Ian Stanley, Hubspot’s EMEA Demand Generation Manager took to the stage at the UK WSI Digital Summit to explain Inbound Marketing.
Inbound marketing became one of the marketing tools back in 2006 and has been increasing steadily in use since then. Why?
Historically, marketers used to ‘shout’ about their products and services to get noticed. It was all about headlines and ‘me, me , me’. Digital and social has changed this. Consumers behaviour has changed and TV adverts, telephone calls and direct mail is increasingly being replaced with social media and content marketing.
That may be something you’ve heard before, but do you know how long people have been tired of advertising? In 1758 a scholar named Samuel Johnson wrote “ Adverttisments are now so numerous that they are negligently perused. It has become necessary to gain attention by a magnificence of promises.” That was two and half centuries ago!
So, marketing has changed. It’s no longer about selling things but about helping us to do things. You don’t find customers anymore, they find you! What you blog about and what you say and do on social media attracts customers to you. Give your audience content that makes them want to come back to you – inbound marketing.
Here’s the Hubspot Inbound Methodology.
Marketing is no longer seller centric, but buyer centric. Marketers want more traffic, leads and customers but they talk a lot to the crowd. But prospects and customers don’t want to feel like they are part of the crowd. They are all at different stages of their buying process and they want you to talk to them as individuals. The context of their contact is personal, there is no one size fits all.
Inbound marketing / marketing automation allows you to have a complete 360 degree view of your contacts. You can see what your contacts are doing. What social sites they view your information on, whether they like or share it and also whether they download your offers. This gives you the ability to work out where they are in their buying journey and segment and personalise your material to them.
So you need to know your buyer personas. Who are your ideal customers based on your data? What are their behaviours, motivations and goals? What did the last person who bought your product or service look like? Understanding your potential customers means you can write content directed at them and their issues. When you know this you can add context to your marketing funnel.
1. Gather Information
Use forms to capture information on your contacts. At Hubspot we use smart forms so we can capture different information each time a contact visits, meaning we don’t have to ask the same questions time after time. Each piece of information helps us build a picture of our contact. From the data they submit to the types of document they download.
2. Personalise the Experience
If we go back to the broader marketing strategy we remember that everything is persona driven. We need to recognise who we are talking to and what they are interested in. We can see their interactions and so can personalise the contact we have and add context.
3. Using Context
Increased traffic leads to increased leads and ultimately an increase in revenue. This is achieved by having complete visibility into interaction with the sales and marketing material. Notifications of key activities from prospects get delivered directly to the sales team inbox where they can be monitored and engaged with via social media. Also visibility of the channels producing customers help make informed decisions.
When you put all this together it allows you to get