With high expectations and access to more information than ever, savvy consumers rely on a combination of information and perception of your business before making buying decisions. Competition among businesses is fierce and you can’t just rely on eyeballs seeing your advertising. This combination opens up a pandora box of both opportunities and challenges for businesses. Inbound marketing is a proven, interaction-based approach to attracting and engaging that turns strangers into loyal customers, and helps businesses scale and grow at a rapid pace.
But how do you know if this approach is right for your business?
- You rely on a steady flow of leads to generate sales.
The concept of a lead means that consumers aren’t making snap decisions to purchase. Unlike shopping for a loaf of bread, purchases that require a significant amount of consideration or investment require meaningful information and initial experience with the product or your service. When it comes to decisions such as as choosing a school for your child or procuring technology security services for your company, inbound marketing will make you visible to the target audience and make you more appealing than your competitors. It is critically important to generate a relevant volume of leads who are also qualified. Then, it’s about assessing their readiness to make a commitment to your business.
- You’re unsure if you’re spending the right amount of time nurturing the right kind of lead.
Your sales team works hard. They know what it takes to convert a sale, but do they have enough of the right kind of data to know which is qualified leads ready to buy? Inbound strategies such as lead scoring, qualifications based on their behaviors and preferences, third-party data validation will inform you of the prospect’s place in the buyer’s journey so your sales team can focus on prospects that will be productive.
- You are spending too much time on manual labor to improve your results.
If you haven’t yet considered marketing automation to grow your business, it’s a good time to kick the tires on this concept. And if you’re already using it, but unsure if it’s optimized well enough, it’s a good time to revisit your initial use cases and improve or expand upon them. Automation can include operational workflows like triggering a notification to a sales representative when certain lead qualification criteria, such as visiting the pricing page of your website, is met. Automation also makes it possible to deliver relevant content according to each of your customer needs, not just based on your own marketing objective. The beauty of inbound marketing means that each of your customer’s journey can be customized to exactly where they are in the purchase cycle.
- You are not sure which of your marketing efforts deliver best outcome.
Most business aim to continually improve their key performance indicators. That’s a given. Real time marketing dashboarding with a strategic eye on the data helps. But even then, when there are so many campaigns, digital platforms and tools, it’s often difficult to attribute leads and customers to their source. Inbound marketing brings it all together. From initial traffic to conversion, attribution reporting is a core part of inbound methodology. Where should you invest more resources? How do leads from social media compared to those from paid search? Which blog posts deliver best (oftentimes 20% of your blog posts help with 80% of your conversions)? Stats are just numbers. But when there is meaning and action behind them, and when they’re at your fingertips, they can be a very powerful business asset.
- You want to depend on something more than luck.
Do it better than your competition and you’ll have an edge. Delight your customers and potential customers in ways they don’t expect. Share stories and information that helps them understand and appreciate your company, products and services. Use inbound marketing to truly understand their struggles, their unique circumstances. Arm your sales team with exceptional selling information at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This is the beauty of a well-done strategic inbound plan. It’s not like throwing a dart blindfolded. Both you and the sales prospect are creating a transaction with their eyes wide open. And those kind of customer relationships don’t come about because of luck.
If these signs resonate with you, now is a good time to consider optimizing inbound marketing for your business. Like a magnet, inbound draws in potential customers. The magnetic attraction is powerful, and it keeps a strong hold. Use it to your advantage and see amazing results for your business.