TV. Radio. Billboards. Emails. Pop Up ads. They are all ways of getting a message out to the masses, but is this form of outbound/interruption marketing really doing your brand any favors? Despite the fact that this way of reaching potential customers has many problems, most companies continue to use this tactic. According to recent studies as much as 90% of marketing budgets go to the various forms of outbound marketing efforts. We aren’t knocking all outbound marketing efforts, we are simply asking “why do you do what you do?”
So what’s our problem with outbound marketing? We don’t mean to sound like the bully on the playground because outbound marketing does have true impact but there is a better way to do things. You’re outbound techniques are promised to deliver your message to large audiences, but how many of those people are actually listening?
Our main problem with outbound marketing is that the actual results are difficult to track. Outbound marketing methods are on average 60% less profitable than inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is often referred to as “interruption marketing” because many times it’s breaking up the flow of a person’s routine, whether at work, at home or in the car.
On any given day, we are exposed to thousands of outbound marketing messages. We get them via email (unsubscribe,) telephone (the absolute worst) and commercials on the radio and TV. Technology has made it easier to ignore these outbound marketing tactics. The “Do Not Call” List, CAN SPAM, caller ID and other resources such as spam filters, have helped to eliminate telemarketing. In fact, more than 200 million people have signed up for the “Do Not Call” List (hopefully, you aren’t leaning on cold calling.)
Spam filters are good at keeping email messages in check. About 91% of us have unsubscribed from email lists, even our absolute favorite brands because it simply interrupts our days. Satellite radio prevents our favorite music or talk show from being interrupted with a commercial, and thanks to DVR and Netflix, we can zip through ads during TV shows with the push of a button. Research shows 86% of the population uses ad skip functions to stay on their program without listening or watching paid spots.
Fewer people are buying and reading newspapers and magazines too, so the print form of outbound marketing is a quickly dying format. Before we get hate mail, we completely acknowledge that there are exceptions to these stats. Mobile device users can download apps and often times pay a little extra for an “ad free” version, which eliminates that segment of consumers too. Less than 10% of Internet users click on ads on the web. Now with that being said, mobile social media paid ads are actually seeing an increase in viewers because the ad is positioned within the newsfeed.
Mailing out fliers or paying someone to hang them on doorknobs or slip them under car windshields are usually a waste of time and money. Most often we get in our cars and don’t even see the flier until we have reversed out of the parking space and then we are seriously annoyed to have to put the car in park to throw the flier off. Often times those pieces of paper, no matter how brightly colored or artistically designed they are, end up getting crumbled up and tossed in the trash or recycling bin (we are going to assume everyone follows the law and avoids littering.) Unless you or someone on your team is particularly engaging and well spoken, trade show booths have become a break even method among consumers.
Many studies have found that inbound marketing costs at least 60%- 70% less per lead than traditional marketing. The company’s size did not matter. Even when a connection is made, many times the consumer is only partially interested in the message being delivered. It’s been found that more often than not, outbound marketing only generates leads with someone who is Budget, Authority, Need and Timescale qualified.
Lead Generation is hard with any marketing technique but outbound marketing is more of a black and white approach to leads and the sales funnel, it’s either buy or pass. Inbound marketing is largely driven by lead nurturing. You aren’t ready to buy? That’s cool, here are some helpful tips, things to look for and more information to help you make a decision. Outbound marketing is void of lead nurturing.
Outbound marketing is not going to go anywhere anytime soon. We suggest dipping your feet into the water with inbound marketing and moving towards a holistic approach mixing the two methodologies.
How Are You Adding Inbound Marketing Techniques to Your Strategy?