Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between a fad and a true paradigm shift—something that signals a significant change in the way society thinks about and does things.
Fads come and go. Sometimes they’re replaced by the next fad. Sometimes things return to the status quo. With some changes, however, there is no return to the status quo. Things are changed forever. The details may look different at times, but the fundamental shifts that cause the change remain.
Some business people have wondered if Inbound Marketing is a fad or a fundamental change. Here are five reasons why Inbound Marketing is the wave of the future.
1. Cost: There’s not a business left standing that is not watching costs. Inbound marketing efforts (which largely draw on online activities) cost much less than conventional/traditional marketing methods. Printing, storage, shipping, postage, and mailing costs are dramatically reduced. Costs for print ads, radio spots, and TV spots are largely eliminated. There are still costs (creative, software, training), but they are a fraction of what companies have spent on traditional methods.
2. Speed: While inbound marketing initiatives take just as long to plan (and this is something you shouldn’t skimp on!) they take less time to implement. Once you create your initiative you can implement it immediately. There’s no waiting for the printer or shipping or production.
3. Flexibility: When you launch a conventional marketing campaign, you either have to ride it out or pull it. Sometimes you can’t pull it fast enough. If you notice a problem with an inbound campaign, you can change it on the fly. You can make minor or even major tweaks instantly.
4. Greater reach: With traditional, outbound marketing, you have to choose your audience and then select lists or Arbitron ratings to get in front of your selected audience. With inbound marketing, you still have to know who your audience is, but (if you do it right) they are coming to you. And (aside from “pay-per-click”) it doesn’t matter how big that audience is. It doesn’t cost you any more. And while most people don’t pass ads or direct mailers on to their friends, they do share links and blogs.
5. Control: This is perhaps the most significant part of the “wave.” You don’t have control anymore—your customers do. With conventional marketing methods, businesses still try to control what information they send out. With inbound methods, customers essentially tell businesses what they want to know. It’s a conversation. Inbound marketing recognizes that customers are in control and it takes advantage of that. It allows businesses to provide customers with the information they want in order to make a buying decision.
Inbound marketing is no fad. Methods will evolve, but the way your customers do business has already changed forever. It’s time to get on your board and ride the wave.
What’s your biggest concern or question about inbound marketing?