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The Many types of Marketing

The Many types of Marketing

Forms of Marketing

Lots of people are talking about all the new forms of marketing a company can pursue. It’s true, certain traditional marketing has been around for a long time and is still used today, but with the Internet now playing such a huge role in any company’s success, people are coming out with more and more ways to market their products or services. The more we thought about all the different varieties of marketing, the more we realized there are so many different ways to promote something. Here’s a list of marketing terms that we hope you find useful:

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is any marketing strategy that takes place online. Also referred to as online marketing, it encompasses a variety of marketing forms like video advertisements, searchengine marketing and e-mail marketing. It is the opposite of offline marketing, and can also fall under digital marketing. Internet marketing needs a good approach in areas of design, development and advertising. A company with a total website marketing plan will have more success online than one that has just designed a website without thinking of how to market their company through it.

Offline Marketing

Offline marketing, the opposite of online marketing, includes all forms of marketing that aren’t done on the Internet. Examples of offline marketing are local advertising in newspapers and on television. In today’s marketing world, companies are finding ways to leverage their offline marketing campaigns with their online ones, making them complement each other.

Outbound Marketing

When you think of marketing, the different forms you come up with are mostly outbound marketing (also called traditional marketing). In fact, the majority of companies today are using different types of outbound marketing to reach their potential customers. Outbound marketing includes any marketing efforts that are taken to introduce a product or service to someone who isn’t looking for that product or service. Some examples are cold calling, sending newsletters, billboards, and banner ads on different websites.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing focuses on having your company found by customers, as opposed to reaching out to them directly like in outbound marketing. The important thing to remember here is that a person starts out with the want/need to purchase a product or service, and they go out to find it. When they search for that product/service on a search engine, the search engine results page will show inbound marketing results. Instead of using paid advertisements, inbound marketing is the search engine optimization (SEO) part of web marketing.

Newsletter Marketing

Newsletter marketing and email marketing refer to ways of promoting your company through emails. Typically, a firm using newsletter marketing will have a group of contacts that they will send a newsletter containing some interesting information to. The success of newsletter marketing depends on grabbing attention, writing good content and reaching a large number of potential clients.

Article Marketing

Businesses will often write articles related to the industry they are in and distribute them online and offline. These free articles will inform people about an important topic and give the company that wrote it more credibility within the market. The organization can also include their business contact information in the article, allowing them to get new clients.

Trade Show Marketing

Companies that want to reach a large number of potential customers can participate in public or private trade shows. Trade shows and other forms of event marketing are often a large investment to participate in, but trade shows allow companies to demonstrate new products and examine what is going on in the industry.

Search Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the way in which companies promote their business through paid placement on search engines like Google. Instead of increasing the organic search results that a website has, companies will pay to have their advertisements in the sponsored section of search engines. This is also known as Pay Per Click Advertising or PPC.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing’s main goal is to send a message directly to consumers, without having to use any third-party outlets. Examples of direct marketing include mail marketing, telemarketing, and direct selling. Direct marketing is often preferable because the results can be easily measured, giving the marketer a better understanding of the success of that campaign.

Niche Marketing

When a product or service is not being readily supplied to a certain portion of a market, a company can focus their efforts on that niche to address a need that isn’t currently being addressed. This targeted marketing is successful because the marketer has identified a need that isn’t being resolved by mainstream providers. Sometimes it is beneficial for a company to focus on a niche instead of trying to compete in a larger market.

Drip marketing

Drip marketing is the act of sending out scheduled targeted emails that are all coordinated to a specific goal of client conversion. The sender uses email marketing software that allows them to setup multiple emails at one time and let them “drip” over time. This sometimes includes phone calls to check in on the clients along the way.

Social Media Marketing

Social network marketing and social media campaigns provide a window to market a product or service on the Internet through different social networks. Companies can use these outlets for their marketing, customer service, and sales. The most common and successful means of social media marketing are found on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and even company blogs.

Referral Marketing

One of the less strategic types of marketing, referral marketing relies on a company’s customers to refer new customers to that company. Also called word of mouth marketing, this is a more spontaneous way of receiving new business, and can not be solely relied on because results aren’t very predictable. However, word of mouth is still a powerful part of a company’s efforts to bring in new business, especially in the social media community where communication travels freely.

Guerrilla Marketing

With a smaller budget, guerrilla marketing makes a splash by relying on energy, timing and unusual approaches to get the consumer’s attention. The unconventional marketing involved tries to get the most out something small and make a lasting brand image in the consumer’s mind.

Promotional Marketing

Promotional marketing is a common form of marketing strategy that companies use to motivate a consumer to make a decision and purchase their product. There are a number of ways that businesses will promote a product or service, including holding contests to win a prize, offering coupons for purchasing a product at a discount, and having samples of the product so people can experience it before they purchase.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing most likely involves four different groups that contribute to the marketing effort. The Merchant is the company that is producing and selling the product, the Network is the outlet that is used to promote the affiliate link, the Publisher or Affiliate is the person who has the website with the affiliate ad and of course the customer doing the purchasing. Affiliate links are found on all types of websites, and they are used to drive traffic to outside websites.

Viral Marketing

This type of marketing relies on the message of a marketer being spread quickly through various social networks in order to increase brand awareness. The name viral marketing stems from the rapid spread of viruses in general. Typically, a viral marketing campaign will not last as long as other marketing efforts, but if a company can come up with a good idea for viral marketing and reach the right people, it will become highly successful in a short amount of time.

B2B Marketing

Any type of business, whether an organization, individual, government or other institution that markets to other businesses is involved in a business to business marketing. Since B2B marketing involves companies trying to sell mass quantities of product to one another, there is a more personal relationship that needs to be established between businesses. If your company sells to other businesses, your marketing efforts will most likely be more direct.

B2C Marketing

Business to consumer marketing campaigns try to reach a category of people that will be likely to purchase their product or service. The marketing efforts the company takes should be broader than B2B, which focuses on specific companies. B2C marketing can involve different marketing techniques such as door to door marketing, promotion marketing, newspaper marketing, television marketing and radio marketing. In today’s marketing world, B2C Internet marketing is becoming more important to reach consumers.

Mobile Marketing

Along with Internet marketing, mobile marketing is part of the newest groups of marketing activities. Companies have been experimenting with the certain ways to reach consumers through their phones, especially with the rise of Apple’s iphone. Some ways to marketing a product or service through a mobile phone include SMS marketing, in-game marketing, banner marketing on different web pages and location based marketing.

Reverse Marketing

This form of marketing is similar to inbound marketing. The goal of reverse marketing is to market a product in a way that will cause the consumer to seek the firm doing the marketing. Reverse marketing can be conducted through such means as television, print, and Internet marketing. If a company has a product that solves a problem in the market, they will have more success using reverse marketing because they will seek out that product.

Telemarketing

A form of direct marketing, telemarketing’s focus is on reaching consumers by phone. Most of what we think of as telemarketing is cold call marketing, which is unpopular and has lead to laws being created against it. However, telemarketing can be effective if the right person is reached on the phone at the right time.

Direct Mail Marketing

Most people receive large quantities of marketing material in the mail, which is considered direct mail marketing. Companies will send paper mail with promotions or other information to a list of addresses, usually in a common geographical area. This form of marketing is also called junk mail by some because the customers receiving the mail aren’t expecting it and usually don’t want to open it.

Database Marketing

Database marketing is similar to other types of direct marketing, but the focus is more directed towards analyzing data. Companies try to narrow their marketing efforts down to certain groups of people, and they use database marketing to analyze statistics like name, address, or sales history, in order to create the most accurate model possible.

