Marketing includes Digital marketing, outbound marketing and inbound marketing, where do you start?
There’s no doubt that marketing is essential, but where should you spend your time and manage that time to ensure your marketing research efforts produce positive returns.
Throughout this article, I will tear down the many different aspects of modern marketing and how they can help you grow your business.
Exactly what is marketing?
Marketing is the process of promoting or selling products or services to people. The goal of marketing is to make a business profitable and competitive. Marketing a business usually entails generating interest in products or services, communicating the benefits of buying the product or service, and convincing potential customers to buy them.
Marketing can be done in many different forms. Some companies use television and radio ads, billboards, signs on the street, direct mailings or email campaigns (outbound marketing) to reach customers and promote their products and services.
Others will use word-of-mouth tactics like getting people with good social capital to talk about your company’s products or services.
And then there’s inbound marketing, and inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers using content marketing, blogs, events, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, PPC, valuable content and more, all tailored to your ideal customer profile (ICP).
The inbound methodology works because it helps build deep, meaningful relationships with your customers, empowering them to reach their goals.
Marketing is important for any company as it has been proven to affect profit margins in various industries significantly.
Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers so that they will buy it. In this sense, marketing is about telling the customer why they need your product and how it can improve their life.
US merchant and forefather of marketing, John Wanamaker, expressed over 100 years ago that:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Thanks to technology, measuring the effectiveness of your marketing is easier than ever, so the marketing budget can be used favourably.
The five definitions of marketing
Here’s the simplest, most jargon-free, definition of marketing you’re ever likely to come across:
If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying ‘Circus Coming to the Show ground Saturday’, that’s advertising.
If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion.
If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that’s publicity.
And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.
If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot of money at the circus, that’s sales.
And if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing!
The breakdown of marketing
Advertising has been around for centuries, and throughout its history, it has evolved with the times. It initially was an offline form of marketing that shifted to a digital format as society shifted to becoming more tech-savvy.
Shopify, an e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems, outlines advertising as follows:
Advertising is a marketing tactic involving paying for space to promote a product, service, or cause. The actual promotional messages are called advertisements, or ads for short. The goal of advertising is to reach people most likely to be willing to pay for a company’s products or services and entice them to buy.
Advertising is about creating attention for your product or service in order to make something happen – whether that’s a purchase, a call, an email inquiry, or anything else – advertising is about driving response.
Advertising is a way for businesses to promote their products and services in order to attract new customers.
The most common types of advertising are:
– Advertising through mass media such as TV, radio, and newspapers.
– Advertising through social media like Facebook or Twitter.
– Advertising on billboards or in public spaces.
– Advertising at point of sale.
– Sponsorship of events, sports teams or non-profit organisations.
Promotion is the act of making people aware of your business and its offerings. Promotion can come in many forms, but it always has one goal:
to get potential customers to choose your business over the competition.
As described by Wikipedia: In marketing, promotion refers to any type of marketing communication used to inform target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service, brand or issue, most of the time persuasive in nature.
The importance of promotion cannot be underestimated for any business that needs to grow its revenue and customer base. Whether you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur with a big idea, you probably know that without proper promotion, it will be difficult to get your name in front of enough new people so they can eventually buy your product or service.
Publicity is the use of a public medium to generate interest in a business, product, or person. Publicity can help sell products by increasing people’s awareness of the company and what it has to offer.
Wikipedia states that publicity is the public visibility or awareness for any product, service or organisation (company, charity, etc.). It may also refer to the movement of information from its source to the general public, often (but not always) via the media.
Publicity can be used in many different ways, from social media campaigns to word-of-mouth marketing. It can also be used as an advertising tool for brands that don’t have the budget for traditional advertising, such as TV ads and billboards.
4. Public Relations
Lumen Learning describes PR as follows:
Public relations (PR) is the process of maintaining a favourable image and building beneficial relationships between an organisation and the public communities, groups, and people it serves.
Unlike advertising, which tries to create favourable impressions through paid messages, public relations does not pay for attention and publicity.
Instead, PR strives to earn a favourable image by drawing attention to newsworthy and attention-worthy activities of the organisation and its customers.
