We can all probably remember the days when traditional marketing methods ruled the space. Cold calling, billboards, and TV and radio ads focused on vying for a consumer’s attention through outbound marketing tactics. The emphasis was on “pushing” products or services towards potential customers through one-way communication, with the hope you would get the attention of the right people. Since it was a mass media approach, any education was at a high level to try and appeal to everyone.
Don’t get me wrong, outbound or “traditional” marketing strategies still play a role today, but they are certainly on the decline. Consumers don’t want to be pushed towards making a particular purchase decision, and they certainly don’t want to be spammed with marketing messages that are irrelevant to them. It’s all about creating a personalized experience that educates and entertains. Understanding where a consumer is in the decision-making process allows you to provide the right content at the right time.
This personalized approach that informs and builds relationships is called inbound marketing. Instead of forcing a sale, inbound marketers focus on understanding their target markets and providing relevant content. Social media, blogs, user-friendly websites, and content marketing all encompass the inbound methodology, encouraging engagement and adding value. The emphasis is on building relationships with consumers to gain their trust and then hopefully gain them as a customer.
Inbound marketing is transforming the marketing space, so we put together a brief overview below (with the help of our partners at HubSpot) to uncover what inbound is all about and how you can incorporate it into your marketing plan.