Personalized marketing

The goal of personalized marketing is to create a unique offer for each individual customer. This form of marketing doesn’t work for every company, but certain ones can capitalize on their unique products and customer demographics to market to individuals. With the Internet becoming a more popular place for marketing, companies are finding that personalized marketing is effective in cases when they can track a customer’s specific interests and send them more information for future suggestions.

This list should give you a good idea of different ways companies can market themselves to consumers or other companies, but there are still more types of marketing out there. If you think of any, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Depending on your company and the industry you are in, you will definitely choose different kinds of marketing that will produce the best results for you. No matter which type of marketing you want to use for your company, Design & Promote can help you research and implement a marketing campaign that will allow your company to win the consumer’s attention and hold the search engine results. Contact us today to explore more ways Design & Promote can help market your company.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Why is Content marketing Important?

Why Content Marketing?

Why is Content marketing  Important?

Perhaps more important than understand is what content marketing is, Is understanding why content marketing is important to your business. First, we need to understand the four steps of the buying cycle:

  1. Awareness. Prior to awareness, a customer may have a need, but they are not aware there is a solution.
  2. Research. Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform research to educate themselves. For example, a car buyer will try to find out what different types of cars exist, and which one will fit their needs.
  3. Consideration. At this point, the customer starts comparing different products from different vendors to make sure they’re getting a high-quality product at a fair price.
  4. Buy. Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.

Traditional advertising and marketing is great when it comes to the second two steps. Content marketing taps into the first two stages of the buying process by raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before.

At my own company, we’ve used content marketing to grow more than 1,000% over the past year. Potential clients find our content, find value in it, and by the time they contact us they’re already convinced they want to work with us. We don’t have to engage in any high-pressure sales tactics, it’s merely a matter of working out details, signing an agreement, and getting started. The trust that usually needs to be built up during an extensive sales cycle has already been created before we know the potential client exists.

The return on investment for content marketing can be phenomenal if executed correctly. We haven’t spent a dime on our own content marketing, or even that much time. 95% of the success we’ve experienced with content marketing can be traced to a handful of articles I’ve written, adding up to perhaps 20 hours of work.

Content marketing also provides additional benefits in that it supports other digital marketing channels. It provides additional content for social media marketing and contributes to SEO efforts by generating natural inbound links and building up good content on your website that gets found in search engines. In fact, for many companies, the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing.

How Do I Get Started?

There are many firms that offer content marketing services, often paired with SEO or PR. If you’re simply too busy to do it yourself and aren’t ready to manage it in-house, then hiring a firm may be your best option. But if you want to jump in and do your own content marketing the easiest way is to start blogging. It will likely be hard at first, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Following tips from websites like Copyblogger, you’ll quickly learn how to craft content for your website or blog that will engage readers and turn them into customers or clients. But while technically good writing and the right headlines can help, it’s not the key to creating great content that is the best form of content marketing.

Great Content

If you’ve ever slogged your way through reading a piece of marketing and only finished reading because you had to, then you’ve experienced bad content marketing. When I speak to companies about content marketing I tell them that content is good if they genuinely want to read it. Content is great if they’re willing to pay to read it. If you want to see great examples of content, just look at what you’ve paid to read, watch, or listen to lately. If you watched The Lego Movie this year, you saw one of the greatest examples of content marketing to date. Oh, you thought they made that movie in order to sell movie tickets? Think again. That was a 100-minute toy commercial, and rather than using a DVR to skip it you paid good money to watch it. Is it any coincidence that Lego recently leapfrogged Mattel, the creators of Barbie, to become the largest toy company in the world? You may not have the budget to make a feature film to promote your company, but you can still give potential customers valuable information.

The #1 Secret of Content Marketing

Add value. That’s the secret. It’s not really a secret at all. We’ve already talked about it throughout this piece. Although when you look at some of the marketing companies engage in you wonder if they’re purposely avoiding the obvious. We skip advertising when it provides little to no value. If you want to learn about advertising that doesn’t get skipped, find a skateboarder and ask him if you can watch him look through a skateboard magazine. You’ll see that he spends as much time looking at the ads as he does look at the articles and photos. Or check out The Berrics website. Much of the content is advertisements, but skaters don’t skip these videos, they watch them just like they watch the other videos because they’re getting the value they want–good skating. As a skater, I’d like to say skateboard companies pioneered content marketing decades ago, but I know they were only doing what came naturally, and selling more product was secondary to the fun of creating videos and magazines. If you want to hire someone onto your marketing team who understands content marketing intuitively, hiring a skateboarder might not be a bad step.

If you’re not sure how you can add value through content marketing, ask your existing customers what kind of content you can produce that would be helpful to them now, or would have been helpful to them when they were looking for your product or service. They’ll tell you.

How Can I Learn More?

Read Joe Pulizzi’s excellent book Epic Content Marketing. I started reading it after I wrote this post and it confirmed and expanded what I already knew about content marketing, with much more detail than I could ever go into here. Something Pulizzi emphasizes which I originally left out was the importance of focusing on producing mobile-friendly content since smartphones are becoming the dominant way in which most of our customers can access content. Also, read Michael Hyatt’s Platform, mentioned above. Frequent websites like those of Content Marketing Institute, Ragan, Copyblogger, Michael Hyatt, and Gary Vaynerchuk and sign up for their email newsletters. It won’t take you long to become not just familiar with content marketing, but an expert.

Most companies are not doing real content marketing…yet. That’s why you’ll have an advantage if you jump in.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

What is Content Marketing?

What Is Content Marketing?

         There's digital marketing for the entrepreneur as well as the CMO.

You’ve just heard someone mention “content marketing” and you get the idea you should already know what it is, but you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone. Congratulations, this post is for you. The Content Marketing Institute, an online resource for information on all things content marketing related, defines content marketing thusly:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

The key word here is “valuable.” It’s what changes this definition from one that could describe almost any form of advertising or marketing. You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it. So was VW’s 2014 “Game Day” commercial, which has been viewed on YouTube almost 18 million times as of the writing of this post, an ad, or content marketing? The answer is it’s both, depending on how it’s received by each individual who is exposed to it. The same will apply to any piece of content marketing you create, depending on whether the recipient received value from it or not. Of course, the goal is to provide as much value from your content marketing to as much of your target audience as possible. At this point, despite this definition and explanation, you’re probably still wondering what exactly content marketing is. We can get more clarity by considering a few examples.

Five Content Marketing Examples

There are as many types of content marketing as there are types of content–far too many to cover here. My intent is to give you an introduction to content marketing and get you thinking like a content marketer so you’ll see the opportunities all around you. Soon you’ll be coming up with 50 content marketing ideas every day. You won’t be able to stop seeing opportunities to create content. Here are five examples to help your mind start percolating.

