It wasn’t long ago that marketing managers pounded the hammer of advertising, pushing every available dollar into a new television commercial or top spot billboard. When telling your audience what they ‘needed’ to hear was the most effective form of advertising. Everything was ‘world-class’, or ‘the best in the field’, without much proof to back up these statements. Essentially, those with the biggest budgets won, leaving the poor start-ups and smaller businesses behind the pack.
When Apple released the iPod in 2001, widely distributed TV adverts were used to promote their new product.
Now, nearly 15 years later, a new method of marketing has started to challenge this traditional promotion technique.
The rise of inbound marketing has prompted many companies to take a serious look at their strategies.
Inbound focusses on creating and sharing content. Instead of telling your audience that you are world class, you show them that you are by providing meaningful, useful and timely content.
This is especially important when marketing for technology firms as the customer decision making process is much more involved than that for FMCG (fast moving consumer goods).
So does this mean the end for traditional, outbound marketing? Should we all jump up and burn our brochures?
Although there is still a place for outbound marketing, it shouldn’t be implemented in isolation anymore. There are times when, to target your audience, it is more effective to use advertising to discover your content, helping them to find the information that they are searching for. It’s a directive tool, not the solution itself.
Efficient inbound marketing involves creating helpful content such as:
- Case studies
This content is then shared with the world via channels such as:
- Blogs (and RSS feeds)
- Social media posts
- Google AdWords
- Press releases
For technology firms, this means creating content that is useful for your target market that answers their questions and concerns, educates them around their options and ultimately, shows how your product can fulfil their needs.
Apple are now creating testimonials from customers using their products. They showcase the amazing things customers have done with their phones, tablets and music devices via YouTube. They provide articles with tips on taking great photos, what music is trending currently and much more. While still utilising outbound marketing to inform their audience that a product is available, the potential customer can then explore the content available online to help them to decide whether or not to buy that product.
So while traditional marketing still has its place in the process, technology firms need to seriously look at inbound marketing to maximise their dollar, attract relevant leads and create meaningful conversations with potential customers. For more information on how inbound marketing is important for technology firms, download our free eBook, Burn Your Brochures.