What is Inbound Marketing?
Normally people do not understand Inbound marketing.
They pretend it’s like something that is happening from the inside of the company to the open market.
But InBound Marketing means all about making personalized to the customer.
Whatever content you are creating is addressing the customer rather than generalizing the message.
You can ask why it is important to personalize the message?
94 % of customers discontinued their communication with their companies because of irrelevant promotion messages.
Inbound marketing involves three stages.
All stages handled by a different department and normally each company has defined the role of the Marketing, Sales, and Service Department.
And Marketing department does not believe in knowing & implementing the ideology of Sales & Services in their marketing process.
And same goes with Sales and Services they do not believe and apply the ideology other.
But only attracting is not the role of the marketer.
Engaging is not just the role of sales.
Delighting is not the role of Services.
You can ask how I can say that?
74 % of people change their brand just because they found the buying process is complicated.
51% people will never do business with the companies after 1 negative experience.
93 % of customers believe in repurchasing after 1 good experience.
77 % of people share their positive experiences with their friends, social media, or in surveys.
Inbound Marketing means building a relationship in a human way by exchanging value for both.
You can ask how it is going to be?
For that, you need to understand each stage So let me explain in detail.
During the attract stage inbound businesses focus on attracting customers by relevant and helpful content.
You can have a question what is helpful content?
Helpful content is Contextual content that relates directly to the queries asked, the outcome being sought or an aspirational goal.
For Each department Marketing, Sales and Service the first stage is attracting the customer. Each has its own way to do so.
For Marketer: Creating helpful content and experience that demonstrate your knowledge.
For Sales Representative: Making yourself available for the meeting, calls, or live chat.
For Services: Using knowledge, documents & Chatbot to make information easy to find.
So the first stage is to Attract the customer.
Once someone is coming to your desired place you need to do something so they can stay there, for that you need to discover your way to make them engage.
Each department has a separate way of engaging the customer.
The engage stage begins at the moment a person takes the desired action.
It is basically a relationship-building stage.
In this stage, you began to collect information about the individual you are going to work with.
No matter, through which medium they are interacting with you, your target is to build trust.
Your target should be, providing the solution for the problem of your customer, And having your own strategy to accomplish the customer goal.
You can Ask how to provide the solution?
You should focus on Context, Clarity & Creativity
The manner that you build trust with your customer will depend upon the unique needs of your business.
Once you have attracted and Engaged them with your content and experience now they have faith in you.
Now it is time to delight.
Your marketing department is your amplifier for your company with passes of time your customer will be the voice of your company.
Make it as easy as possible for the people to find the answer they need.
Every Prospect is a potential customer.
Well, a customer is not truly your customer until they had a chance to leave you and choose not to.
So I believe now you have an idea about Inbound Marketing.
With all these processes you are creating a flywheel for growing your business.
Now you can ask How you can do inbound marketing for a business? What are the principles of Inbound Marketing?
To apply inbound marketing for a business you need to understand the fundaments of inbound marketing after that you can apply it for any business.
- Inbound Principles
- Purpose of Company
- Business Goals
- Buyer Persona
- Buyer Journey
customer-centric ideology, Standardise for Consistency, Personalize for impact, Optimise for clarity, Empathize for prospective.
“Your product should evolve with time and giving a clear solution to the problem of your customer which connects their real-life issue with the personal touch.”
Your principle should be shown in your content, what makes you different than others.
Your Principles are the basis on which you are serving the customer.
For a successful business, the bottom of the funnel feeds the top of the funnel.
The attitude of people when they come out of the bottom of your funnel directly impacts the number of people who are willing to enter the top of the funnel.
A flywheel is a machine that stores rotational energy.
For a sustainable business, you must have to create a flywheel model for your business.
Everything you do must be done with the goal of creating customers who will add positive energy to a flywheel and accelerate your company’s growth.
2.Purpose of Company:
To inspire your company staff and build value in society about your firm, you need to find a way to express the impact of your company’s work on people’s life and society.
Your purpose is why your company exists, do not confuse that earning money a soul purpose of the company and employees.
It is but the reason for establishing a firm is always motivational.
if we talk about TATA firm we believe that they do some great work for society so love to use their product and we also know that their product quality is good.
Before being an employee, each employee is a consumer.
Your purpose will attract people by analyzing your action.
You can ask how to create the company purpose?
The purpose of the company lies in three questions
What —————–>How —————–>Why
If the leader of the company cannot clearly articulate why the organization exists in terms of its product or service then how does he expect the employees to know why to come to work.
For a better understanding of purpose, you need to understand the viewpoint of a customer or consumer.
What job your product or services will do for customers?
Why someone hires or purchase?
People have jobs in their life that they need to get done, and they hire products to do those jobs.
But before buying how they analyze the products and services?
You need to understand that to decide and understand your company principal.
Why did they buy it?
How long they think about it before they made the decision?
What was it that made them finally go through with the sale.?
Had they thought about buying before and not done it?
Were they planning for other deals also?
When did they realize they did not have to do anymore?
For an understanding of all these questions, you need to understand the Job Dimensions.
- Functional Requirement: The minimum functional requirement to get the job done?
- Financial Requirement: what is the monetary requirement, I need to stay in to make it financially feasible?
