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Outbound Marketing and Its Role

If you search for “outbound marketing” on Wikipedia, you find that outbound marketing can be seen in different ways.   The old definition refers to something good, while the new one refers to something bad. But interestingly, they have a lot more in common than it would seem, so let’s look at the term more objectively. Two Definitions? The first definition leads you to an explanation that “Marketing communications is the ‘promotion’ part of the ‘marketing mix’ or the ‘four Ps’: price, place, promotion, and product. It can also refer to the strategy used by a company or individual to reach their target market through various types of communication.” The second states that interruption marketing “refers to promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales. It is considered to be an annoying version of the traditional way of doing marketing whereby companies focus on finding customers through advertising.” Notice how both of these definitions refer to promoting/promotions and they mention various types of communication. In reality, that’s all outbound marketing is: using various methods to promote your product. It’s all traditional The traditional types and methods of outbound marketing are things that we are all used to seeing every day: billboards, telemarketing, direct mail, television and radio ads, Sunday newspaper, etc. These are simply methods to get  your name and product out for people to see and hear about. We are all used to seeing commercials on TV and sometimes we might even look forward to watching and discussing them with others. Think about Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S. It is a tradition for companies to...

What is Inbound Marketing?

In one sentence, inbound marketing is: education – it is educating potential leads throughout the buyer’s cycle so that you can guide them down through the sales funnel. Drawing people into the top of the funnel with marketing assets, introducing people to a product or service and gradually teaching them the ins and outs. This process of attracting prospects in and then leveraging your knowledge to educate them to a readiness to buy is the essence of inbound marketing. The Topic Inbound marketing involves the use of blogs, white papers, eBooks, videos, podcasts, newsletters and social media (among other things) that make people aware of your company and the products you offer. This information allows them to reach out back to you once they are more serious about buying from you. Throughout the nurturing process, they become more comfortable with choosing your product over the competition and this makes the buying process much smoother. Statistics show that 79% of companies in 2013 that had a blog reported a positive return on investment (ROI) for inbound marketing, so there’s good evidence that these are worth the effort. On your end, inbound marketing involves optimizing your website for online searches and social media so that anyone who is looking for products within your industry (or industries) will find you first. This optimization involves placing your content in the proper context for potential clients, which includes time and location. In a nutshell, outbound marketing is like a politician posting “vote for me” advertisements all over town because they want to win, while inbound marketing is when someone actually walks around town offering...
What is a Persona?

What is a Persona?

What is a persona? Using personas for email campaigns has been shown to double open rates and increase click through rates by 5x, which is testimony to their usefulness. Interestingly enough, a persona could be defined as a personalization of a generalization. By looking at individual customers, finding patterns among them, and grouping these customers based on their similarities, companies set the groundwork for a persona. The last step is simply going back to the individual after various groups have been defined. Creating one personality out of each group allows the interactions between a company and its target audience to become more personal. Instead of trying to cater to an average customer, personas allow for multiple types of customers to arise in order to account for the different interests, motivations and behaviors.   What’s the risk of skipping personas? If you’re not using personas, then you’re doing it wrong, and there’s one all-encompassing reason why: unless you sell one version of one product, there’s probably no such thing as an ‘average customer.’ People have different needs, interests, motivations and aspirations. By having one marketing plan based on one generalization about what your customers are looking for, you would be sacrificing a lot of sales. For example, if you sell clothing and don’t account for the difference between a businessman, a hipster, and a fashionista when you send your “50% OFF SALE” email campaign, chances are your message won’t resonate with any of them. Personas are the best way of avoiding this situation by ensuring that your message reaches the average businessman and the average fashionista instead of just the...

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the process of systematizing campaigns while simultaneously tailoring them to individual customers. The reason why it has become so popular is because it allows your marketing team to have personal interactions with more people than you have time or energy for, which translates into better relationships with your customers and more customer loyalty. Instead of simply targeting a demographic and spamming them, your automated campaign will nurture leads throughout the process and keep track of how engaged they are with your product and website. Are they actually opening your emails? Are they clicking through to your website? These are things that marketing automation allows you to measure and respond to systematically in order to communicate more effectively with your leads and clients. Marketing-generated leads – Inbound Marketing Before the spread of the internet, businesses would have to advertise a lot more in order to reach their audience, but now customers are overwhelmed with advertisements everywhere they go so they stop paying attention to them. Using marketing-generated and nurtured leads, marketing automation ensures that a personalised message is being delivered at exactly the right time. Your communications are being targeted at every point through the sales funnel ensuring that you know when your leads are hot – because your marketing made them that way. Companies using marketing automation experience conversion rates (from initial response to Marketing Qualified Lead) that are 53% higher than those not using a software. A simple automated campaign such as personalized birthday emails have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. Automation+Personalisation ensures meaningful, scalable communication with your targets. Tracking prospects – Nurturing...