The biggest risk for any business is to find itself unprepared, or worse still, not ready at all. The reality of the post-pandemic world is that it’s less about Funnels and Flywheels and more about being ever mindful of your customers’ needs. It doesn’t matter if you are a small company providing an essential service or a multinational with global reach – in order to survive in this new environment you need both Inbound & Outbound Marketing techniques. In this blog post we explore both inbound and outbound marketing techniques so you can find the right balance for your business needs!

If you’re considering outsourcing your marketing requirements to an agency, the first step is to identify the right fit for your business. A generalist marketing agency may not offer the specialism and understanding your business requires whereas an inbound agency may mean outsourcing other services elsewhere. We look at why finding an agency who can offer both inbound and outbound services could be the most rewarding choice your business can make.

The term inbound marketing is on the lips of every marketer, with platforms such as HubSpot heavily promoting the philosophy that inbound is integral to all businesses. No wonder social feeds, display ads and sponsored content is inescapable on our devices. A world of digital noise has evolved from eager businesses ensuring they’re first in line to provide consumers with the next product or service they want you to want. Focusing exclusively on driving web-users to click-throughs in the hope users will be seamlessly pushed through the sales funnel, dropping as the perfect parcel delivered to their virtual doorstep.

Inbound marketing, when structured correctly and delivered well, can be incredibly useful in generating leads. The principle of inbound is to create content that users engage with in the comfort of their own time, on their own terms, very much the opposite to traditional marketing methods which have previously been seen as disruptive and occasionally aggressive. The content created is crafted to grab attention, peak curiosity and drive the user to enter the process of converting to a lead and hopefully, a sale.

Examples of content for inbound marketing are podcasts, social posts, blogs or white papers, videography, landing pages, to name but a few.

Creating a strong inbound marketing campaign takes time and skill. 

Firstly, your marketing agency needs to understand your target audience, also known as buyer personas. They need to understand your business model, operations, sales processes, routes to market, company ethos, aspirations, successes and failures. Only once they’ve taken the time to fully understand your business can the beginnings of a marketing strategy take form.

Inbound and outbound marketing in the digital world is a complex, multi-faceted process. With inbound marketing you have to be able to identify your target audience so that you can create content specific to their needs. Outbound means understanding your customers in order for them to understand your company and how it will benefit them in some way. Using a marketing agency ensures that every need of the potential customer is met with an experienced team who knows which journey they need to follow, as well as when outbound marketing may add value during this journey.

These days it’s not just about attracting traffic – you also need to convert visitors into paying customers. This is where outbound marketing comes in handy.

Outbound marketing is adding more traditional methods of marketing to your campaigns. 

Agencies with skills in outbound marketing are harder to find. 

Outbound marketing in the modern marketing world consists of activities such as email marketing, telemarketing, print collateral, exhibitions, tv and radio advertising.

Outbound marketing techniques have been around for decades, and although the approach may have changed, the tangible benefits of introducing various outbound methodologies are clear to see. Consumers no longer want to be bombarded with information overload, whether that’s a plethora of flyers falling onto the doormat, or phone call after phone call persuading them to buy a product they haven’t expressed an interest in, or have an appetite to purchase. Of course GDPR has had a hugely positive impact on outbound marketing. Protecting consumers from unwanted and unsolicited contact is crucial, and any reputable company would never toy with the idea of adopting this aggressive behaviour towards lead generation.

However not all outbound marketing is unwanted or unsolicited. A successful inbound marketing campaign will form the basis of a successful outbound marketing campaign.

For example, Joe Bloggs visits your landing page, likes what your business is offering and subscribes to your newsletters. He is feeding into your outbound activities. You know which page he’s visited to complete his subscription, therefore you already have good information on the product or service that’s spiked his interest. This is where you can begin your email marketing journey. Alternatively, he may have provided his address details so you can send your latest brochure.

Using a marketing agency will ensure that every need of your potential customer is met. They will also have the experience to know which journey that customer needs to follow, along with when outbound marketing may add value during the customer journey.

Think of a marketing agency as an extension of your team. A smaller team of specialists who are dedicated to driving your business forward and who care just as much about sales acquisition as you do.

With a flexible approach, access to the latest intel and tools, and commitment to delivering a whole host of various services to support your end goal, these specialists should be dedicated to learning all key aspects of your business and working with you to discover the most effective method of obtaining sales.

Here’s our tips on how to choose the right agency for your business.

Strategic experience – An understanding of your industry along with its challenges and competitors with an ability to identify new opportunities and sales potential.
Wordsmiths – An understanding of the tone of voice most suited to your personas and the ability to script content that is meaningful and relevant.
Creative vision – an agency needs to be able to not only craft your message, but visualise into content that your target audience is going to relate to and engage with.
Optimisation – You’ve got the content, now what are you going to do with it? An agency with digital specialists will be able to optimise your content, ensuring you’re going to be seen, and work with the rest of the team to form further content snippets to be used across various platforms, whether that’s paid media, socials or direct mailers.
Reporting – Being provided with detailed reports based on all marketing activities gives you insight into what’s working, what needs tweaking and which campaigns are converting.
Credentials – Experience of delivering successful inbound and outbound campaigns will demonstrate the competency levels of an agency.
Team approach – Delivering marketing campaigns takes input from most team members. Look for an agency that offers the specialist skills you require, isn’t too general, and who will give you access to all of their team’s skills. If you’re looking for a paid media campaign, the digital specialist should be on hand to discuss progress. If you require blog posts or landing pages, the copywriter should be there to discuss the content and understand the audience they’re writing for.
Sales experience – A wealth of sales experience means addressing how to deliver tangible revenue goals from your marketing spend. For example, for every £ you spend on marketing, how much product/ service do you need to sell?
Find out more about working with an integrated marketing agency with a team of specialist professionals, get in touch with Socially Grown today.