So, you are a business owner and you need sales. It doesn’t matter what you are selling; widgets, haircuts, software or websites – you don’t have a business without sales.
How do you get those sales? How do you get leads? That, is the primary objective of marketing. Marketing is all about spreading the word in order to get people to buy what you are selling. Let’s quickly list off some tried and tested marketing strategies:
- Telemarketing/cold calling
- Direct mail/Email blasts
- Print advertising
- TV ads
All of these have one thing in common, they are all:
Outbound marketing or as others call it interruptive marketing has fallen out of favour for a number of reasons, including high costs as well as data and content overload. Your prospects are deluged with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions daily. Breaking through the noise and capturing attention is becoming increasing fraught with difficulties, as many individuals can avoid marketing interruptions.
Think about it; you are one of those people aren’t you?
You leave the room to make a cup of coffee when TV commercials come on; fast forward through them using your Sky+/TiVo. You get a dump of mail through the letterbox and spend not a second on anything that isn’t a letter from someone you know, or less enjoyable, the gas bill. And forget about sending unsolicited emails. Aside from being illegal and frankly annoying, it’s a sure-fire way of your business taking a vertical drop in the eyes of your prospective customers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that outbound has not or is not successful. They can be, I have used them and they have worked for me. But they have also been expensive over the years. For example, all you have to do is look at Times Square these brands spend a lot of money to advertise on the billboards, but the difference with these companies is they don’t just do outbound marketing they do a mixture of inbound and outbound marketing.
What do you do to get sales?
Set up a Facebook and Twitter account and watch the leads roll in and the cash register overflow. Not exactly. There has been far too much uncritical scrambling on the part of business owners and social media ‘gurus’ alike to get everyone riding the social media wave. Social media is a very important component to virtually every business. What I don’t believe is that all the marketing woes will be solved simply by tweeting an interesting article you found online and getting friends and family to ‘Like’ your business’ Facebook page. Reality is much more demanding than that.
I advocate doing both inbound and outbound tactics; it does not limit or confine you to just one operational paradigm. Drawing on inbound and outbound tactics on a case-by-case basis. While inbound marketing can be highly effective for most types of prospects, others—like the CEO—can be immune to its charms. You will need to infect his kind with a potent mix of PR, outbound marketing, traditional advertising and high-powered face-to-face networking.
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