Inbound Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Scott Lambert

inbound marketing vs traditional marketingMany business professionals are not sure how Inbound Marketing differs from traditional marketing and might be reluctant to switch from the old to the new. If it’s not broken, why fix it… right? Well, statistics show that *54% more leads are generated by Inbound tactics than traditional paid marketing. That’s a lot of leads! And adopting an Inbound marketing strategy helps you find them.

*Source State of Inbound Report 2014-15

In this article I explore the differences between Inbound Marketing and traditional methods. And I’ll shine a light on why Inbound Marketing works for today’s consumer and why it makes sense for your business to try something new.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is all about the marketer and them actively seeking to find the customer. The traditional marketer’s approach is bold and interruptive.

The traditional marketer spends his or her day approaching potential leads and casting a wide net via cold calling, emailing and pursuing the potential customer in the target market.

We’ve all experienced this.

An example would be answering the phone during a busy workday to an enthusiastic marketer who has identified you as someone who fits into the demographic they are selling to. The net is cast and you are now being reeled in with gusto. Let’s face it. It’s not a pleasant selling process and in many cases, it can feel very intrusive.

What’s clear from this experience is that the basis of traditional marketing is marketer centric, not user or customer centric.

There are now over 3 billion users on the Internet choosing to do business electronically. The dreaded phone call equivalent of interruptive traditional marketing is still present online via those annoying pop up ads you see while browsing the Web and spammy emails in your inbox.

The sheer volume of Web users has made it increasingly difficult for marketers to target the traditional buyer in such an expansive market of savvy users who may not know exactly what they want but they usually know what they don’t want. Being interrupted rates highly on that list.

This is why Inbound Marketing is so different. Inbound marketing is based on attracting the user rather than approaching the user.

Let’s take a closer look.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is all about empowering the customer with education.

Inbound Marketers understand that people are smart and that a potential customer is already researching their purchase well before they ever contact a sales representative.

During this research phase, an Inbound Marketer understands that remarkable content that educates without pushing a sales pitch provides a valuable resource for the customer to become educated during their buying journey.

The Inbound Marketer assists the buyer throughout their journey every step of the way but never assaults. The buyer is looking for ideas and has questions. They need the help of a thought leader who understands what they want and has answers.

Attracting customers by providing informative content is the first step in finding potential leads as they do their research, and then turning those leads into satisfied customers.

To explain it better, let’s look at the Inbound Marketing Methodology:

  1. Attract – During the Attraction stage, a stranger is searching for information and finds your content helpful. The strangers attracted to your content become visitors to your website.
  2. Convert – In the conversion stage, those visitors become leads via an exchange of information for an offer that provides more helpful content.
  3. Close – A lead is further engaged by content and becomes a customer.
  4. Delight – A customer who has been delighted by your informative and helpful content goes on to become a promoter of your product or service and the process begins again.

As you can see, this is not an aggressive approach but instead a delightful experience and an exchange driven by your remarkable and informative content.

The difference between traditional marketing and Inbound Marketing should now be clear. It’s also clear that adopting the Inbound methodology is worthwhile for your business. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to hear from you.

Until then, download our free Digital Marketing Plan. It’s got everything you need to get on the path to Inbound Marketing success!

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Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of BellSouth.net, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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