One of the primary reasons a commercial organization needs Marketing is to create awareness about its offerings among its target audience. The traditional method to achieve this is to harp about the products or services by contacting the target audience through emails or phones.
However, the practice entailed the potential risk of utilizing valuable resources on those who were hardly interested in the offerings. It amounted to enormous and unnecessary pressure on sales personnel to find the right prospects quickly and convert them to customers. The methods also relied heavily on the ability of sales personnel to convince the prospect customers on the utility of the products or service matter the most, while the customers had no other option than to rely on the sales person’s word and product knowledge.
However, the approach has considerably changed with the advent of new technologies and trends. The Internet, for instance, has given the people the power to research about the products or services they wish to purchase as can even learn from the experience of others who have bought them. The creditability of the company could be at stake if it has gathered too many bad reviews about its products or services. Also, the Internet provides an incredible platform to compare similar products in the market, tilting the balance of power to make the purchase decision entirely in the favor the buyers. It has almost eliminated the role of the convincing ability of sales personnel from the picture, as customers can now decide what they want, and can get it at the best price.
This has led to the increase in the importance of inbound marketing – a new kind of marketing methodology, assimilating to the Internet’s power to spread knowledge. By creating a functional website that profoundly describes its products including customer-centric measures that promote pre and post sales services, companies can attract their target audience to buy their offerings. The credibility of the brand can be augmented by testimonials endorsing it from the loyal customers. Positive reviews can also play a significant role in influencing the prospects to buy the company’s products. In addition to these benefits, discussed below are various other advantages of Inbound Marketing.
The concept of Inbound Marketing is to collate all the details about the product on a company’s website. For this, it is necessary to have a coherent content strategy in place that can systemically divulge useful information to the audience. Some of the ideal methods to do so are to develop, guidance articles, product demonstration videos, blogs, e-books and other resource documents. While this type of marketing material needs creativity to develop, it could be achieved at a much lesser cost compared to the traditional form of marketing. Also, as all the knowledge resource can be long lasting, and would prove beneficial to both the customers and the company, in the long run, the aspect of wasting vital resource gets totally eliminated, which can bring down the cost drastically.
The buying habits of customers have transformed a lot. Most customers today are looking for an end-to-end experience and a long-term relationship with the brand. The buy and forget approach has already met its end, and companies can risk their creditability and business if they are unable to provide an enhanced experience and maintain a lasting relationship with their customers. It has all the more elevated the importance of Inbound Marketing that focuses on constant engagement with both the prospects and existing customers. The use of social media to develop such an engagement platform where consumers can interact directly with the brand and sort help on specific issues has also added the vital element of personalization to the Inbound Marketing approach.
When compared to the traditional marketing where companies did the hard work of approaching the audience, the Inbound marketing methodology is a complete inverse, where it’s the audience which approaches the business. Most online users curious to know about the products can be hot prospects for the company, which now has to spend the minimal effort to convert them to customers. As the sales personnel are already aware of the users’ need, all they have to do is to tailor the offering to suit the prospect’s needs. This aspect can play a vital role in boosting the conversion rates, as already interested users are much easier to convert.
While it can be argued about the amount of time needed to get viable results from Inbound marketing techniques, the lucrative benefits of low cost, and better performance is hard to ignore. By persistently focusing on creating relevant information presented in an interesting way, organizations can effectively utilize the best practices under Inbound Marketing approach to attract many interested online users, and subsequently, convert them into loyal customers.