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Is Inbound Marketing All You Need?

Is Inbound Marketing All You Need?

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Published by G. David Dodd
The use of inbound marketing techniques, such as search marketing, blogs, and social media marketing, is growing at an explosive rate. Some pundits even contend that inbound marketing should replace most traditional outbound marketing activities. This article discusses why most companies need both inbound and outbound marketing to maximize marketing results.
The use of inbound marketing techniques, such as search marketing, blogs, and social media marketing, is growing at an explosive rate. Some pundits even contend that inbound marketing should replace most traditional outbound marketing activities. This article discusses why most companies need both inbound and outbound marketing to maximize marketing results.

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Published by: G. David Dodd on Dec 01, 2010
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Copyright © 2010 by G. David DoddAll rights reserved.
 
1
Marketing Insights
Is Inbound Marketing All You Need?
byG. David Dodd, PrincipalPoint Balance
The use of inbound marketing techniques, such as search marketing,blogs, and social media marketing, is growing at an explosive rate.
Some pundits even contend that inbound marketing should replace most,if not all, traditional outbound marketing activities.
This article discusses why most companies need both inbound and outbound marketing to maximize marketing results.
One of the hot topics in marketing circles today is inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing 
refers to marketing techniques that are designed to attract or “pull” potentialcustomers toward a business. As currently practiced, inbound marketing is primarilyonline marketing. Companies engage in inbound marketing by publishing informative orentertaining content in a variety of online venues and by making that content easy forpotential customers to find and share with friends and colleagues. The primary inboundmarketing channels are websites, blogs, and social networking sites. Important inboundmarketing tools include search engine optimization, paid search, and contentsyndication.The alternative to inbound marketing is appropriately called outbound marketing.Outbound marketing works by broadcasting or otherwise “pushing” unsolicited marketingand promotional messages to a more or less defined target audience. Therefore,outbound marketing includes most “traditional” marketing channels and tactics such asTV and radio ads, print ads, direct mail and telemarketing.The use of inbound marketing is growing at an explosive rate, and this rapid growthis likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
eMarketer 
estimates that 34% of all US companies are using blogs for marketingpurposes in 2010, up from just 16% in 2007, and this percentage will increase to48% of all companies in 2012. (
eMarketer 
, August 2010)
 
 
Copyright © 2010 by G. David DoddAll rights reserved.
 
2
Marketing Insights
By 2015, spending on social media marketing will account for almost 18% of totalmarketing budgets, up from about 6% in 2010, according to
The CMO Survey 
co-sponsored by The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and theAmerican Marketing Association.
Forrester Research has estimated that spending on social media marketing willgrow at a 34% compound annual growth rate between 2009 and 2014 and thatspending on search marketing will grow at a 15% annual rate over the sameperiod. (
US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 To 2014 
, Forrester Research,2009)Inbound marketing is growing because itcompliments the way today’s buyers makepurchasing decisions. Proponents of inboundmarketing contend that the Internet hasfundamentally changed how both consumers andbusiness buyers seek and gather information aboutproducts and services. Because of the Internet,potential buyers have easy access to a wealth ofinformation about almost every conceivable productand service, and they’ve become convinced they can find whatever information theyneed, whenever they need it, on their terms. These empowered buyers pay littleattention to unsolicited marketing messages, and therefore all forms of outbound or“interruption” marketing are losing effectiveness. Inbound marketing, on the other hand,is a highly effective way to communicate with these “self-directed” buyers.Companies are also turning to inbound marketing because it’s more cost effectivethan most forms of traditional outbound marketing.
The State of Inbound Marketing 2010 
survey conducted by HubSpot found that businesses spending 50% or more oftheir total marketing budget on inbound marketing activities spent 60% less per saleslead than businesses spending more than half of their marketing budget on outboundmarketing activities and channels.
If inbound marketing is more effective and less costly than outbound marketing, you may be asking yourself: Do we still need outbound marketing? Should we eliminate or significantly reduce our outbound marketing activities and shift most or all of our marketing resources to inbound marketing tactics and channels? 
Inbound marketing is growing because it compliments the way today’s empowered, self- directed buyers make purchasing decisions.
 
 
Copyright © 2010 by G. David DoddAll rights reserved.
 
3
Marketing Insights
For now at least, we believe that most companies need both inbound and outboundmarketing to maximize the effectiveness and productivity of their marketing efforts. Noone doubts that online communication channels are here to stay, and they will be evenmore pervasive in the future. As the use of the Internet continues to grow, inboundmarketing will become increasingly critical to business success. Even today, mostcompanies should be devoting a significant portion of their total marketing budget toinbound marketing activities.We also contend, however, that outboundmarketing still performs several important functions inmost companies’ marketing efforts. For example,B2B companies rely heavily on outbound marketingcommunications to drive lead nurturing programs.Most lead nurturing communications are outbound e-mail messages that are sent on a time-basedschedule or in response to certain behaviors of theprospect. Lead nurturing has become an essentialpart of B2B marketing because potential buyers arebecoming leads long before they are ready to talk to a salesperson, much less make apurchase. Lead nurturing is designed to keep a company engaged with these prospectsuntil they are ready to buy. Although lead nurturing combines elements of both inboundand outbound marketing, it would be far less effective without the outbound components.In addition, both B2B and B2C companies use outbound marketing methods tocommunicate information and offers to existing customers regarding new products,product upgrades, and complimentary products or services. Again, this can be doneusing inbound marketing techniques, but most marketers we know are not comfortablerelying exclusively on inbound marketing to perform these high-value marketing jobs.The examples just described involve marketing to an individual who has an existingrelationship with the company that is sending the marketing message. In addition, thesetypes of marketing programs usually involve individuals who have “opted-in” to receivemarketing messages. Clearly, these circumstances enhance the effectiveness ofoutbound marketing tactics.But outbound marketing techniques can also be important even when no relationshipor permission exists. Those of us who use the Internet regularly to communicate withothers, research products or services, and make purchases tend to assume that mostother people exhibit the same behaviors. We can easily forget that, even today, manypotential customers do not use the Web regularly or extensively. For example, consider
Outbound marketing still performs some marketing  jobs better than inbound marketing—lead nurturing,communicating with existing customers, and communicating with the “offline” customer.

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