- Personal Identity: How does this product or service act as a symbol to represent what I believe about the world?
- Social Appearance: How will other views while I use this product or service?
Compare your customer job story to your company purpose as its understood internally
Now I hope you have a clear idea about the purpose of the company.
You must have your defined goals what You are going to achieve for your business in 1 year and in the next 10 years.
As per your goals, you need to define your efforts and your focus.
Your goals motivate your employees because they believe with the growth of the company their growth is bounded.
You can say we have hope that you will grow by this percentage this year but the road map is not clear in your mind.
Hope is not the strategy.
You need to make a plan set the objective and results and monitor the development, for the achievement of goals.
How you are going to do that?
You need to define the Objective and Key Results (OKRs)
Numeric Key Result: Used to calculate the complete percentage of activity on a scale of 0 to 1.0. Maximize scale effort for every reason.
Binary Key Results: Increase brand awareness. etc.
You can ask how much are you can cover at a single time?
You need to know that at a single time No organization or individuals can focus on or accomplish more than five or six priorities in a given time period.
But you need to focus on the Key Horizon of the Framework for Sustainable growth.
- 1st Horizon of Present – Maintaining 70% efforts on revenue and increasing it.
- 3rd Horizon of Future – 10% of your efforts contributing to your future business.
- 2nd Horizon of Monitor and Connect- As the remaining 20 % of your efforts involved in the mid-term play are meant to prevent any fault lines between short-term goals and long-term goals.
It is important that you keep the balance 70/20/10 to ensure sustainable long-term growth.
All department must have the idea of their prospective customer all crowd is not your customer if you are an Engineering college you will focus on the students those have given respective entrance exam or they have completed their 12th.
And if you are an architect you will find the person who is working, students are not your prospect.
So you will design your content as per your audience.
Being an Inbound Marketer you need to have a clear picture in your mind.
Creating your buyer persona:
A buyer persona is the semi-functional representation of your ideal buyer based on data, interviews, and some educated guess.
It can not be the same as your customer but it gives you a picture to create your content, tactics.
You can ask which department is based suited for buyer persona creation?
I will suggest you add as much as a possible department to have a broad and accurate picture.
You can get data from the marketing, sales department, also from finance and legal department.
How to create your buyer persona?
Define the information that should be included.
Identify the best source for that information.
If you have an understanding of the problem that your company solves, you will have the foundation for creating your buyer persona.
Have your customer service team identify any commonalities among your most successful customer.
Have your marketing sales and customer service need to answer in order to serve each persona.
Each department needs separate information about your buyer, to serve better.
Information Marketing needs:
- How does a persona phrase their problem when they search into google?
- Where does each persona go to get help with their problem?
- What channel of communications do they prefer to be contacted through?
- Demographic information etc
Information Sales Need :
- How high of a priority is overcoming this problem?
- What kind of goals is the problem preventing the persona from achieving?
- How many decision-makers are involved?
- How long do they expect the sales process?
- Do they typically view your product price as high, low, or average?
Information Service Needs:
- What aspect of your product do they find most confusing?
- What is their favorite feature of your product?
- What kind of things will make them happy that they recommend your product to others?
- What kind of things will upset them that they will recommend that people not buy your product?
For Knowing all these answers below are the source.
Historical Data:——————> Customer Interview: ————————->Educated Guess
For each of your persona, you will have to interview at least 15 customers. Make notes of these interviews and then find the common things.
If some questions could not be discovered from data make an educated guess.
Persona act as a launchpad for sales and relationship building.
It is the most important stage and process for any business, being a salesman or marketer you must have an idea of a complete Buyer Journey so that you can change your content as per stage and customer.
There is three major Stage in Buyer Journey.
when you prospect experiencing and expressing symptoms of the problem. The awareness stage does not mean that your prospect is now aware of your business(at the point they are aware they have a problem )
2.Consideration Stage –
when your prospect has clearly defined and given a name to their problem, And they are now searching for the solutions for their problem. In the consideration stage engagement is key.
3.Decision Stage –
When your prospect decides on their solution strategy, they are looking for confirmation that their decision is the correct one.
They want reassurance that once they make the decision they will be able to solve their problem and continue to grow.
As per the stage of the customer, you need to use your content tool and tactics to build relationships.
Buying behavior continuously evolves so you need to do a survey each year and evolve your content tool and tactics to cope up with changes.
Every potential buyer is focused on the below things:
- Identifying their problem
- Understanding what options are available for their solutions
- Comparing their top choices when they are ready for purchase
A buyer journey is a powerful tool you can use to personalize your prospect experience with your business.
Your marketing sales and services teams need to be aligned on the different stages of your journey.
How you can develop the buyer Journey?
- Underatand your buyer persona.
- Develop each buyer journey stage around your business-specific needs & personal intent.
Now I believe you have a clear idea bout the inbound marketing Strategy.
Being a digital marketer you have a key area to focus on.
- Create content focused on the problem your persona is experiencing.
- You should develop the blog post and describe the problem and show your knowledge and understanding.
Create content that answers the questions about your product or services, Use the format that is best suited for your business
- Blog Post
- Pillar Page
Buyer Journey is not just about the content you produce but the experience you provide.
“Remember that inbound is all about building trust and creating human and helpful experience throughout the stage of inbound methodology”