Marketing and Sales are two-halves of the same coin
Throughout history, sales worked by telling people what they wanted and where they can buy it. Did anyone actually need neon Jazzercise clothes or the parachute pants from the 1980s, yet millions of people fell snatched up to these wild styles.
That said, the world has changed and your sales department can no longer control the flow of information. If a person is looking for information about a product or service, Google will provide them generally reliable answers from multiple sources.
Consequently, your marketing team has an equal role in converting prospects and leads. The role of your marketing is not only for the purpose of attracting customers into the sales pipeline, but are an essential component of the overall sales process. Both sides have to work together to succeed.
Fundamentally, this is why many experts predict companies that do not adopt an inbound marketing strategy will begin to struggle and may not exist in five years.
Why Old-School Marketing Doesn’t Work Anymore
There are many statistics available on new consumer trends. Regardless, you only have you look at your own behavior to know old-school marketing does not work anymore. In fact, people are going out of their way to avoid intrusive advertising. Online, they are utilizing ad blockers and email spam filters. On their phones, they have call blockers that will automatically hang up on telemarketers. They will DVR their favorite television programs so that they can fast forward past advertisements. Furthermore, most people are throwing direct mail straight in the trash. Ask yourself, when was the last time you actually clicked on a pay-per-click ad?
While all this is a trend across most demographics, it is even more apparent with Millennials. These individuals have grown up online and fully immersed in digital media. For them, traditional advertising is inauthentic and aggressive. Moreover, they are completely engaged in digital life, spending much of their time on social sites. Repeated studies have shown that online reviews, social conversations, and online research have a much greater impact than any advertising message.
Why Inbound Marketing Works
In a nutshell, inbound marketing works because it allows the consumer to believe that they are in control of the decision-making process. Multiple times during the day, people are grabbing their smartphone, tablet, or laptop and spontaneously searching for information. These unplanned and natural moments can be inspired by a conversation, an article, a television program, or some other event. Nevertheless, on impulse, people will search for information on something that has captured their immediate attention.
Additionally, these micro-moments have become the most common form of search on Google and other search engines, and are the driving force behind marketing trends and changes. During a micro-moment, a consumer wants content that will educate, counsel, or advise them. They don’t want you selling to them.
At this early stage of the consumer’s decision-making process, aggressive and intrusive advertising will engage a person’s fight-or-flight instincts. On the other hand, the initial stages of inbound marketing will use these micro-moments to attract visitors, build an audience, and become a trusted resource.
Ultimately, the reason why inbound marketing works is because you will have earned the sale. You are attracting visitors with information that they find useful, informative, entertaining, and valuable. Rather than discovering your competition through additional searches, you nurture your prospects and leads by keeping their attention with structured content.
Finally, when the consumer is ready to buy, you have guided them so deep into your conversion funnel that you become the only logical choice. Granted, inbound marketing does take time, but, if done correctly, you can expect more organic traffic and a massive boost to your conversion rates.
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Cassandra is the Content & Social Media Strategist at ThinkFlame. There is no challenge too big or too small. She enjoys creating, integrating and managing online communities and working with clients to building up their social footprint.