Marketing as we know it has changed fundamentally. On the one hand, we now find a multitude of methods to “push” product benefits and advertising messages into a market and to reach potential customers at all conceivable touchpoints and at all possible times. This push communication is directed outwards and is therefore referred to as outbound marketing. And there is usually so much of it that it becomes annoying.
On the other hand, potential customers now have different expectations as well as new ways of obtaining information and making purchases. They are people who have concrete challenges and problems, and are very likely to look for answers and solutions on the Internet.
Studies show that up to 90 percent of B2C purchasing decisions are influenced by the Internet. The situation is similar in the B2B sector, as typical customers complete about 80 percent of the purchase decision process independently. Only after extensive online research do they contact a company or its sales department.
Providers therefore require a methodology that does this development justice and taps into the new ways customers are getting information and making purchases. This methodology should no longer focus on the seller or the product, but entirely on the customer. This is where inbound marketing comes in.
While a company’s outbound strategy is about finding customers, the inbound methodology aims at potential customers finding the company. It strives to generate campaigns and activities that motivate potential customers to request certain products and services and thus “pull” them into a market. This pull communication is directed inwards and is therefore referred to as inbound.
Marketing and sales teams focus their activities on making sure a search is successful. Instead of conventional advertising messages, useful content is offered that is geared to the problem at hand. Instead of the usual advertising interruptions, this content is positioned so that potential customers looking for solutions can find them. Instead of creating and satisfying needs, potential customers are advised, accompanied and developed along the entire buyer’s journey from the first solution offer to the conclusion of the sale.
We show how this works in our whitepaper “From push to pull”.
It explains the necessities and basics of the inbound methodology and shows how useful content is structured and what to pay attention to. It also shows how sales and marketing work together in a target-oriented manner and provides concrete tips on how this can be implemented in a company. The white paper is available for free download.