The Reality Of Inbound Marketing In 2012

It is a new year and old school sales may have a few holdouts in some slower industries. However, the concept of interrupting people and pushing unsolicited sales messages is fast fading. Look at the bookstores and note the literature. You will not find hit books on how to cold-call better or mass mail with advertising. Those were popular topics ten years ago. However, inbound marketing is the norm now. People do not want to be sold, but they love to buy.

Your marketing strategy will either evolve to keep in step with your industry, or you will become less relevant. As you are looking at the new year, get rid of the gimmicks. Commit to building something that will grow your brand. It is hard work and discipline if you are coming from old ways of doing things. But here is today’s reality:

  • Buyers know how to filter out spam. Your billboard, junk mail, cold call, email blast and social media blitz is disruptive and damages your brand. Don’t be known as a spammer.
  • Buying starts with value first. Before you get contacted, you are being researched. The internet has allowed for self-service around our value offerings. Be valuable and provide the answers to what a buyer is asking. Be the authority. Build trust. Watch your phone ring. It is about preparing for success.
  • Winning is a process of failure. You have to try things and see whether there is interest. Leads will develop from engagement with your content and value proposition. You have to test, analyze, refine and work harder than everyone else. Doing so increases your chances of success, not necessarily guaranteeing it.
  • Buying later is the norm. Unless there is high pain for the buyer, they are not going to buy now. They will find you when there is a need. Then they will study before they decide to connect with you. Nurture the relationship gently and keep providing relevant answers along the way and you may get a chance to engage. It is about being ready and helping someone become ready.

Every year, there are tectonic shifts in multiple industries. We all search for what we want. We initiate the buying process and we are looking for value along the way. Inbound marketing is about being there in step with your audience.

What are you going to do to build a true marketing strategy this year? Where do you need help?

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