Are You Engaged? The Modern Marketing Ecosystem Has Irrevocably Changed
Accelerating Internet engagement at all levels of the value chain has fundamentally transformed business, the marketing landscape, and the way people search, find, discover, connect, and share information and perspectives. There's been a Seismic shift. The Evolving Marketing Ecosystem & Emergence of Inbound Marketing is making a huge impact
Smart Marketers Agree. Findings from an online survey of 1,000 US marketers conducted for Adobe Systems, Inc. by ResearchNow (see :DIGITAL DISTRESS: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night? Report) 76% percent think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50.
In the “brave new world” of empowered B2B and B2C customers, 67 percent of the buyer’s journey is done digitally. Potential prospects enjoy instant access to a wealth of information about products and services. They have increased expectations for their interactions with companies, and expect businesses to address their needs and interests in real-time via multiple digital, mobile, and social channels.
While traditional push marketing techniques (advertising, direct mail, trade-shows, etc.) which proved effective in previous decades experience reduced efficacy, new marketing methodologies such as Inbound Marketing (IM) have emerged to engage the new paradigm, re-balance the ecosystem and fill the gaps. According to Sirius Decisions, over 70% of all demand generation will come from inbound marketing strategies in 2015.
IM employs a strategic marketing approach, where businesses implement tactics to “get found” by potential prospects online through a myriad of channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, platforms like YouTube, search engines and blogs.
With billions of web pages at their disposal, searchers actively research increasingly personalize information. Those that convert into “prequalified leads”, using an IM methodology are nurtured via a “personalized” relationship building process and are subsequently integrated into the sales enablement cycle when they become a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
Since 2006 (when Brian Hallagan first coined the term and founded HubSpot with Darmesh Shaw) Inbound Marketing’s importance and processes have continued to scale alongside a plethora of marketing automation solution providers and feature-sets.
“Through marketing automation tools, companies are able to create a consistent brand message across all channels and find ways to bring their messages to new customers while also maintaining relationships with their current customers. These tools are primarily used to acquire leads, but they also integrate lead management with marketing analytics and digital lead tracking.” (Venture Beat Marketing Automation Index, March 2014).
Common features of these automation tools include:
Why Inbound Marketing?
“ …every marketing organization must view its inbound efforts as absolutely critical to success at all stages of the buyer’s journey. Do not ignore the role of inbound marketing at later stages of the buyer’s journey, and be sure to look for gaps in the resources available to support buyers looking for validation rather than education. Regardless of stage, marketing must be vigilant in reviewing what’s really happening online and why. From search to content to contact identification, much can be done to understand what works, and where there are gaps in online execution. Build in resources and budget for regular adjustment, or risk losing your share of the 67 percent to competitors who stay on top of changing buyer needs.”
Megan Heuer Vice President and Group Director, Data-Driven Marketing, at SiriusDecisions - See more
What is the Inbound Marketing Methodology?
Inbound Marketing methodology involves the art of creating and sharing remarkable visual, written, video and other content in conjunction with an iterative scientific approach to engagement, education and measurement.
The science of converting visitors to you website into leads includes nurturing those leads through carefully constructed calls to action, A/B testing landing pages and valuable content offers. These elements drive conversion toward sales-ready customers as they move through the sales cycle.
"Meeting prospects WHEN they want, WHERE they want, with WHAT they want."
Marketing by attracting, not interrupting.
Inbound marketing is the discipline of efficiently turning strangers into people that want to -- and should -- do business with you.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
Marketing automation is often thought of as just software to help nurture contacts more efficiently. It consists of email, workflows, lists, and social tools that work with a large database of contacts to nurture them down the funnel.
But there's more to it than that. Marketing automation done right the "Inbound Way":
Inbound marketing is about delivering the right content in the right place at the right time, thus creating marketing that people love. Instead of interrupting with cold calls and interruptive ads, inbound marketing attracts people to your website when they’re interested in finding a solution (yours) to their problem. Inbound marketing has four key parts, each leading into the next in a seamless flow:
1. Focused and optimized websites, blogs, targeted keywords, and social media that attract visitors instead of interrupting them with annoying marketing messages.
2. Smart websites convert these prospects into leads using calls-to-action to highlight high level content, forms to gather information in exchange for that content, and landing pages to convince people of the content’s value.
3. Prospects are assisted through their buying process using email and nurturing, lead scoring and follow up workflows, and closed-loop reporting to close those leads into customers.
4. Customers are delighted when smart content and mobile social media marketing delivers personalized content that keeps them engaged while delivering ongoing value for the life of the relationship.
Companies who are focused on driving increased revenue for B2B companies embrace the new marketing ecosystem, integrate inbound marketing and inbound sales to create results .
Inbound Marketing – Drives engagement and attracts leads, embracing the emerging the digital reality and markets.