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Ignoring inbound marketing=Ignoring customers

Posted by Chris Hubbard on Feb 28, 2013 1:02:00 PM

Inbound marketing is getting a lot of hype these days, and too often the “next big thing” is all sizzle and no steak.

But inbound marketing isn’t just hype. It’s a very real and important development—and to ignore it is to ignore the very lifeblood of your business, your customers.

Customers have changed the way they buy. Have you changed the way you sell?

Inbound Marketing Is as Much a Customer Trend as a Marketing Trend

Not too long ago, if buyers were even a little interested in your products or services, they had to go directly to you to get information. If they wanted to fully understand and evaluate your solutions, they had to engage in your sales process, which is of course is exactly what you wanted.

Now, though, buyers have a multitude of ways to learn about you and can even use social media to meet your customers and employees—past and present. Buyer behavior has changed, and so your marketing and sales practices need to change too.

Use Inbound Marketing to Help Buyer’s Buy

You see, buyers today don’t need to engage with sales until they’re ready, and they’re likely to get ticked off if you reach out to them before then!

This is where inbound marketing kicks in. By using SEO, social media, your blog, and other inbound marketing strategies, you can to attract buyers to your website and provide useful content that genuinely helps them. That keeps them coming back to your site and gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise and earn their trust, while gently nudging them towards sales.

By monitoring their behavior and using the content they request as an indicator, you can also determine where they are in their buying process and offer sales support at just the right time, when they actually want it.

Inbound Marketing Is Smart Business

For sales, inbound marketing means that leads are already qualified and are much deeper in the funnel when they get them. In other words, they’re great leads! They’re primed to buy and favorable to your company because of the content nurturing.

This means that, rather than spending time trying to qualify cold leads, sales can focus on nutruring and converting the serious sales-ready leads and on building and maintaining long-term repeat business. The result is increased sales efficiency and revenue growth.

Inbound Marketing doesn’t just align you with your customers—it also aligns sales and marketing toward common goals!

The Bottom Line

As buyers find new ways to leverage the Web and use digital channels to gather information, you are going to hear about plenty of new ways to engage and acquire customers. Some of these will be sizzle and some will be steak. Only a very few are likely to be as important to your business as inbound marketing.

For more information about the changing behaviors of buyers and how to use marketing to acquire them, download our free e-book: Zombie Attack – The One Red Bird Guide to B2B Marketing.

Topics: b2b, leads, content, marketing, strategy, lead nurturing, customer loyalty, marketing content, customer engagement, social media, inbound marketing, sales, SEO