 
  1. Infographics. These are generally long, vertical graphics that include statistics, charts, graphs, and other information. If you need some examples, here are 197 infographics on the topic of content marketing curated by Michael Schmitz, head of Content Lab at Publicis, Munich. Infographics can be effective in that if one is good it can be passed around social media and posted on websites for years. You can get a professionally designed infographic by hiring a contractor on a site like oDesk or if you want to remove some of the risk you can go with a company like Visua.ly. A decent infographic will usually cost you at least $1,000 to have designed, but can cost several thousand dollars if you are hiring a contractor or agency to include strategy and planning, research, copywriting, and design. There is also the matter of promoting that infographic to bloggers and the media. Or you could set up a board on Pinterest and curate infographics on a topic related to your business. That is also a form of content marketing, and it costs nothing but your time. Hey, it worked for Michael.
  2. Webpages. What’s the difference between a normal webpage and a webpage that is content marketing? Consider The Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz, a provider of SEO related tools and resources. This resource offered for free, has been viewed millions of times, bringing in countless customers who otherwise might never have stumbled across Moz and the services they offer. Or take a look at a case study from the design firm Teehan+Lax. Most case studies are boring. Their case studies are fascinating. That’s the difference between simply putting content on your website, and content marketing.
  3. Podcasts. Michael Hyatt, author of the best-selling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, practices what he preaches. His “This is Your Life” podcast is downloaded 250,000 times each month. As Hyatt elaborates on his blog post 4 Reasons You Should Consider Launching Your Own Podcast, “A podcast gives you visibility in a completely different world—primarily iTunes. I have had scores of new people say they had never heard of me until they stumbled onto me in iTunes.” Hyatt gives valuable information and advice in his podcast–all for free. But that podcast leads to more sales of his books, signups for his courses, and requests for him as a speaker.
  4. Videos. Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of content marketing using online video, just take a look at his YouTube channel. He got his start creating videos to promote his family’s wine store and through those videos and other online marketing he eventually grew it to a $45M empire. Videos and podcasts are a largely untapped form of content marketing because people think it’s expensive and hard. But with the falling cost of professional grade equipment creating high-quality video and audio content is easier than ever. Amateur video content marketing has been used to sell blenders, launch new dental products, and market Hong Kong visa consulting services. What video could you throw together for your company that might change your fortunes overnight? It might be easier than you think.
  5. Books. Like movies, people often think of books as selling themselves, but savvy marketers don’t sell books just to sell books, they sell books as marketing tools. Michael Port’s sales manual Book Yourself Solid is a great read for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and marketers, and while I’m sure Port enjoys selling his book, the book is a tool for driving customers to his coaching and speaking services. Although with self-publishing it’s easier than ever to publish a book, there is still the perception that it’s difficult and that only reputable professionals can publish a business book. Publish your own, and even if people don’t read it you can still use it as a form of content marketing every time you’re introduced as “Author of…”

Those are just a few examples of content marketing. I could also have mentioned white papers, ebooks, apps, public speaking, presentations, and blogs. Entire books have been written on using each of these in content marketing efforts.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

 

Markethive

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 2

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 2

Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, you are always the footnote. You are forced to stick out or not be seen at all. It makes your relationship with your customer based on attention-grabbing rather than value. If you are at the trade show you can have the best booth with the best giveaway prize, but you are not the keynote speaker. When you are advertising at the Super Bowl you can be the best commercial but the best commercial is merely a footnote to the main event. At best, with outbound marketing you might strive to be the best footnote. Unfortunately, to stick out in traditional advertising you usually have to sacrifice your message for a gimmick and hope that some of the people who see the gimmick look closely enough for the footnote.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, you are the story. You are the keynote speaker. Inbound marketing is all about creating great content to share with your audience. It’s about telling stories and speaking to your audience where they want to be spoken to, how they want to be spoken to. It’s about delighting them, educating them and engaging them in an open and transparent way. But inbound marketing is much more than simply being the keynote speaker at the trade show; it’s about being the article featured on the cover of the magazine. It’s about being the most valuable player at the Super Bowl. And when done correctly, inbound marketing can open up these amazing distribution channels that make it so you don’t have to wait for the next trade show, the next magazine or next year’s Super Bowl to show off your brand. You can do it on-demand with laser-like precision penetrating a group of your peers and the influencers in your industry.

Linear vs. Holistic

Best inbound marketing linear vs holistic

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the strategy is very linear. You only have so many marketing mediums to choose from like radio, TV, direct mail, tradeshow, billboard, sponsorships, etc. With this linear strategy, you assess which mediums most accurately address your target market and you start checking the boxes. You begin to attribute higher percentages of your budget to the more effective mediums and leave out the least effective mediums. You create a unified message across all mediums, and your job is done for the period. Come back again next period, sift through the data, reassess the percentages and do it again. Digital marketers can make the mistake of approaching the web with this outbound marketing approach. Social media, check! SEO, check! Email marketing- check!

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, the strategy is holistic. Inbound marketing is a much more complex approach than outbound marketing. It takes simultaneous usage of all the digital channels, continuous strengthening of the website, development of effective content and implementation of measurement tools all in concert with one another to achieve these unparalleled results. Many digital marketers don’t understand the complexities, they stick with the approach that they are comfortable with, the outbound or linear approach applied to the digital world. This approach gets you the traditional results. The difference between digital marketing and inbound marketing are the complexities and the holistic approach.

Inbound marketing is like a holistic lifestyle — in order to carry out an inbound marketing campaign, a website needs to have a strong foundation. It needs to be in good enough shape to carry out strong messaging, a content marketing strategy and be a hub for distribution. It needs to have a blog, it needs to be responsive, it needs to have a call-to-action strategy, it needs to have micro and macro conversions and it needs to have an easy-to-use CMS. Once the website is in shape, the content can be created and the distribution can begin.

Content creation needs to be engaging and meet the objectives of your keyword strategy. The distribution needs to tap into all avenues: RSS-fed email for blog subscribers, social media channels, lead nurture campaigns, etc. But it is not the linear check-box approach of outbound. Inbound requires daily attention with constant analytical review. Like a holistic healthy lifestyle, it requires discipline and fortitude. Sometimes you need more content, sometimes you need more distribution, sometimes more landing pages, sometimes more blog posts, sometimes better conversion rate optimization, sometimes a stronger call-to-action strategy, but it always takes adjustment and strategy.

When a holistic inbound marketing strategy is hitting on all cylinders, your website is rock solid, your distribution is amplified and your distribution channels are feeding the website a steady diet of visitors, where prospects are being converted with the utmost optimization.

Obfuscate vs. Educate

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the message is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of shit. It has to be. With very little room to work with, whether it be in a newspaper ad or a few seconds on the radio, the goal of outbound marketing has always been to stand out. And in order to do this, to be a clutter buster, the relationship with the client is compromised. Think about it: how else can we get someone to see your mortgage product in a quarter-page ad at the bottom of an article about Obamacare? If you’re lucky enough to know where the ad will appear, you can try to force the message to fit the audience, but this rarely succeeds, and more often than not, you’re trying to message males and females ages zero to one hundred with the same message. It’s all one big hoax. Misdirection. It’s pulling that shiny quarter from behind your ear.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, the message is specific and useful. Rather than forced upon you, the message is instead offered up on a nice shiny silver platter — ready for you to consume whenever convenient. This message contains quality content that educates and engages. It’s meant to answer a consumer’s question, to fill in the blank. I remember not long ago when marketing professionals would advise their clients to create deep discounts and BIG sales and then advertise them to the masses. The thought process was that more consumers would then thereby seek out the product and the increase in customers made up for the lost product value. The idea that I got paid to offer up that piece of bullshit advice is astonishing. The reality today is that instead of advising our clients to slash prices or advertise on all mediums, we instead encourage them to offer something of even greater value — thought leadership (and if we have to offer discounts, we offer them to our loyal brand ambassadors… a reward for subscribing).

Renting vs. Owning

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, you are always renting your distribution. As most advertisers know, you’re only as good as your last campaign or your last media buy. If it works and sales get a bump, it’s on to the next campaign. If it fails, then jobs and budget are on the line. With an outbound campaign like direct mail, the leads come in for a couple weeks when the mail’s hitting households. Once those leads are processed and the mail is distributed, you need to start again, new message, new distribution.

