Today’s economy makes the task of marketing your business more difficult and complicated. There are literally thousands of places to invest your marketing dollars and it can be hard to know which avenues will lead to the most success for your business. Let’s look at how marketing has changed over the past 25 years.
(Known today as Outbound Marketing)
Traditional advertising is all about selling. In the Industrial age, this was an easy way to market your business because there were a limited number of choices or competitors vying for the attention of the consumer. The problem in 2016 is that there are an unlimited amount of competitors, advertising channels, media and distractions. This is a problem because, “A wealth of information leads to a poverty of attention.” (Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap, The Brand Flip)
Where has this aversion to being sold come from? It’s the result of a culture driven by mass marketing. Consumers now have an strong dislike for unwanted advertising, whether it arrives in our mailbox or inbox, commercials on TV, telemarketer phone calls, or newspaper and magazine ads. We instinctively ignore it, throw it away, or skip it.
“Almost no one goes home eagerly anticipating junk mail in their mailbox. Almost no one reads People magazine for the ads. Almost no one looks forward to a three minute commercial interruption on Must See TV. Advertising is not why we pay attention. Yet marketers must make us pay attention for the ads to work. If they don’t interrupt our train of thought by planting some sort of seed in our conscious or subconscious, the ads fail. Wasted money. If an ad falls in the forest and no one notices, there is no ad.”
Companies and marketers want to take your attention away from what you care about, and put your focus on what they want you to care about. Large companies have spent more and more money on traditional advertising and have seen less and less return on their investment.
Now you know why those old ways of marketing your business just don’t work the way that they used to. So what is the answer? It’s called Inbound or Permission marketing.
(Also known as Permission Marketing)
While traditional advertising relies on forcing a service or product on someone, inbound marketing focuses on attracting the interest of the right client and earning the right to be heard. Marketing works best today when it provides a value for the consumer, shows you are an expert in your field, and is not at all pushy.
The old methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and paying for leads have been replaced with a marketing strategy that focuses on the ideal client: what do they like, what do they want or need, how can you help them be the person they dream of being? When companies create blog posts, have engaging social media channels, hold seminars, or record podcasts that seek to teach, entertain, and/or delight their audience they attract loyal followers who become advocates for their brand.
Does inbound marketing work?
Is Google successful? Google grossed over $21 billion last year by leveraging permission marketing. They arguably have the simplest home page design on the internet, yet they are the most successful internet company in the universe. Why? Because companies pay them to run their ads, but they only show those ads to visitors once they have entered a relevant search term (or given “permission”). If you search for “website design adrian, mi” on Google you have given them permission to show you relevant ads and web pages about website design in the Adrian area. When you scroll past the ads on the first page, you find companies that have invested marketing time and money to create interesting and relevant content on their own websites, and Google rewards them for that by placing them higher than their competition.
In contrast, newspapers and radio stations offer a crucially valuable news service, yet they are struggling to stay afloat. Their business model is built on traditional interruption based marketing and it is no longer as effective as it has been.
“Permission Marketing is just like dating. It turns strangers into friends and friends into lifetime customers. Many of the rules of dating apply, and so do many of the benefits.”
Start Attracting the Right Clients
Marketing can be complicated but it doesn’t have to be expensive with a great marketing strategy. Find out how a marketing strategy can help your business grow with a consultation.