Marketers are heading inbound

Are you a party crasher or a gracious host? That’s the difference between outbound marketing and inbound marketing. Traditional marketing—also known as “interruption marketing”—focuses on actively seeking out potential customers through advertising. You zero in on your target and aim.

The new media—the digital world—has shifted the “hide and seek” methodology of finding the buyer who is hiding behind his remote control to fast forward through those costly commercials. Instead, marketers are playing host to a party where they welcome their arriving guests who have been invited by means of intriguing viral videos, online reviews, search engine results, captivating blog posts, and informative ebooks, articles, and white papers. They’re coming to you via useful webinars and RSS feeds. They’ve been referred by other customers who shared the news about the value of coming to your gathering.

Being a host is far more cost-effective than crashing someone else’s party. Hubspot reports that the average cost per lead with outbound marketing is $373; inbound marketing delivers a cost-per-lead of $143—that’s 62 percent less!

In October 2010, Marketing Sherpa published results of a survey that showed that B2B marketers are increasing their investment in inbound marketing. Sixty-nine percent are upping their social media spending; 60 percent will do more virtual events, webinars, and SEO. Meanwhile, only 15 percent were planning to spend more on print advertising, 22 percent planned more tradeshow activity, and 24 percent expected to increase their direct mail expenditures.

The Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing Report for 2011 indicated that 54 percent of the marketers surveyed were increasing their inbound marketing budgets. This same analysis reported that the average budget for a company’s social media and blogs has almost doubled in the past two years. And that’s because these tactics generate revenue. Of the companies that Hubspot surveyed, 57 percent said that their blog and LinkedIn page generated revenue as well as leads, and 48 percent attributed the same results to their Facebook pages. And the choice makes sense, since outbound marketing tactics are shown to cost more and deliver fewer results.

Have you turned your tasks inbound yet? Please share your experiences here with inbound versus outbound marketing.


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