All marketers know there is only one good tradeshow a year, the rest are all washes. The Super Bowl only comes once a year, the World Cup eventually comes to an end, and the newspaper gets recycled tomorrow. Nothing in outbound marketing is iterative, and there are always costs associated with lead generation. This often makes for a negative ROI, finicky CEOs and an overall high-pressure job.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, you own your distribution and it depreciates much more like an asset. You build up your subscription-based email list, you earn a top ranking on product-related keywords, you build a following on social media and voilà: you are creating assets. There is a cost of acquisition (creating the content), but it is iterative and it keeps working for you long after you stop the acquisition/creation phase.

For the first time in a marketer’s career, we are creating value that will last beyond our tenure. Create a 20,000-person email list, acquire 50,000 social media fans, rank in the top 10 for 400 plus keywords with a total search volume of 1 million monthly searches and you’ve created a Super Bowl opportunity every month of the year. There are companies (Hubspot) literally lobbying our federal government to allow them to book inbound marketing as an asset instead of an expense. It makes a lot of sense. If you have 10,000 blog posts generating 1,500 leads per month through online searches and you stop posting for a year, that lead volume will likely only diminish slightly. Over the years, you might see some fall-off, but it is a lot more like depreciation of traditional assets. Needless to say, this is the type of marketing that makes CEOs happy and makes heroes out of the marketing department.

Immeasurable vs. Quantifiable

inbound marketing vs outbound marketing - immeasureable vs quantifiable

Outbound Marketing: With outbound marketing, the success of the marketing is hard to measure. We can ask our prospects how they heard of us, but in general, the results are unreliable. This makes for a margin for error that is inherent within this archaic and linear model of marketing. Sure, it’s great to hear that the company call center received a few dozen calls as a result of a targeted marketing effort. It’s also great when someone fills out the “How Did You Hear About Us?” form, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. The margin of error occurs when you assume you know the whole story and assumptions lead to underperforming campaigns. The measurement of outbound marketing lacks complexity and a lack of complexity leads to a lack of results.

Inbound Marketing: With inbound marketing, everything is digital, and everything is quantifiable. There’s no need to assume anything. Complex algorithms track not only if your marketing strategy is effective, but also if it is converting potential customers into full-blown clients. An inbound marketing strategy is highly measurable. It allows for analysis of everything from the ROI of various distribution methods to whether the size and shape of a CTA button is more likely to attract a customer or not.

What I love most about inbound marketing is that it allows for closed-loop reporting. It lets me track someone’s IP address from the second it hits our website; it tells me how that IP address got there and how much time it’s spending on the site. It gives me an in-depth glimpse into the thought process of a consumer — showing me which blog posts they have read, which pages they viewed, whether they entered the site organically or through another avenue like social media, and lead generation metrics. Again, inbound marketing is highly measurable.

Inbound marketing succeeds because it allows you to talk to people who have given you permission, and to tell your story in a holistic, educational way on your own distribution platform, with quantifiable metrics. We know this to be true because we’ve experienced the shift, from our founding days in branding in 2001, through the rise of the digital marketing age and into this new era of inbound marketing. Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing? It works. We’ve made it work for us and our clients. Talk to us to see how we can make it work for you.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 1

Inbound vs. Outbound: Part 1

Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?

As CEO of a digital marketing agency and inbound marketing convert, I’m always talking about the differences between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, or, more to the point, “Why is inbound marketing better than outbound marketing?” In case you can’t tell from the header graphic, I’m more partial to the complexities of inbound marketing than the simplicity of outbound marketing. But seriously, I’m pretty sure people keep asking this question because the same answer seems to be given no matter whose blog you read. It’s as if someone (Hubspot and Pardot) wrote a canned answer and it’s being regurgitated without real life experiences and insights into the actual evolution of inbound marketing.

The canned answer usually goes something like this:

Why try to buy customers with traditional “outbound marketing” when consumers aren’t even paying attention?

  • 45% of direct mail never gets opened, 200 million people are on the national Do Not Call Registry
  • 85% of people fast forward through commercials
  • 84% of 25­–35 year-olds are likely to click off a website with excessive advertising
  • You have a better chance of surviving an airplane accident than having someone convert on a banner ad
    Etc., etc., etc. …

Forget about trying to reach a prospect under 40 with outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is different. Inbound marketing works by earning someone’s attention, rather than buying it.

It’s a good enough answer with compelling supporting statistics, but there’s more to inbound marketing than this. In this post I’m going to give you my insights. I’m not just going to harp on how outbound is reaching increasingly diminished audiences and how inbound is more engaging and more accessible — although both statements are very true.

I’m going to speak from experiences that are real. And in the spirit of full disclosure: Vital is a Hubspot Partner Agency, so I could simply repurpose Hubspot’s experiences and playbook like most partner agencies. But we also consider ourselves a Moz shop, with a Moz Pro account, and we develop using the WordPress CMS with the Yoast SEO plug-in (not the Hubspot COS), which means we have some independent experiences and additional tools that frame our perspective.

No experience is more relevant to that perspective than our own inbound transformation. Over the past three years, we went from referring to ourselves as a creative agency (web design, SEO and branding) to wholeheartedly embracing the moniker “inbound marketing agency.” But we weren’t sold inbound — we experienced it. We are our own best inbound marketing case study. In an industry many say is difficult to scale, Vital has experienced 300% growth in revenue and 300% growth in employees, all of which is solely attributed to our inbound and content marketing strategies.

First, let’s define inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, keeping in mind two aspects of marketing strategies: distribution and message.

Inbound marketing — if Hubspot didn’t coin “inbound marketing,” they have certainly spent a lot of time and money branding it as their own. Here’s how they define it:

“Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.” 

This is a decent definition, if somewhat oversimplified.

The term “inbound” is relatively new. It took Vital a while to embrace the term “inbound” to describe what we were doing with our clients. In the beginning, we referred to it as “SEO” and “content marketing,” and although we weren’t a Hubspot partner agency, we were reading their content. We knew a term was needed for the paradigm shift we were seeing in online marketing, because SEO had fundamentally changed and digital marketing was becoming increasingly more disparate from traditional marketing. Digital distribution made analysis highly measurable and results-oriented, showing that inbound marketing was exponentially more successful than outbound marketing when done correctly.

It’s not just that traditional distribution was so different from digital distribution; the message was changing, too. And the more we were learning about the message, the better the results we were getting. The terms “digital marketing” or “traditional marketing” only spoke to the distribution aspect of the message, and “inbound marketing” included the new message itself. This new message was educational, it involved thought leadership, and was transparent and engaging. So, in the absence of anything better, we drank a little of the Hubspot Kool-Aid and gave in — today we call it inbound marketing, too. But there’s more to inbound marketing than the statistics on the dwindling audience of outbound and the engaged and accessible audience of inbound.

Outbound marketing is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of s***

Outbound marketing, or traditional marketing, is the marketing we grew up with: radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, billboards, event sponsorships, etc. The traditional outbound strategy can even be found in such digital distribution forms as email blasts, banner ads, PPC, and SPAM. But the defining qualities of outbound marketing is a message. Outbound marketing’s message, as eloquently stated by Jeff Rosenblum of Questus, “is inherently obfuscated, duplicitous and full of s***” (check out his keynote speech “Can marketing save the world?” at Hubspot’s Inbound ’13).

Outbound is a world of jargon where the loudest and most obnoxious are rewarded. Back in the day, clever was rewarded, but due to the escalating costs and increased competition to reach dwindling audiences, marketers have had to dumb things down to the lowest common denominator to maximize their conversions. So we are left with advertisements that use fluorescent pink, bold print, BIG discounts, exploited women and puppy dogs. How dumb do they think we are? No wonder a paradigm shift in advertising had to take place.

