How do you woo your cherished customers? Choose the perfect profile picture. Craft the perfect, unassuming yet eye-catching description of your life and what you have to offer. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll swipe right.
This is the culture we live in, and in many ways, it is the marketing world we live in. With a million options swirling around them, customers of every kind hold control over the buying process. Even in the B2B realm, customers are used to having a multitude of choices and the ability to take their time in choosing.
This is good. The customer should maintain a hold on exactly how and when they buy according to their needs. In response, businesses are compelled to play at the top of their game and to grow increasingly adaptive. And as a result, the brilliant concept of Inbound Marketing was born.
Rather than interject ads and offers into the lives of customers, inbound marketers produce content that is pleasing, timely, and in a convenient location for users. The key to inbound is the abandonment of “push marketing” methodology and the commitment to a pull approach.
HubSpot, who coined Inbound Marketing, is the thought leader primarily responsible for this new methodology. They provide amazing learning material and interactive content in their HubSpot Academy courses, and their Inbound Certification imparts a thorough understanding of the inbound pull approach. After watching the videos and taking the test, you are brimming with ideas of how to place content where your customers will be happy to find it. In fact, you feel like a marketing magnet.
You might compare the feeling to trying out online dating. You upload your best content and place it right it where that lucky individual can stumble upon you. If you play your cards right, the match will stick.
While the point of an inbound approach is to place you right where your special individual is happy to find you, “stumbled upon” is not always what you should be looking for. Yes, you should absolutely surprise your customers in an organic manner that meets their needs and delights them. However, this is only an effective approach when coupled with the proper amount of intention.
If the adoption of inbound methodology results in passivity, then the most important part of this marketing approach has been misunderstood. You are still going to the customer. Inbound means giving enough of yourself to meet them where they stand, offering only what is truly of value to them in that moment, and letting them tell you if they want more. In that, it’s crucial to your inbound marketing campaign that you are still reaching out as you are welcoming your customer in.
While making sure your marketing strategy is both purposeful and actionable, old-fashioned customer outreach is not bad. Sometimes, staying adaptive and introducing a little “outbound” action into your campaign is what works best. There are times when the most direct approach is the most highly respected, and the customer will thank you for giving them a call. The point is that you stay focused on the needs of the customer throughout the conversation and then you give them the best experience you can.
Landing Your Date
If you get a fresh, hipster haircut and walk down the same hallway, you might get that girl you’ve stared at since the fourth grade to go to the high school dance with you. If you flash a smile every time she looks your way and you’re a comedy genius in class, there’s a chance she’ll choose you. But, often, there is one best way to know for sure.
You shake off the sweat, take a deep breath, walk up to her locker, and ask her to prom. If you know who you’re looking for, don’t always wait for them to stumble upon you. Do your research, place yourself in the right place at the right time, then reach out and ask.