January 26th, 2015

Understanding Inbound Marketing

With the growing importance of the internet in everyday use, one cannot ignore its income generating potential. Many entrepreneurs, businesses and companies have begun utilizing the internet to increase their chances of success, and a growing trend in companies today is the use of inbound marketing strategies in generating leads to positive clients.

What is marketing?

Any businessman has an idea what marketing is, whenever you try to sell your products or services and use methods to advertise it, you are marketing. For short, marketing is the organized process of selling. Marketing begins from conceptualizing an item to successfully selling it to customers; companies spend enough resources to successfully market their products. There are 2 main marketing strategies used by companies, inbound and outbound, each has its pros and cons.

Marketing Strategies

Outbound marketing is often called the "old-style or traditional" way of marketing used by businesses for centuries. It involved the "direct" method of selling products and services to customers. It involves the use of direct selling or door to door method, billboards, mails, print advertisements and more recently through radio, telephone and television.

Businesses that use outbound marketing strategies "hunt" for customers, examples are calling random numbers in the telephone to market products or giving fliers in a mall. Though it is the main methods of marketing used by companies today, some customers are either offended with the "up to your face" approach of outbound marketing which results in rejection, or hopefully, get convinced.

Inbound marketing is the direct opposite of outbound marketing, rather than hunting for customers, inbound marketing lets the costumer find you by strategies such as using high quality written or audio/visual content through various media, especially on social sites in the Internet. It is a low cost method of marketing that is appealing for small businesses and those who cannot afford conventional marketing strategies.

Many businesses favor inbound marketing mainly due to its less "invasive" method, rather than forcing the customer to "have a look" on your products. Inbound marketing lets them find your products "naturally" thus creating a good ambience to build a relationship which can lead to sales. Though it involves a slower process, it has a high rate of building good customer relationships which is vital for the success of any business.

So how inbound marketing fits into CRM?

CRM or Customer relationship management is a strategy used by companies to create, manage and sustain customer-company relationships. It is a method used to help communicate with customers methodically and thus improve sales not by gaining their trust through healthy a sustained healthy relationship. CRM also manages client information, which involves email, telephone numbers, address and anything of vital information about potential leads.

So how do CRM fit into inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing strategies help customers find you by attracting them through high quality content published on the internet especially on social media sites like facebook, twitter and YouTube, which will create "leads". Once leads are created, Customer relationship management fits in, with a system in managing relationships with potential buyers, sales is not far off. Customer relationship management also helps businesses find sites in the internet with high rates of being noticed. With inbound marketing strategies and CRM in tandem, any business has the ability to have a powerful method in marketing and gaining potential clients through the internet.

Advantages of using inbound marketing and CRM together

The first advantages of using inbound marketing and CRM in tandem is that your business will not only be "fundable" it is also "findable". As people normally go through a search engine to find what they want in the internet, it is important to use strategies that will make your products "visible" in every search results. Inbound marketing strategies and customer relationship management help business in every way possible to ensure "visibility", generate leads and more important, create customers that will trust you and become loyal to your company.

The second advantage is that with CRM, it will definitely cost much less than investing on highly publicized advertising campaigns. If you have a good product or service but haven't got the funds to advertise it thoroughly, then using inbound marketing strategies and crm in tandem will work wonders for you.