Now that we have defined inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, here are some of the comparisons we like to use at Vital:

Interruption-based vs. Permission-based

best inbound marketing Interruption vs permission based

Outbound Marketing: Outbound marketing is interruption-based marketing. Its premise is to find a medium with a large following and periodically interrupt that following with disassociated ads. The hope is that with some careful planning and a study of the demographics, a small percentage of the audience will listen to the interruption in the storyline and convert in to a customer. If you can find a large enough following or an above average association, the small percentage of conversions will be worth the investment. Those opportunities are increasingly more like a needle in a haystack.

You find some at these locations: TV, Radio, Direct Mail, Newspaper, Billboards.

Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is permission-based marketing. There are two premises here:

  • First, communicate via mediums in which the audience has given you permission to communicate.
  • Second, answer the questions people are asking and proliferate those answers around the web in anticipation of the question.

Both of these premises are permission-based.

In the first method, the audience is smaller in numbers than mass media, but because the audience is inherently more friendly and has already raised their hand to get your messages, the audience converts at a 750% higher rate than interruption-based marketing.

These are some examples: subscription based email marketing, social media, blog subscribers, webinar attendees, etc.

In the second method, the numbers are virtually limitless, since your audience online is infinite. Thanks to targeting keywords, you can answer the questions prospects might be asking about your products and your industry. Since this audience is looking for the answers that you are proliferating throughout the web, the conversion rates are unparalleled.

More examples: SEO, keyword targeting, landing page strategy, content/blog strategy, etc.

An example of permission-based marketing that will put inbound into context is the Yellow Pages. Before websites, subscription-based email and blog subscriptions, the Yellow Pages was one of the few places you could advertise where prospects were actually looking for you and you weren’t interrupting them. Yellow Pages was so successful that companies would name themselves AAA or ABC to be at the top of the listings. In 2001, Vital had a $10,000 a month Yellow Pages marketing budget, buying enhanced listings (bold) and an ad in every book from Boston, MA to Portland, ME.  Why? Because it worked, and there was an undoubted ROI.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Markethive

What can SMarketing do for you

Here is SMarketing

Now that inbound has taken the marketing world by storm, there is considerable discussion about the need for companies to align their sales and marketing teams — and to make sure the sales team is guided by a well-documented, repeatable process designed to yield maximum revenue.

You’ve probably heard this referred to as “smarketing.”

In just a few short years since HubSpot coined the term, smarketing has evolved from “an aspirational idea” to “a necessary reality,” according to Entrepreneur.com.

And yet for many companies — even those that have embraced inbound marketing strategies and the need to align sales and marketing to achieve shared revenue goals — truly effective smarketing remains largely aspirational.

Why?

Sure, there’s been friction between sales and marketing over the years. But now that marketing has an unprecedented ability to turbocharge the process of generating new leads for sales, there should be a bit more harmony, right?

And yet, we’ve all read about — or perhaps even experienced first hand — this all-too-common scenario:

  • Sales blames marketing for leads it claims are subpar.
  • Marketing claims the leads are solid and blames sales for not working them properly.

It’s a major problem. Let’s talk about how to fix it. We’re going to be taking a closer look at the sales process. But first, some background.

Craft a Sales and Marketing Agreement

Companies that are making the commitment to use inbound marketing to grow their business must not only talk the talk about aligning sales and marketing, they must craft an internal protocol (usually called a Service Level Agreement or SLA) between sales marketing teams that clearly spells out how they will walk the walk, together.

Creating an SLA is a foundational element of an optimized inbound marketing program. However, according to HubSpot’s annual “State of Inbound” report, only 25–50% of organizations actually have one.

Talk about a missed opportunity! HubSpot’s research shows that companies whose marketing and sales departments are well-aligned see 20% annual revenue growth, while those that don’t have an SLA see a 4% decline.

Revenue-Growth 9.17.42 AM

With so much revenue on the line, there’s no shortage of reporting on why it’s important to craft and implement a successful SLA. And HubSpot is among those offering a free Service Level Agreement template.

According to sales performance analytics specialist InsightSquared, “An SLA is a contract between (sales and marketing) departments that aligns goals and outlines agreed-upon expectations. Instead of constantly battling over leads, an SLA holds both teams accountable to specific, measurable goals.”

To sum things up, a well-crafted SLA will align sales and marketing using mutually agreed upon definitions, commitments, procedures, and metrics; as well as vigilant documentation, transparency and robust communication.

Simple right?

Just kidding. Crafting a winning SLA is actually:

  1. Quite challenging, yet
  2. Eminently doable, and
  3. Well worth the effort

Working together, the sales and marketing departments construct a mutual agreement that documents:

  • What constitutes a marketing qualified lead (MQL)
  • How many MQLs marketing will generate each month
  • How marketing will hand off qualified leads to sales
  • How sales will handle the lead from there (quick response is considered essential)

Basically, marketing makes a commitment to sales regarding the quantity and quality of leads that are needed to help sales meet their company revenue goals (“we promise to give you lots of great, qualified leads!”), while sales agrees to protocols regarding timely, high-quality follow-up and detailed documentation (“we promise we’ll contact these awesome leads immediately, with verve and élan!”).

Transparency and ongoing communication is essential to this process, and is often augmented by using shared databases and automated systems that allow both sides to track (on customizable “dashboards”) their progress toward those shared goals in real time.

For Best Results, Craft a Lead Disposition Process

OK, so now the leads are rolling in. Sales and marketing are more closely aligned than ever before. What if the company is still falling short of reaching revenue goals? Let’s assume, for the purpose of this discussion, that marketing is meeting its commitment to deliver X number of quality leads, etc.

Successful industry practitioners have learned that for the system to work at maximum effectiveness it is imperative that sales adhere to a carefully crafted “lead disposition” process designed to enforce your company’s agreed-upon smarketing best practices and ensure consistency across the sales force.

The lead disposition process may include:

  • Detailed, repeatable protocols (as well as tools such as email and voicemail templates) for making contact with qualified leads
  • Coordination with marketing to better understand a particular campaign or product offer and how it might help solve a problem for a potential customer
  • Total commitment by sales to document every aspect of the process

“The idea is to apply a consistent set of activities that respond to the prospect’s inquiry or behavior without overwhelming them,” according to blogger/author Matt Heinz, president of Washington-based Heinz Marketing. “An effective (lead) disposition process either reaches the prospect for qualifying, disqualifies them as an inappropriate prospect, or hands them back to marketing for ongoing nurturing until they’re both qualified and ready to buy.”

smarketing

This system also enables sales and marketing to more closely coordinate such key tasks as the ongoing development of buyer personas — basically to share any and all information that helps one or both departments achieve those shared goals.

Measure Your Lead-to-Quote Ratio

It is also very important to closely track the percentage of your leads that turn into quotes. This will help you measure both:

  • The quality of each lead, and
  • The quality of the sales process

This can be done most effectively by modifying your sales process with some (potentially counter-intuitive) addition by subtraction.

A missed opportunity for many companies is that they provide direct emails and phone numbers of sales reps on their website. This can make incoming leads- and how sales is responding to them- much harder to track.

By replacing the sales rep contact info with an easy-to-use “Find A Rep” form, all incoming leads are automatically entered into the CRM (customer relationship management) system.

In a recent case study, we explained how, in addition to adding closed-loop reporting to your lead tracking process, this system can also automatically boost another critical metric- your company’s lead response time.

Leads Should NOT Go Directly to Sales

Are you sending all your leads directly to a salesperson? You shouldn’t be.

Many companies are following the advice of Aaron Ross, founder of Predictable Revenue Inc. and author of the best-selling book (you guessed it) “Predictable Revenue,” who recommends establishing an intermediate role in the sales hierarchy — a sales staffer who is dedicated to lead qualification, called the Market Response Representative (MRR).

