The fundamental shift in marketing strategy
Remember the obnoxious door-to-door salesman from "Pee-wee's Playhouse"? As soon as he would show up on the doorstep, Pee-wee Herman would slam the door right in his face. Perhaps Pee-wee was a little more ahead of his time than anyone thought.
The door-to-door salesman was using old school, interruption based marketing tactics where the goal was to buy, beg or bug your way into customers' lives. However, today's consumers are slamming the door shut and proving that interruption based marketing doesn't work anymore as evidenced by a simple invention call the "TV Remote" that allows people to turn down the volume. The iPod and Tivo are higher tech ways of filtering out commercials. Customers have tuned these messages out and beyond that have refused to buy the things they get begged and bugged to pay attention to.
The new model of marketing, most often called inbound marketing, is based on gaining permission from customers instead of interrupting their lives with intrusive, obnoxious messages. By asking for permission first and offering quality content consumers actually want, inbound marketing gets its foot in the door where interruption gets left out in the cold.
Mind If I Intrude?
Print, television, radio and other direct marketing strategies basically intrude on a customer's life. These strategies assume a customer has both the time and inclination to listen to what you have to say. Before the Internet and the rise of social media, these strategies worked even if they irritated customers.
But slowly, things began to change. People began to record television shows to skip commercials. They began registering their phone numbers on the FTC's "Do Not Call List" and shredding direct mail And then the Internet came into being completing changing the game for everyone. All of a sudden, customers had a way to tune out unwanted messages all together and instead look for the goods and services they knew they wanted.
Can I Help?
Inbound marketing is the industry's response to the Internet. This approach exchanges the interruption method with strategies meant to earn their way to customers. This permission based marketing approach relies on original, useful, entertaining and educational content to engage customers in a dialogue. This strategy asks customers what they want, responds to what they need and creates a lasting connection between company and customer.
Permission based marketing engages customers in a conversation on the Internet where you both talk with each other, not companies talking at their clients. The market then rewards those companies who provide the content they are looking for.
Inbound marketing strategies often include:
- Brochures or whitepapers available for download;
- And the heavy hitter in any inbound marketing campaign, social media.
Making It Work
Shifting strategies takes time and your willingness to make some fundamental shifts in the way you've thought about your marketing plan. Many companies have found it difficult to let go of the belief in and sole reliance on interruption based strategies. And, sure, there will probably always be a place for these advertising mediums. (After all, the commercials are why half of the audience tunes in to the Super Bowl.)
However, as social media continues its dominance of the Internet and communication, inbound marketing and permission-based strategies will play an increasingly larger role in a company's success.
Begging, bugging and buying will only work as a marketing strategy for so long. Sooner or later, you will need to find a way to ask your customers if you can enter their lives or they will slam the door and tune you out.
If you want to know how Inbound marketing can be a successful tool for your company call DeepSky Marketing to schedule a free fifty minute evaluation and consultation. You will see proven methods to help you grow your business in the surest way possible—marketing on the Internet. The number to call is 707 823-3888.
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