For this reason, PR is often referred to as “free advertising.”
Marketing automation heavyweight HubSpot outlines the difference between sales and marketing as follows:
Sales and marketing are two business functions within an organisation — they both impact lead generation and revenue. The term, sales, refers to all activities that lead to the selling of goods and services. And marketing is the process of getting people interested in the goods and services being sold.
Most businesses, especially the smaller operators, have a disdain for selling, and often this is because they believe sales is about doing something to someone rather than with them.
As you see from the circus story, sales are about giving people what they want, not trying to convince them to buy something they don’t want.
One of the major challenges I often see with sales is trying to sell people what you think they need instead of selling them what they want.
My personal mantra goes like this:
“Sell people what they want, educate them on what they need.”
To grow, every business needs new customers.
This can be accomplished in two ways:
1) Through marketing campaigns that generate awareness about the product or service and attract potential buyers, or
2) By following up with customers and prospects who have already shown some interest in the company.
The key is to have a good marketing strategy that incorporates both of these methods to get the desired results.
Typically outbound marketing has dominated the landscape for the last 50 plus years and has produced remarkable results. Yet, with the shift into the digital space and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the digital thirst has accelerated… fast!
Many companies that didn’t fully embrace the digital shift had no choice but to explore this new digital landscape. Even companies that had adopted a digital presence couldn’t keep up with the demand and thirst for online content.
And with this thirst, the way buyers purchase has changed; actually, buyers have got better at buying quicker than sellers have got better at selling.
Download Now: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Guide – Everything You Need Know To Improve Your Marketing Efforts [Free Download]
Imagine giving your salespeople the right knowledge, tools, training and information to do their job better. That’s sales enablement.
Gartner outlines that the foundation of a sales enablement strategy is to provide salespeople with what they need to engage the buyer throughout the buying process successfully.
Companies that embrace sales and marketing alignment do sell better. Here are just a few examples of why:
• Case studies and success stories
• Known buyer personas and pain points
• Customer-centric focused
When you have case studies of customers relatable to new prospects, their success stories can help nurture the prospect through a consideration stage.
And if you know your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer persona, you know what challenges they face, what goals they’re trying to achieve and the obstacles that prevent them from moving towards their desires.
This information is vital for the effectiveness of your marketing and stops you from creating content and material that fails to hit the mark.
Finally, knowing your buyers’ pain helps you relate to them, show empathy towards them, and present yourself as the authority in your space.
Ultimately people enjoying buying when the selling is done well, unfortunately, most selling is terrible, and therefore the old adage is used:
“People love to buy, but they hate being sold to.”
Many people and companies haven’t done the necessary leg work and identified precisely who their ideal customer is, who the buyer is, and what they want! Not what you think they NEED.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a new wave in the world of digital marketing. It helps identify key high value accounts that are a good fit for your products/services.
Terminus – The Leading Account Based Marketing Platform defines ABM as follows:
A focused approach to B2B marketing in which sales and marketing teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers.
According to Tribal Impact, In 2020, 91% of companies with 1,000 employers or more have a full ABM program in place (48%), are running a pilot (23%) or planned to get started in the next six months.
A recent survey shows that 43% of experts use an ABM strategy. So, if you want long-term revenue growth and a more personalised customer experience take advantage of this strategy.
As you can see, marketing has multiple moving parts; some will be more relevant than others, and the type of business you operate will in some way dictate the best fit solution.
Marketing is changing, and inbound marketing, sales enablement and Account based marketing are leading the way forward. Outbound marketing has ruled the roost for a long time and will continue to play a pivotal role in marketing; however, inbound marketing looks a promising prospect to dominate for the next 30 – 50 years.
So what should you do next?
In this article, I have linked and referenced many different resources and features to help you with your marketing plans.
My best advice would be to do this:
Identify who your ICP and buyer persona is
Read this article about advertising in marketing
Study this post about promotion
Learn about this article covering publicity
Discover more about PR in this blog
Sharpen your sales skills by reading this piece
Read about sales enablement here
And finally, explore more about ABM here
These articles will give you a solid grounding on how to give you a boost, get attention and start filling your sales pipeline with qualified leads (MQL’s).