The job of the MRR is to qualify leads. The MRR decides which leads get sent off to sales, and which leads require additional nurturing. The job involves following email and voicemail contact protocols to make that initial connection with leads to find out if they are ready to talk business, then deliver only the sales-ready leads to a salesperson to close.

By only sending the hot leads to a salesperson, this lead qualification ensures that sales only works the most promising leads, instead of wasting time on all the leads. Companies who employ a Market Response Representative can dramatically improve their lead-to-quote ratio.

Keep Everyone In The “Loop”

Smarketing also relies on a process called closed-loop reporting, which completes the feedback loop between marketing and sales.

Once in place, an automated closed-loop reporting system gives marketing more information on the status of leads and vital data on which marketing programs are working and which aren’t, while helping sales prioritize leads and increase close rates.

Closed-loop reporting is regarded as so essential to the process of aligning your sales and marketing departments that HubSpot, in its Inbound Certification class entitled “The Power of Smarketing” lists it as one of the five key steps for creating an unstoppable smarketing juggernaut:

smarketing

Closed-loop reporting “connects leads/prospects to the campaigns that created them, allowing you to credit leads to their original sources and judge your campaigns’ impact on ROI. This means that you’ll be able to tell where all of your best and worst leads are coming from, giving you the insight you need to prioritize the outlets and channels that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line,” according to marketing automation specialist Pardot, which offers this graphic to help explain how it works:

Closing Thoughts On Lead Qualification

Hopefully, your inbound marketing machine is running smoothly and you’re generating lots of leads, meaning lots of potential customers for sales to reach out to. But if you rely on your top sales reps to handle all these leads, their efforts will be diluted from what is obviously their most important role — closing.

To recap, for your inbound marketing to achieve optimal results, be sure to align your sales and marketing teams with a Service Level Agreement (SLA), implement closed-loop reporting and consider dedicating an inside sales staffer to “lead qualification,” thus freeing your top closers to focus on closing.

If you have additional tips about effective smarketing, share them in the comments section below! And be sure to drop us a line if you want to talk further about inbound marketing strategy.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

The Inbound Methodology

The Inbound Methodology

The best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

How to Interpret the Graphic

Along the top are the four actions (Attract, Convert, Close, Delight) inbound companies must take in order to obtain visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. Along the bottom are the tools companies use to accomplish these actions. (Note the tools are listed under the action where they first come into play, but that’s not the only place they’re applicable! Several tools, like email, can be essential in several stages of the methodology.)

The Proven Methodology for the Digital Age

Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.

Major Themes

 Content Creation + Distribution

Create targeted content that answers prospects' and customers' basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide.

Lifecycle Marketing

Promoters don’t just materialize out of thin air: they start off as strangers, visitors, contacts, and customers. Specific marketing actions and tools help to transform those strangers into promoters.

 Personalization

Tailor your content to the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs.

 Multi-Channel

Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you.

 Integration

Content creation, publishing, and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine – allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

The many Types of Marketing Strategies Part 2

The many Types of Marketing Strategies

Part 2

Social Media Marketing

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer a unique opportunity for savvy businesses willing to invest in customer engagement. Social media marketing is still in its infancy but is growing up rather quickly. Companies like Southwest Airlines have departments of over 30 people whose primary responsibility is to actively engage with customers on social media.

Cross-Media Marketing

Provide customers information through multiple channels like email, physical mail, websites, and print and online advertisements to cross-promote your products and services.

B2B Marketing

Business-to-business marketing is a marketing practice of individuals or organizations (including commercial businesses, governments, and other institutions). It allows businesses to sell products or services to other companies or organizations that in turn resell the same products or services, use them to augment their own products or services, or use them to support their internal operations. International Business Machines is a well known B2B marketer. IBM’s business has grown because taking a very intelligent approach at marketing their products to other business and governments around the world.

Promotional Marketing

Promotional marketing is a business marketing strategy designed to stimulate a customer to take action towards a buying decision. Promotional marketing is a technique that includes various incentives to buy, such as:

  • Contests: We all enjoy winning something for free. Contests offer an attractive marketing vehicle for small business to acquire new clients and create awareness.

  • Coupons: According to CMS, a leading coupon processing agent, marketers issued 302 billion coupons in 2007, a 6% increase over the previous year. Over 76% of the population use coupons, according to the Promotion Marketing Association (PMA) Coupon Council. Coupons still work and provide an affordable marketing strategy for small business.

  • Sampling: Try before you buy. Giving away product might appear profit-limiting, but consider how giving your customers a small taste can lead to a big purchase. Retail genius Publix supermarkets share samples of their award-winning key lime pie not because people question the goodness of the pie but to get their customers to buy more.

Ambush Marketing

Advertiser use this marketing strategy to associate with specific events and brands without paying sponsorship fees. This allows the business to capitalize on these events or leverage the brand equity of the other business, which has the potential effect of lowering the value of the original event.

B2C Marketing

The ultimate goal of B2C marketing (business-to-consumer marketing) is to convert shoppers into buyers as aggressively and consistently as possible. B2C marketers employ merchandising activities like coupons, displays, store fronts (both real and online) and special offers to entice the target market to buy. B2C marketing campaigns are focused on a transaction, are shorter in duration, and need to capture the customer’s interest immediately. These campaigns often offer special deals, discounts, or vouchers that can be used both online and in the store.

Cloud Marketing

In this new form of marketing, all marketing resources and assets are brought online so customers (or affiliates) can develop, modify, use, and share them. Consider how Amazon.com gets customers to buy digital books, movies, and televisions shows in a digital library that is accessible in the customer’s online account or on their digital device like their Kindle Fire.

Mobile Marketing

Marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a smartphone. Mobile marketing can provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services, and ideas. Here is a recent example of mobile marketing in action.

Alliance Marketing

A joint venture is formed between two or more businesses to pool resources in an effort to promote and sell products and services.

Reverse Marketing

In reverse marketing, the idea is to get the customer to seek out the business rather than marketers seeking the customer. Usually, this is done through traditional means of advertising, such as television advertisements, print magazine advertisements, and online media. While traditional marketing mainly deals with the seller finding the right set of customers and targeting them, reverse marketing focuses on the customer approaching potential sellers who may be able to offer the desired product.

In 2004, Dove launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty focusing on the natural beauty of women rather than advertising their product. This campaign caused their sales to soar above $1 Billion and caused Dove to re-create their brand around this strategy. Although successful, this campaign caused a lot of controversy and discussion due to what people saw as an advertisement with a contradictory message.

Telemarketing

I know what you are thinking, you hate telemarketers. You are not alone in your feelings. However, telemarketing can play an important part of selling your products to consumers and it must not be overlooked as many companies rely on it to connect with customers. Telemarketing (sometimes known as inside sales, or telesales in the UK and Ireland) is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face to face or Web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call. Telemarketing can also include recorded sales pitches programmed to be played over the phone via automatic dialing. Telemarketing has come under fire in recent years, being viewed as an annoyance by many.

Free Sample Marketing

Unlike Freebie Marketing, this is not dependent on complementary marketing, but rather consists of giving away a free sample of the product to influence the consumer to make the purchase.

Direct Mail Marketing

A channel-agnostic form of advertising that allows businesses and nonprofits organizations to communicate directly with the customer, with advertising techniques that can include text messaging, email, interactive consumer websites, online display ads, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, and outdoor advertising. Direct marketing messages emphasize a focus on the customer, data, and accountability. Characteristics that distinguish direct marketing are:

  • Marketing messages are addressed directly to the customer(s). Direct marketing relies on being able to address the members of a target market. Addressability comes in a variety of forms including email addresses, mobile phone numbers, Web browser cookies, fax numbers, and postal addresses.

