.
PHOTO CREDIT: Behind the Red Ball, Chris Woo, Flickr