After wrapping up four days in Boston at the INBOUND conference, our team left filled with tips and tricks, insights and inspiration – all aimed to make us better inbound marketers and even better teachers of the strategies that so many companies are utilizing to connect online with their customers, best prospects, and biggest fans. Plus, you can check out a great recap on all the keynotes here!
While it’s fun for us marketing geeks to talk about the features of software updates that will help us more deeply analyze the effectiveness of a keyword strategy, and discuss the implementation of different tools to better nurture leads – that isn’t of much help to the majority of our readers who are still questioning whether inbound marketing is right for them.
I find it important to share what I believe to be the five undeniable truths about inbound marketing, which were reinforced throughout the conference, this way there are no misconceptions about what it really takes or what an online lead generation strategy can do for your business.
1. Inbound marketing isn’t easy and it isn’t a quick fix.
The concept of inbound marketing is rather simple, but that doesn’t make it easy to execute and if you are looking for a quick fix – like, “We’re going to go out of business if we don’t have 1,000 new leads in 60 days,” – then please see #5.
2. Inbound marketing takes time and commitment.
The amount of time you’ll personally need to dedicate to your inbound program depends on whether you choose to handle implementation (SEO, writing lead nurturing emails, and creating landing pages) and content creation (blogs, eBooks, and whitpapers) on your own or work with a partner to assist with the execution. However, even with a partner there is a level of commitment and responsibility that is absolutely necessary to achieve success in inbound marketing.
3. Inbound marketing can completely change the way you do business.
If your sales force is spending 10, 20, or even 30+ percent of their time cold calling on annoyed prospects, following up with unqualified “leads,” and struggling to set appointments – then their time isn’t being spent appropriately doing what they do best… sitting in front of attentive prospects, uncovering needs, and presenting solutions.
The moment you are able to start handing leads off to your salespeople that have already visited your site, read about your best features and services, followed your company on LinkedIn, downloaded your eBook, and done it all on their terms – that’s the “ah-ha” moment that makes points 1 and 2 of this list all worth it.
4. Inbound marketing can lower your cost per lead and save you tons of money.
By saving your sales team time, you’ll start to see the actual cost per lead in your organization go down. This is because the time salespeople would be spending chasing down unqualified prospects can now be spent presenting to the businesses who are literally asking for a proposal.
With most companies this won't mean cold calling and outbound sales strategy will become obsolete, but it does mean that your organization won’t have to rely so heavily on sending your experienced, professional salespeople to “hit the streets” and stir up new business when they could be doing what they excel at: growing accounts and closing business.
5. Inbound marketing isn’t for everyone.
This is the hardest message to deliver because no one wants to hear it. However, when we talk with companies who are unable to grasp the points in 1 or 2, or simply unable to accommodate them for a variety of reasons, then inbound marketing just might not be the answer for them.
What we encountered over and over again at the INBOUND conference were companies and agencies that understood these five truths and were able to find success with their lead generation strategy.
To learn more about what the planning and launch of a successful inbound marketing plan looks like, and to get started on your own today, download our 30 Days to Inbound Marketing Success eBook.