I was trying to come up with reasons why companies should still use outbound marketing when I read what Guy Kawasaki, a household name in marketing circles, said about the subject:
“If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”
I could’ve just totally changed the topic of my article because Mr. Kawasaki made total sense there. But, I cannot just roll over and die and drag every outbound marketer’s cause to my grave (I have a soft spot for outbound marketers). I have to at least put this on record.
In sibling analogy, Inbound Marketing is the long-awaited newborn, the baby everybody in the family is enthusiastic about. He’s the apple of everyone’s eyes; he gets all the attention, the special treatment, the biggest slice of the cake. That’s because, first, everyone’s bored of the big brother (one can only be so cute for so long). Wait, that’s about the only reason.
Big brother, of course, is Outbound Marketing. He used to be the favorite, but when everyone learned baby brother is coming, the joy he used to give them became nothing more than an afterthought.
But to all fans of big brother, fret not because whether they admit it or not, big bro still holds some tricks cute little brother could only wish he had.
And that money-brains theory of Mr. Kawasaki? Yes, it’s true to some degree, but it’s not a rule. And if it is, you can always be the exception.
Here are some outbound marketing strategies that still drive sales and earn marketers more than just a pat on the back.
In a study by Fractl and Moz, there’s a question that says “What is an effective way for a company to attract your business?” The top answer – favored by 53.5% of the respondents was, “Mailing me offers for discounts, coupons, or free trials.” It was followed by 53.2% who answered, “Offering free content about a topic I’m interested in.”
For all the credit given to inbound marketing’s efficient passivity, it cannot be denied that buyers still expect a more aggressive approach. By creating and sending emails to hype promos, events, newly launched products, and the like, you can attract a specific audience – those who are half-expecting a notification from you, because email marketing uses leads that are already in your company database, you have better chances of reaching leads that are more sales ready. After the initial spending on a lead list, the expenses allocated for email marketing are almost insignificant, which gives it a very high ROI.
The good thing about event marketing is, you know you’ve already won half the battle. You see, the fact that the prospect you invited attends your event is already an indication of interest in your brand, product, or service. So whether it’s a webinar or a tradeshow, a seminar or a public demo of a product, it gives you the chance meet your prospects in a more personal manner and reel them in further. Needless to say, event marketing is a great way not only to generate leads but create lasting, meaningful relationships with current and prospective customers.
Think of outbound marketing as tag-team wrestling where the two members of the team take turns until the opponent succumbs to their relentless efforts. It doesn’t sound nice and cute, but it operates on teamwork and cooperation. In this case, the outbound marketers do the initial pummeling – softening the prospects until they’re ready for the inside sales team. The inside sales team then calls and qualifies the leads using CHAMP methodology until they are ready to be passed on to the “closers”. Inside sales is essential in any outbound marketing strategy since they are the ones who follow up on the leads. Without them, all the leads your frontliners have generated will be for naught.
Lead nurturing and lead scoring
Several studies show that outbound marketing is more effective in B2B transactions precisely because it is easier for companies and big organizations to trust partners they have had some degree of interaction with. This is the result of marketing efforts that turn leads further down into sales pipeline for nurturing. Truth be told, a good percentage of the leads you have generated are not quite ready to buy yet. But through lead nurturing, these leads are gradually tenderized until they are in perfect position (and attitude) to buy. Ideally, a good pipeline assigns leads scores based on how purchase-ready they are.
In this age of computers and mobile technology that evolves faster than people age, you’d expect newspapers, radio, and television to heave their last collective breaths. But no, this triumvirate is here to stay for a while. These traditional platforms are still getting a significant chunk of the marketing budget because, although businesses may use inbound marketing to research for trusted partners, they ultimately seek out those that are established and have had a history of credibility and are amplified by their sometimes decades-long presence in tri-media ads. One more thing: because it has become “outdated”, advertising through these means has actually become cheaper. This is why outbound marketing seems to have inbound marketing’s number, especially in business-to-business marketing. Thus, telemarketing is still relevant and effective marketing medium.
The truth is, Inbound Marketing is getting all the love these days. This entire concept about “attracting more bees with honey” actually makes a lot of sense, but it would be foolish for any organization to abandon outbound marketing altogether in favor of inbound marketing. As many marketers — even those who have jumped over the fence to inbound marketing – would admit, outbound marketing helps businesses target specific prospects more accurately, and thus, produces positive results faster.
So don’t but fall for that “more money = outbound, more brains = inbound” principle hook, line, and sinker. Just be smart and strike the right balance between the two.
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