Sunday, February 15, 2015

The New Marketing - 2


One is called “Inbound Marketing in a Nutshell,” the other is “The Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing,” both put out by the same people. I had downloaded them out of curiosity a month or two back.  I’d forgotten I had them, but I’d remembered some of what they said. It’s where the quotes about traditional advertising being “crap” and “yelling at the customers” come from. (“Obnoxious” yelling at the customers, as I reread it.)

The Inbound technique is quite precisely formulated, as befits a fad trying to look like a scientific discipline. (You don’t believe it’s a discipline? Well, it has its own acronyms and a glossary...)

There’s a five-step process to it:   Get Attention; Give Value; Gain Trust; Grow Influence; Gather Insight. The 5 “G”s, apparently.

This is sometimes described as new-age touchy-feely marketing. There is another, older formula used by people who really want to sell things sometime in the foreseeable future: Attention, Interest, Desire, Conviction, and Action.

Both marketing techniques must first define their audience of prospects and decide how to reach it. The next step, however, is where they part company.

Inbound presents “agnostic content” that it expects will be “relevant” to get the attention of and "engage" its prospects. 

Real marketing yells at the customer that he can make more money (or whatever the benefit is) using that specific product. Supposing that it's business owners we're talking to, attention-getters like making money, saving on costs, gaining market share, improving quality -- these are already pretty relevant, so you don’t have to invent “content.”

Can we assume you’ve snagged your prospect’s ATTENTION with one of those headlines? Maybe then you can catch his INTEREST  with some words explaining how the benefit comes about, to the point that he decides he’d like to have it - DESIRE - if it’s for real. You demonstrate that it is - CONVICTION - with case histories, testimonials, and the like; then you tell him how to buy. If it’s a complicated buying process as many b2b items are, you stick contact  information on at the end and encourage him to ask - ACTION - for some information or for a salesman to call. This all happens while your Inbound competitor is still gathering insights.    

 Oddly, not everything from traditional advertising is discarded. It’s simply renamed.  From the “Beginner’s Guide” glossary:

     Outbound Marketing: anything that goes “out” to put your business
     in front of the consumer, including TV or radio ads, 
     mail flyerstelemarketing calls, door-to-door salesmen,     
     computer popups, and so on [emphasis added].

(a) If there’s a negative connotation in that, I’m missing it.         (b) Putting your business in front of the consumer is more than just an ancillary exercise; it’s fundamental to selling things. You do it with ads and mail flyers. Call it "Outbound Marketing" if you like, but it sure walks and talks like traditional advertising...