I remember a story from childhood about a Spanish bull that didn’t want to fight just sniff flowers. The matadors come to the meadow looking for new talent among the bulls. While they were there a bee stung the flower loving bull causing him to jump up and charge around looking fierce. The matadors were excited because they thought they had a champion, but when the matadors got the bull in the ring he just sat there unmoved by anything the matadors did. The story ended in the tradition of good old cartoons where a waft of heady scent gets carried on the wind and the bull gets a wiff of it, gravity suddenly no longer applies as the bull floats away in the direction of the smell.
When thinking about Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing I feel that there is a parallel here with the attractive scent and this bull that wouldn’t fight.
If we look at Outbound Marketing (wrestling with bull) it is traditionally the combination of adverts, store promotions, tradeshows, cold calling, etc. The way it works is that the company decides that everyone in the identified “x” category (where x = bulls in a meadow) are potential consumers and it is the sales force’s (matadors) job to get out there and convert these “hot leads” (mad bulls) into sales (um… the cartoon didn’t show this bit). The objective is to play the numbers game, run through the list, put yourself out there and warm up a few cold bodies so you can make a notch on your bedpost (sorry.. sales report).
While Outbound Marketing still gets results the application is steadily becoming tougher through blocking, filtering and customer resistance. This process is also time consuming and resource heavy for the company when looking at the cost of adverts, petrol accounts, car allowances and expense accounts.
Inbound Marketing is like the heady scent on the wind that draws the happy bull near.
Let’s face it – most people are on the internet, most have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and depending on additional preferences Google+, Pinterest, etc.
Most people look for resources, companies, entertainment and answers to their questions by first searching online. Recommendations are made through social media contacts and products bought online without hesitation. It makes sense to ensure that your company presence is all over the internet and you are catering for peoples social media preferences by using these mediums to interact with your clients. When the right ones come along (we are back to bulls again) and catch wind of your company and like what they smell (see) they will be carried on the breeze through the internet to your company and products (meadow and flowers). Once in your meadow they are so much easier to convert than having to drag them to your stadium, wrestle with them in the dust and force them into submission.
The main thing about Inbound Marketing is that it is not a quick fix, fast sale, wham bam thank you mam, we killed the bull! Let’s go out on the streets and celebrate! It takes time to build up momentum and just like Outbound Marketing you are still running the numbers but without having to drive around, shake hands, run up big phone bills and spend a fortune on adverts. Unlike Outbound Marketing you don’t have that immediate gratification, or are able to convince yourself that you are moving forward by churning out sales reports and contact databases.
Quick Inbound Marketing Fast Facts and Figures
- More than 50% of internet users read blogs monthly
- Companies that blog get 55% more visitors
- 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog
- 40% of Facebook’s users are 35+
- 64% of Facebook users have become fans of at least one company
- 67% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook
- 70% of search engine results that users click on are organic and not paid (Adwords, banners, etc.)
- Inbound marketing costs 63% less than Outbound Marketing