Ever feel like advertisements are pulling you away from the dinner table? Or interpreting your life in order to sell your something you do not need? Traditional marketing is based off of interrupting people lives in hopes people pay attention. However, with some much ‘noise’ people are actually tuning out advertisements. Could you tell me what ad’s you saw on TV last night? And more specially, what company was producing the advertisement? The answer is probably NO.
As marketing students, I often feel judged when answering the questions, what is your major. The awkward pause or the weird look people give me often forces me to back up my answer with, I’m also a communication studies minor. I once took a yoga class that began each session with advice. The beginning of the class became a bash the marketing world. The teacher focused on informing the class about the evils of marketing and how marketers are ruining society. Instead of feeling a since of inner peace, I felt annoyed and dropped the classes.
Marketing does not have to be about selling people stuff they do not need or interrupting their family time at the dinner table. Market is shifting toward providing people with information they can use to get the most pleasure out of their purchase.
So how do you do this? Inbound marketing of course. The Harvard Case study, Hubspot: Inbound Marketing and 2.0, defines inbound marketing as the following:
“Inbound marketing is a collection of marketing strategies and techniques focused on pulling relevant prospects and customers toward a business and its products. Inbound marketers offered useful information, tools, and resources designed to attract prospective customers to the company during the time when prospects were actively engaged in a search for a particular product or service”.
The key to inbound marketing is that instead of interrupting, inbound marketing attracts customers during their personal time of search. Marketing is now a resource people can use to educate themselves. By inbound marketing using interesting and entertaining content, people are more likely to engage and pay attention to the message.
A blog post, videos, photos, SEO, forums and online communication, social media are all examples of content for inbound marketing. In order to make your content useful, your distribution channels need to be easy to access. Inbound content should be focused on potentials customer’s problems with your product or service being the solution.
Hubspot is an example of inbound marketing software. Hubspot defines inbound marketing in three steps:
Vicio is a telecom expense management software company founded in 2001. The company mainly focused on using traditional marketing strategies, such as cold calling and and direct mail. These methods where time consuming and providing little returns. People screen their calls. Think, how often do you answer your phone to an unknown number? Or if you do, do you hang up right away or screen DONT CALL ME AGAIN when its a telemarketer?
With the help of Hubspot, Vicio was able to create a new inbound marketing plan. Web traffic doubled, blog posts were getting over 100 views a day, organic searches accounted for half of the overall web traffic and the use of SEO and keywords generated Vocie a large amount of leads.
Hubspot helped Vicio identify what keywords customers were using to find their website and used those keyword when crafting the website. Not only has web traffic increase but also the quality of leads. This decreased Vicio time spent of lead generation. Hubspot allows small companies like Vicio to compete with larger companies who have more man power and money.