A Vote Against Advertising Is A Vote For Inbound Marketing
It’s Election Day here in Pennsylvania, and I imagine there are local and primary elections going on in many other communities around our great country. The U.S. is one of the few nations allowing citizens to vote on how people are governed.
But, did you know that you, as a consumer, also have the ability to vote on how you’re marketed to?
If, for instance, you continue to answer your phone when telemarketers call during dinner, you’re actually voting for that practice to continue. If you respond to direct mail, you’re voting for those advertisers to send more postcards to your home. And, if you click on banner or pay-per-click ads, you’re telling digital advertisers that these tactics work.
If you enjoy being interrupted, then by all means, continue. But, if you’d prefer that companies spend their time and money on creating more compelling experiences for consumers, it might be time to vote against interruptive advertising practices.
Here are several ways you can take a more dramatic stand.
Stop Responding To Interruptive Advertising
Once advertisers see their response rates dropping, they start to look more aggressively at other options, and those options are going to point to inbound marketing. Your participation here is vital.
The tactics included in an inbound program are already being implemented by the same companies that do the interruptive stuff. So, it’s not like we’re asking them to do something they’ve never done before. We are, however, asking them to increase their investment and look at these digital tactics differently.
For example, banner ads and PPC campaigns fall under advertising. Instead of pumping money into these interruptive digital tactics, consider investing more in content creation, blogging, on-site SEO, off-site SEO, influencer marketing and content publication. While these tactics are more complicated to implement than simply signing an insertion order and creating the targeting criteria, their return is greater, more direct and more long-term.
If You Don’t Like It, Stop Subjecting Your Prospects To It
I’m usually surprised when I ask large groups of VPs, CEOs and business owners if they like getting cold calls at work or if they answer their own phones when they don’t know the caller. No, they usually don’t answer, and when they do, they’re universally annoyed if greeted by an unsolicited salesperson. Yet, they continue to have their own sales teams make cold calls.
When presented with this irony, they start to see the world differently. Often, they respond with, “OK, but what alternatives do we have to reach people?” That’s a fair question, and one that inbound tactics answer effectively. Instead of trying to interrupt people, try to be available for prospects who are already looking for you.
“Hmmm, that sounds interesting. Tell me more.”
The basic premise of inbound is that there are already people looking for products and services like the ones you have to sell. Sure, there are more people who are NOT looking yet, but instead of trying to guess who’s interested and who’s not, focus your precious marketing budget on those people who are showing they’re interested RIGHT NOW!
This requires a shift from renting an audience’s attention (which is how most advertising works) to earning an audience’s attention (which is how inbound works). By publishing interesting, creative and educational content, you can earn your prospects’ attention. Then, you get to market to them one on one until they’re ready to buy. This is a subtle change, but one that has a dynamic impact on strategy and tactics.
Download Ad Blockers For Both Web And Mobile Devices
The ad-blocker sector is one of the fastest-growing technology areas today. Currently, 198 million people globally are using ad-blocking software. Standard banner ad click-through rates have dropped to .12% across all platforms. Mobile banner ad click-through rates are only at .14%, and ad blocking as an industry grew 41% last year.
56% of display ads are NEVER seen by humans, yet companies pay for them anyway. As a result, there’s a projected $10.7 billion in lost or wasted ad revenue for 2015 alone. Click here to read more about ad blockers and how they impact your traditional advertising.
Just because you buy an ad, that doesn’t mean your prospect sees it. Worse yet, the numbers above are only the beginning. The more consumers get annoyed with interruptive ads, the more technology will be used to eliminate that pain for us – further driving down your return on traditional advertising (even digital advertising).
Tell Your Agency You Want Other Options
You have options, and your agency or internal marketing team should be in a position to help you transition from traditional ones to inbound ones. You don’t have to stop doing everything today and start doing inbound tomorrow, but you should be asking them to show you solutions that include a healthy mix of inbound efforts to get more from your marketing investment.
Strive For A Higher ROI On Your Marketing Investment
Some marketing has the objective of building brand equity. Major corporations do marketing like this all day long. Chevy, Coors, Pepsi, Apple and others invest billions of dollars in marketing that they know won’t produce a measurable ROI, but they need to do this brand marketing to stay competitive. We’re not talking about that kind of marketing here.
The kind we’re suggesting in order to produce a higher ROI is the type that is designed to generate leads. The more you do, the more leads you get. This ratio should be something that is deliverable at almost every organization.
The trick is knowing what to invest in, how to measure its success, how to optimize it over time and how to continue adjusting it until it produces a sustainable flow of leads for your organization. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable. In fact, it’s more doable today than ever before in the history of marketing – because inbound marketing gives us the methodology to plan, build and optimize a Marketing Machine for almost every business.
Start Today Tip – Take a good look at your prospects’ experience with your company. Are you interrupting them in the hopes they’ll want to talk to you, or are you earning their interest and attention? Are you getting a solid return from the money you’re investing in marketing? If not, there are options for an entirely new way to think about marketing and selling. If any of this sounds interesting, your tip is to start investigating another route for your organization. Will this work at my company? That’s the question you want to ask today, and the answer is easy to come by. Let us help.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing, Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Revolutions!
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.