  • Direct marketing seeks to drive a specific “call to action.” For example, an advertisement may ask the prospect to call a free phone number or click on a link to a website.

  • Direct marketing emphasizes trackable, measurable responses from customers regardless of medium.

  • Direct marketing is practiced by businesses of all sizes—from the smallest start-up to the leaders in the Fortune 500. A well-executed direct advertising campaign can prove a positive return on investment by showing how many potential customers responded to a clear call-to-action. General advertising eschews calls-for-action in favor of messages that try to build prospects’ emotional awareness or engagement with a brand. Even well-designed general advertisements rarely can prove their impact on the organization’s bottom line.

Database Marketing

Database Marketing is a form of direct marketing using databases of customers or potential customers to generate personalized messages in order to promote a product or service for marketing purposes. The method of communication can be any addressable medium, as in direct marketing.The distinction between direct marketing and database marketing stems primarily from the attention paid to the analysis of data. Database marketing emphasizes the use of statistical techniques to develop models of customer behavior, which are then used to select customers for communications. As a consequence, database marketers also tend to be heavy users of data warehouses, because having a greater amount of data about customers increase the likelihood that a more accurate model can be built.

There are two main types of marketing databases: (1) consumer databases and (2) business databases. Consumer databases are primarily geared towards companies that sell to consumers, often abbreviated as [business-to-consumer] (B2C) or BtoC. Business marketing databases are often much more advanced in the information that they can provide. This is mainly because business databases aren’t restricted by the same privacy laws as consumer databases.

Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing (also called personalization, and sometimes called one-to-one marketing) is an extreme form of product differentiation. Whereas product differentiation tries to differentiate a product from competing ones, personalization tries to make a unique product offering for each customer. Nike ID is a popular brand that has developed a strong business around this personalization marketing concept.

Affinity Marketing

Create strategic partnerships that are mutually beneficial by forming alliances with complementary brands. Also known as partnership marketing, with this strategy, many brands generate sales while others create new customers and builds brand awareness.

Cult-tural Marketing

The proposition of cult marketing holds reign upon the notion that there is a way to convert and excite.  Right? Ok, Converting consumers is done by using timeless human behavioral drives found in religious cults. Heck, fellow acolytes, nothing is more permission buzz and one-to-one-based than “a central ideology with a parallel social universe rich with customs.” Cult marketing is a bright spot in the list of newfangled marketing templates, one that applies timeless social science principles in a powerful way. To the list of newfangled marketing buzzwords, let’s add the term cult.

Humanistic Marketing

Human needs are “a state of felt deprivation.” They distinguish between physical needs (food, shelter, safety, clothing), social needs (belonging and affection), and individual needs (knowledge, self-expression). Needs are a relatively narrow set of non-cultural states of felt deprivation.

Guerrilla Marketing

Grass root, untraditional, and low-budget methods that found involve creativity, big crowds of people, and the element of surprise to market or promote a product, service, brand, event, or new launch.

Brand Lover Marketing

Brand Lover Marketing is a marketing concept that is intended to replace the idea of traditional brand marketing. Brands are running out of juice and Brand Lovers are what is needed to rescue brands. But what builds loyalty that goes beyond reason? What makes a truly great brand stand out? Brand Lovers bring brands to life. For a brand to elevate itself into the “Cult Brand” category, it has to give customers a feeling of belonging while generating strong feelings of love for its customers. Creating loyalty beyond reason requires emotional connections that generate the highest levels of love and a sense of belonging for your brand.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

The many Types of Marketing Strategies Part 1

The many Types of Marketing Strategies

Part 1

As a student of sleight-of-hand magic, I value the number 52. Here we bring you 52 types of marketing strategies and tactics you can use to bring new customers to your business and grow your brand.

In order for businesses to win market share and stay relevant they need to consider many types of marketing strategies. Each marketing strategy can communicate to a target market the benefits and features of a product.

Marketing strategies can also communicate an overall value to their customers. In many cases, this is the core of building equity or good will in your target markets. Apple, for example, has invested in creating commercials for television, billboards, and magazines that showcase their products in such a way that their customers feel an affinity towards Apple’s products.

Cause Marketing

Finding a causes both your customers and your company cares about can create magic for your business. This requires internal knowledge about what your organisation cares about and who they want to help in the world.  A good example of this is Toms Shoes. Instead of doing the traditional “buy one get one free” promotion, Toms built a strong customer following and reputation for giving back by giving away a free pair of shoes to someone in need for every shoe purchase made by their customers.

Close Range Marketing (CRM)

Use Wifi or bluetooth to send promotional messages of their products and services to their customers’ smartphones and tablets at close proximity. Close Range Marketing is also known as Proximity Marketing.

Relationship Marketing

Many companies focus on building relationships with their customers instead of always exclusive trying to sell them something (transactional marketing). Customers who love your brand more will also spend more money with your brand. Many traditional retailers have found this to be true. Walgreens has seen that customers who buy from all of their purchasing channels (store, web, mobile, etc) buy up to six times more than the average customer that only buys in their store.

Transactional Marketing

Driving sales can be challenging, especially for retailers that have to consistently sell products in high volume to consumers. In order to stay with the demands of investors, retailers have to encourage consumers to buy using coupons, discounts, liquidations, and sales events. High volume big-box retailers like Target are constantly running promotional events in order to get interested consumers into their stores.

Scarcity Marketing

In some markets it’s important to control how much product is available at one time. In many cases this is done because of the difficulty of acquiring raw materials or higher quality of the product. A company may choose to make their products accessible to only a few customers. Rolls-Royce’s release of their Chinese edition car called Phantom sold quickly. While the cost of the car was higher than most cars the scarcity drove the desire and the price.

Word of Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth Marketing is the passing of information from person to person by oral communication. Customers are very excited to share with the world the brands they love. Many consumers find meaning in sharing stories of their favorite products and services. Word of Mouth is one of the ancient ways people learned about what to purchase. Modern marketers have learned how to create authentic word of mouth for their companies and the products they represent.

Call to Action (CTA) Marketing

CTA Marketing refers to methods of converting web traffic into leads or sales on websites using text, graphics, or other elements of web design. Conversion strategies help improve the percentage of online visitors who become customers or who join the mailing list.

Viral Marketing

Cult Brand marketers are constantly creating new business ideas that keep their products in the heart and minds of the global consumer. Each time a new product is created, customers have to be given a reason to dream about their future purchase. Sometimes marketers of Cult Brands hit on something so great that people can’t help but share with others. Getting your customers talking about your products and services is very important to growing awareness for your business.

Diversity Marketing

Develop a customized marketing plan by analyzing different customer segments based on cultural differences including tastes, expectations, beliefs, world views, and specific needs.

Undercover Marketing

Sometimes not telling everyone everything can become a great source of buzz. Think of a movie trailer that got you very excited to go see the movie. While not showing all the aspects of the movie, the advertiser can create enough intrigue to drive viewers to want to see more.

Mass Marketing

Major corporations need to drive large numbers of purchasing of their products in order to survive and grow. While mass marketing may seem like a shotgun approach to marketing this is far from the truth. Big businesses spend big money in understanding big data–thats a lot of bigs!) This gives them an insight to where to place media for their potential national customers who buy their products and services. Walmart is an example of an effective mass market retailer. As the number one retailer in the world, they are very smart about their mass marketing efforts, often giving their customers a feeling of locality and warmth.

Seasonal Marketing

Seasonal events offers a great way to meet new consumers. Sometimes these events can be actual changes of weather or national holidays. For a retailer like Hallmark, Valentine’s Day represents a large portion of their business. By tuning into the various seasons that are important to your customers you can become more relevant in their lives.

