Getting your brand message out requires careful planning and even more careful execution. It begins with a strong product proposition, informed by thorough market studies. Once that is taken care of, the next order of business is coming up with creative branding, which encompasses topnotch packaging, among other prerequisites.
When the product is ready for distribution, marketing comes into play. And this is arguably one of the most important elements in business management. Experts even suggest that 10 percent of business revenues should go to marketing. However, this rule does not apply to all industries. For example, consumer packaged goods might require marketing budget higher than 10 percent while products in the energy sector could work with as little as four percent.
That discrepancy could be explained by how food products engage in stiffer competition compared to energy products where the market has yet to become inundated with providers. Here we see that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing.
Still, there is an approach that is worth exploring regardless of industry or budget constraints. Here we talk about the employment of diverse marketing methods. Think combining inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is “a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.” Here’s the usual flow of inbound marketing.
You attract customers via personally relevant and valuable content. Your job is to come off as an expert in a particular field to encourage interest and trust from your target market. Next, you engage your attracted customers. This is done by providing insights and solutions that directly address customers’ goals and concerns. Lastly, you delight customers with personalized help and support that will ensure they make an informed and rewarding purchase. Conversion follows suit.
You may employ specific strategies to strengthen inbound marketing. For example, create quality content in the form of blog articles, social media posts, and infographics, to name a few, Ensure that your online customer service portal works and responses are done in real time. Wrap up the transaction by soliciting feedback, which communicates your commitment to customer satisfaction.
As for outbound marketing, the goal is “to initiate a conversation about a product or service by rapidly spreading word of its existence through a variety of traditional marketing methods.” This is achieved via TV advertising, face to face meetings and event marketing, and blanket emails and cold calls, among others.
Basically, going outbound means your priority is primarily expansive exposure. There is no targeted audience. Your goal is for as many market segments to know about your brand. The purpose of the marketing collateral you invest in is to drum up interest in what you offer. And hopefully leads follow suit.
Shooting the same bird with two stones
Both methods aim for the same thing: increased conversion rates. That means they can work in tandem. This is where the diversification of marketing comes in. It pays to enact both inbound and outbound marketing approaches at the same time.
Consider having a new product that most customers are not aware about. Inbound marketing will help you reach customers who are already inclined to buy such an offer. Based on their search history, that is. Optimize your website and product landing pages enough to lead these targets to you. Then, go outbound via event marketing and these online leads might show up to connect with your brand up close and personal.
Meanwhile, outbound marketing will help you tap customers from all demographics. A billboard ad, for instance, will expose you to consumers from all walks of life. Should your ad be intriguing enough, those online searches will follow. Here your inbound efforts will come into play. Those targeted content you produced will let outbound marketing leads to get to know you better. Yes, inbound and outbound efforts can inform each other in the most rewarding ways.
Businesses that zero in on online selling platforms need a more powerful marketing strategy. That is because while the online market is huge at 1.8 billion worldwide shoppers, there is just as many product providers hawking their offers on the internet.
To be noticed online, it will not suffice to have a product you believe in. It is vital to convince customers to share your faith in the products you sell. That is a tall order. But one that is perfectly doable. Start by buffing up marketing plans. Do not be self-limiting. Explore all means at your disposal. Find the right mix.