Mark Cuban says, "Wherever I see people doing something the way it's always been done, the way it's 'supposed' to be done, that's just a big red flag to me to go look somewhere else." For decades, marketing has been dominated by the same methodology, the same techniques, and the same messaging to potential customers. In this article, we're going to focus on the difference between inbound marketing and traditional marketing and understand why the difference and understanding the difference creates such a value for us as marketers.
Traditional Marketing Channels
What are we used to? What did we grow up with? If you're part of the baby boomers, you likely got your marketing messages through things like the newspapers, radio, and the television. If you're part of the Gen X generation, perhaps you grew up with people cold-calling you on the phone. I know we've all grown up with direct mail and direct mail still occurs, but we've also now evolved into the email marketing too.
We have a series of generational marketing techniques that we've all been hit with. Now herein lay the issue we want you to consider. This is traditional marketing, but here are the challenges with it. Right now on TV, there are so many different ways of blocking ads, most of us do it. Think about it. If you're recording a show, are you going to let it run through the commercials so you could stop there and watch them or are you going to fast forward through them?
Most of us are going to fast forward through the TV ads, so traditionally if you ran TV ads, that may not be the most effective way to connect with you. I personally still love the radio. But I'm also using so many different devices to get my music, I tend to use the traditional radio a lot less than I use the other devices. I'm on Spotify quite a lot, I use iTunes, and I block the commercials so you are much less likely to reach me if radio was your previous medium.
Then we get down to the newspaper. I know because I grew up on newspapers that they were chock full of ads. I know one publication that sticks out in my mind that used to be a three-hundred-page weekly publication that has shrunk down to about forty or fifty pages monthly. Why? Because all of us have stopped using that as a resource to get our information. If we stop using it as a resource, well, as a traditional marketer, you’ve got to start refining your process, as well and the rationale is this simple.
In terms of marketing, if the newspaper is going by the wayside, our ability to connect with our customers is going by the wayside, too. The phone? Well, most all of us have a do not call feature on our phone. We've either logged it with the government or we use different blocking techniques to block cold-callers. If traditionally that was your marketing technique, you got to start looking for something new.
How about direct mail? Well, the interesting thing about direct mail is it still works, but the rate at which it works keeps going down. Why? Because most of us when mail comes, we throw it in the garbage. That's increasing at a higher rate. When you think about mail, what's the offset to snail mail? Well, email.
How many of us get hounded with ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred emails a day that have nothing to do with us? What we end up doing is we unsubscribe or we just block it and it never even reaches our inbox anymore. If you traditionally followed one of these paths to market and you're still doing that, well as Mark Cuban says, "I'm running in the other direction" because as we're seeing right now, our traditional marketing methods are becoming more ineffectual as time progresses.
Now here's the interesting thing that I think kind of ties this together. This is a few years old now from 2012, but even if the stat is a little off, I think the concept is still dead on. Almost 60% of the sales cycle is complete; think about that, almost 60% of the sales cycle is complete before a prospect reaches out to a sales rep.
Why Inbound Marketing?
If our traditional marketing channels are evaporating, how are we getting that 60% of the process getting complete before somebody connects out to a sales rep? People are going to be looking for alternative ways to get information. That's what we need to understand. The world we live in has changed, it is changing, and will continue to change. We need to evolve and transform with it. Our traditional marketing is not as effective as it has been back in the day.
People today have the power to educate themselves and they use that. For most of us, our process is simple. We have a problem, we have a need, we have a pain, we seek a solution, where do we go? We go right to the Internet. That's the basic theory of inbound marketing.
For more reading on inbound marketing, see the links below:
- Rate Your Website: 90% of Business Owners Say They’re Failing
- Outbound Vs Inbound Marketing: What is best for your business?
- October's Top Articles on Inbound Marketing