Marketing concepts and avenues to reach consumers are ever changing. There are many options on where to spend your marketing budget, but what is the BEST combination? As the cost per lead drives up, companies look to find more affordable ways to grow revenue and client base.
Your website is the best place to educate and engage with customers, grow thought leadership in your industry, and track key business metrics. So, how does your website become one of your top sales reps; and how does this relate to inbound vs outbound? Read below.
Make your site easy to interact with: is it mobile friendly? Are there clear calls-to-action? What are your offers like? Do you blog consistently and offer great content? Are you socially active? All of these efforts, and more go into running a healthy website. Let's face it, there is no more 411 direct, no yellow pages, your website after someone Google's your company name IS the first impression. Make it a good one. This is also your first step in executing a successful inbound marketing campaign. BONUS: SEO ranking goes up with inbound best practices.
Turn your website into a lead machine: once you have executed the items above for your website, you should begin to track lead conversion and determine what people are most interested in. Through educational resources, and clear information on your website, you can save a lot of sales reps time, and company money, by doing a better job finding QUALITY leads. This takes time to put the right content and marketing message pieces in place, but in the long run you can feel confident your sales pipeline is always being filled. BONUS: website content can be re purposed and is always working for you, so you can use your new found time on something else.
Think about how your ideal customer (target persona) is doing research for your product or services: where do they work? what are their habits? what is their lifestyle like? Once you figure out these answers you can begin to craft a marketing plan that will reach these people throughout the day. You will want to do research yourself on various outbound options, or enlist the help of a marketing consultant to execute your plan. The outbound methods most companies use are: Print, TV, Radio, Seminar, Trade show, Direct mail, Call Center/Cold outreach (bought lists), and Billboard, to name a few. Tracking your cost per lead for each of these outlets will help determine what areas pull strongest lead quality for you. Suitable time line to determine ROI, unless you are a seasonal business would be about 5-6 months.
Does is really have to be inbound vs. outbound marketing? NO! Both strategies can put your company in a happy marketing and revenue growing marriage! It's like when Harry met Sally....errrr no. Seriously though, by implementing low cost inbound marketing efforts with higher cost outbound methods you can start to see real growth for your business. BONUS: with the correct marketing software you can take historically difficult channels to track (like TV, radio, trade shows, etc) and see clear engagement.