Take a deep breath, brand builders – we are now more than halfway through the steep, yet fruitful five-step climb to building a winning consumer brand.
By understanding the importance of an emotional consumer connection, and in taking the time to develop our positioning statement and branding promise, we’ve carefully, yet confidently, laid our brand’s foundation. Now, we have everything we need to tell our unique story and establish a mutually beneficial relationship with our target audience.
With plenty of data tools in our toolbox, it is time to ensure that we have a qualified team to employ those tools in an effective way. Inbound marketing and outbound marketing tactics deployed by customer-focused team members will allow us to communicate with our audience in an appropriate, timely manner, using our hard-earned data from Steps 1 and 2 of the climb.
Now let’s roll.
Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing – And Why You Need Both
One of the most common questions churning inside of the mind of today’s CEO is whether inbound or outbound marketing will yield better results.
First, let’s discuss what they mean – and the difference between the two. Marketo defines inbound marketing as tactics that build trust and preference with customers before they engage in the buying process. This means attention is garnered through interest in your brand’s social media posts compelling blogs, thought provoking-webinars, and strategic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), to name a few.
In contrast, outbound marketing refers to paid, online and offline marketing tactics that directly function to acquire new customers. Think of Internet ads, television ads, direct mail, telemarketing, and print marketing.
They both sound like they have value – so what’s the best approach in communicating our story?
The answer is a healthy combination of both.
There’s no way to escape inbound marketing. Let’s take a look at the facts. According to HubSpot’s 7th annual “State of Inbound” survey, today’s companies are three times as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound, and three out of four marketers across the globe prioritize the inbound approach to reach their customer base. And it’s not only preferred by marketers. This “new” consumer-centric approach drives organic, unpaid engagement and attracts leads, while simultaneously putting the customer in their favorite place – the driver’s seat.
While traditional outbound marketing helps us target specific prospects in an accurate manner, in B2B and consumer marketing alike, applying both types of marketing is one of the best ways to reach all customers across our value chain, in a manner commonly referred to as omni-channel marketing.
By combining a concise inbound marketing strategy, like the use of social media, blogging, and engaging website and landing page content, with a succinct, parallel outbound strategy using traditional advertising, like brochures and television ads, we can create an effective, cohesive message that is consistent across all channels and reaches every part of our value chain.
Emotional Branding through Inbound and Outbound Marketing Communication
The next piece of the puzzle is where the critical use of emotion comes into play. Emotional branding is so important to the success of both inbound and outbound marketing communication – and your overall marketing return actually hinges on the efficacy of the emotional message you provide. Create a strong central communication theme ‘your story’ and make sure it runs through the spine of all the different ways you are going to connect with your audience
By crafting emotional messages that bond with our audience through our inbound and outbound marketing tactics, consumer brands of every size can turn their brand into a lifestyle for the customer. The proof is in the pudding: Strativity’s Pulse Survey indicates that a whopping 87 percent of customers who interact with a company daily feel greater loyalty to that company.
Regular, emotional messages using inbound and outbound marketing tactics can increase the loyalty of the customers who will undoubtedly be making purchases in the future. In fact, its highly likely that our current customers will need to remain loyal so we can stay afloat – NG Data found that while a repeat customer’s likelihood of buying from us again is 60-70 percent, the chance of acquiring a completely new customer is only 5-20 percent at best.
To make sure our marketing efforts are worthwhile, we’ll need assurance that our audience is buying in. Analytics from inbound and outbound marketing efforts can help tell us who our audience is, what they like, and how to move forward, retain them, and keep them buying.
By employing analytics programs (like those on this list from Marketing Land) to build prediction and optimization models, establish well-defined customer profiles, and identify new sources of revenue streams, we can learn from our previous communications with our customers in order to drive business forward. Investing in analytics to check work is crucial – KISSMetrics found that 95 percent of today’s organizations have untapped data within the ranks that could help them determine how to move forward with marketing. Our brands probably do, too – and with less than half of today’s marketers utilizing web analytics tools to inform their marketing practices, doing this will keep you ahead of the big data power curve that will undoubtedly become the norm before long.
Marketing to Drive Product Innovation
Believe it or not, these steps will also help us get to a place where we can create better products that actually matter to our customers, instead of ones that just sound good to our sales and marketing teams. In the next section, we’ll explore how the first three steps have led us to a huge advantage in the marketplace – the advantage of being able to predict product innovations ahead of the competition through careful strategic planning.
Simon Waldron is a Los Angeles, CA-based CMO with Chief Outsiders, specializing in Brand and Product Development, Manufacturing Integration, and Retail Strategy. Contact Simon at SWaldron@ChiefOutsiders.com.