There’s one simple fact that has changed the way we market. Our buyers are self-educating online.
No matter if they’re buying a toaster, searching for a new accountant or looking for someone to service their scissor lift, customers are making judgements about you based on your online presence long before you know it.
Customers now won’t talk to you until they're fairly satisfied that you are the organisation for them - which is a long long way through the buying process.
What does that mean for us?
It means the old way of marketing has lost a lot of its purpose. The ‘traditional’ marketing we grew up with - radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, billboards, event sponsorship - doesn’t work as well anymore.
We now need to market in a way that matches how buyers are buying. As buyers start with their own research online, marketing is now about assisting prospects in their research and education process. This where inbound marketing comes in.
Inbound marketing is about creating valuable content that educates and informs your potential customers through blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, video how-tos and information pieces, giving them a reason to opt into a relationship with your brand, your people.
Inbound marketing aims to make you a customer’s top preference supplier once they’ve done their research and you’ve provided them with just the right information. It’s about earning people’s attention rather than trying to buy it by pushing messages at customers. And I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a better way of making connections with people than shouting in their ear or pushing a neon sign in front of their face.
But the coolest things about modern marketing, inbound marketing, is that it’s permission based. It’s also highly analytical meaning we can monitor success and learn what we should be doing to win new clients and keep existing clients. It’s not about whose logo is better or whose ad is better, it’s about converting prospects, measurement, analysis and results. Surely the closest things marketing will get to an accountant’s dream.