PR Marketing

One of the most important marketing strategies is public relations. Many effective marketers work with the media to bring awareness to their products and the benefits their products offer. Also, in many cases where things go wrong, a good PR marketing strategy is vital. When Apple’s founder Steve Jobs was alive, Apple held a major press conference to announce every new product. This tradition is now continued by their new Apple CEO and CMO.

Online Marketing

As commerce has propagated to the Internet, a new form of marketing has emerged. From online banners to those annoying pop ups, online marketers have attempted to get their customers attention any way they can. Most online strategic marketing efforts today are a mix of growth hacking strategies ( A/B testing taken to the max) and a variety of awareness tactics that drive attention. A very effective online marketer is the insurance company Geico who simply asks their users to enter their zip code for an instant quote on a better savings.

Email Marketing

As soon as customers migrated into the online world, Internet marketers have attempted to collect and organize emails for potential prospects. Many business-to-business marketers depend on email marketing as a primary way to connect with customers. At industry tradeshows, IBM consultants can often be seen exchanging email information with their prospects.

Evangelism Marketing

Develop raving fan customers (what we call Brand Lovers) who become advocates of your brand or product, and who represent the brand as if it was part of their own identity.

Event Marketing

Creating events is a great way to drive sales. Customers often need a reason to shop and events can often offer the perfect reason. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become part of American culture by connecting two events together that consumers love: Thanksgiving and shopping.

Offline Marketing

With mass adoption of the Internet, many companies are finding new ways of integrating offline marketing with new technologies to create more engaging customer experiences. The Coca-Cola company has create vending machines that invite customers to hug them. This continues to tie the Coca-Cola brand to the core emotion of happiness, but also invite customers to experience the real product offline.

Outbound Marketing

Sometimes it’s important for companies to let their potential customers know they exist. By developing a list of prospects a company can begin to reach out to their individual target groups in order to find new customers. When Microsoft was selling their accounting software they often used outbound marketing to identify potential targets before trying to call the companies for an in-person meeting.

Direct Marketing

Communicate directly with customers and prospects through mail, email, texts, fliers and other promotional material.

Inbound Marketing

Companies often have customers calling them for various reasons. This can present a great opportunity to sell customers additional products and services they currently don’t have. When business customers call to check their balances, the business bank Chase often takes the opportunity to ask if they are interest in a credit line, a 401 k plan, or a variety of other services the bank offers.

Freebie Marketing

Promote free give aways or sell your products and services sold at low rates to boost the sales of other related products or services.

Newsletter Marketing

A fun way to promote a business is to write a newsletter that highlights some of the newsworthy things that have happened for the organization. The Motley Fool have been sharing their investment insights with their community for many years. These newsletters create a sense of inclusion and participation with their members and has provided a key driver for their incredible growth.

Article Marketing

In industries where expertise is highly valued, articles can offer a powerful tool to showcase your knowledge and expertise. Some innovations are shared in the form of articles or white papers where technical information needs to be convey to specialized buyers. Amazon.com has dedicated part of their site for white papers on technical know-how on cloud computing. This is a very sophisticated form of marketing for specialized buyers.

Content Marketing

Write and publish content to educate potential customers about your products and services. For the appropriate businesses, this can be an effective means of influencing them without using direct selling methods.

Tradeshow Marketing

Many products have to be experienced to be bought. There are very few customers that will buy a new automobile without doing a great deal of research and test-driving the car first. Tradeshows are industry gatherings where customers are invited to come sample all that the industry has to offer. To introduce their new lines of products, Ford Motor Company spends a great deal of time setting up and operating their booth at the international consumer auto shows each year. These auto trade shows give reporters and consumers a chance to experience cars first hand.

Search Marketing

These days, when consumers have questions they often don’t ask their friends; they go straight for Google. In fact, Google is so good at answering our questions that millions of people daily search for their answers on this leading Internet search site. One does not have to look far to see the power of search marketing. Google has shaped the industry for many years now and has helped hundred of retailers grow their businesses. While many businesses used to advertise in their local yellow pages, as less and less consumer consult their local physical directory, this channel becomes increasingly less effective each year.

Direct Marketing

Advertise and promote your products and services to customers using a range of digital devices including computers, smartphones, and tablets. Internet Marketing is an essential practice in Digital Marketing. Once a target market has been clearly identified, it is possible to work in conjunction with the USPS or a professional mail carrier that knows where your customers live. Direct marketing can be an effective way to reach consumers right where they live at home. While there is often a negative side to this approach (consumers don’t want to be bothered with a flurry of mail), many smart companies execute direct marketing well. Catalog retailer L.L. Bean, for example, created direct marketing programs that their customers looks forward to receiving.

Niche Marketing

Finding a niche and filling it could be described as the secret recipe for growth in over-crowded marketplaces. Take the shoe business, for example. There is a great demand for shoes in the world and so many top companies have evolved to satisfy most of the immediate shoe needs in the marketplace.  The shoe space might seem crowded, but shoe manufacturing company Vans noticed an underserved customer: the skater. By focusing on this niche market Vans has developed a thriving business.

Drip Marketing

Drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. These messages often take the form of email marketing, although other media outlets can also be used as well.

Community Marketing

Engage an audience of existing customers in an active dialogue, speaking to the needs and wants of this particular customer group. Instead of focusing on generating the next transaction, community marketing promotes greater loyalty and higher levels of engagement within an existing brand community. Learn how to build brand communities here. Community marketing can also lead to word of mouth marketing.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

What are the Forces Analysis Of The Social Media Environment?

What are the "Forces Analysis" Of The Social Media Environment?

There is a "Five Forces Model" that acts on any Social Media product/ brand/ company, in the following, they are listed.

1. The threat of entry: competitors can enter from any industry, channel, function, form or marketing activity. How best can the company take care of the threat of new entrants?

2. Supplier power: what is the power of suppliers in this industry? How will their actions affect costs, supplies, and developments? If there are a few suppliers, power is in their favour and cost of switching may be prohibitive; vice versa for a situation with lots of suppliers. There may be too many buyers from too few suppliers.

3. Buyer power: there may be few buyers for the product, which could mean that they would drive down prices and dictate business terms. What is their effect on the business? If there are many buyers, sellers could decide not to supply to a few, because other buyers will step in.

4. Threat of substitutes: can another substitute the product? Tea for coffee; email for fax? What is the likely possibility of this and what is its impact?

5. Competitive rivalry: all the four forces may come together to produce this force. All the resources at a company's disposal may be put in to maintain market shares and sales. How intense is competitive action, can it be countered?

What is the meaning of 'Advertising'

Advertising is a means of communication with the users of a product or service. Advertisements are messages paid for by those who send them and are intended to inform or influence people who receive them, as defined by the Advertising Association of the UK.

Advertising is always present, though people may not be aware of it. In today's world, advertising uses every possible media to get its message through. It does this via television, print (newspapers, magazines, journals etc), radio, press, internet, direct selling, hoardings, mailers, contests, sponsorships, posters, clothes, events, colours, sounds, visuals and even people (endorsements).

The advertising industry is made of companies that advertise, agencies that create the advertisements, media that carries the ads, and a host of people like copy editors, visualizers, brand managers, researchers, creative heads and designers who take it the last mile to the customer or receiver. A company that needs to advertise itself and/or its products hires an advertising agency. The company briefs the agency on the brand, its imagery, the ideals and values behind it, the target segments and so on. The agencies convert the ideas and concepts to create the visuals, text, layouts and themes to communicate with the user. After approval from the client, the ads go on air, as per the bookings tobe done by the agency's media buying unit.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

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