We talk a lot about “inbound marketing” and how it is replacing conventional marketing methods. We find that sometimes people aren’t clear about what we mean when we say, “inbound.”
There are those who assume it means online marketing. That’s partly true. Inbound marketing takes advantage of the incredible power and reach of the Internet. But it’s more than that.
Some people think that inbound marketing is all about social media tools like blogs, and Twitter, and Facebook. That’s partly true, too. Inbound marketing is often built around tools like those (and others). But it’s more than that.
What make company that uses inbound marketing unique?
Inbound marketing is really about recognizing the shift in the way individuals and companies do business. Whether your business is business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B), your customers or clients aren’t engaging with you the same way they did 10 years ago.
It used to be that businesses “pushed” their goods and services out to the market. The basic premise was: “We’re the experts. This is what we think you need. Come and get it!” That may be over-simplified, but it’s still pretty much the way things worked.
Today, customers are saying: “Here’s my problem. Tell me how you can solve my problem, and maybe we can do business together. And by the way, I’m comparing what you have to offer with three of your competitors.”
A company that uses inbound marketing “pulls” people in by listening to what they want, demonstrating that they understand the problem or issue the consumer is facing, and offering information that helps the customer make an informed decision.
So what makes you stand out if you take the inbound approach? A lot of companies use the same tools. They have websites. They have blogs. They use social media tools. But they still have the outbound mindset. They are still trying to push their agenda instead of pulling people in with the information they want and need.
Want to stand out in a crowded and noisy marketplace? Stop pushing your message out and learn to listen—and draw customers in by giving them information they’re interested in—information that will help them accomplish their goals.
Blog Post Written by Wes Powell
Wes Powell is the President of TMR Direct. TMR Direct’s desire is to provide you with the practical advice you need to be successful using direct mail and inbound marketing to generate traffic, leads, and ultimately customers.