An industry was born a couple of years ago that calls itself Inbound Marketing.
I find it interesting for a couple of reasons- not the least of which I invented it. Well, sort of. It took someone else to actually bring the thing to life. Apparently I was too busy doing whatever the hell it is I do.
To anyone who would listen, I have been shouting that people have tuned out 99.9 % of all marketing or advertising messages. They have no interest in your pitch about how great you or your company are. The original invention that shielded them from your obnoxious sales pitches was the remote controls of their television. Now they have an arsenal- to keep you out of their face.
New media has exploded and the means and methods of either ignoring or escaping your propaganda has grown with it. But companies continue to spend billions on traditional marketing and sales campaigns that nobody is paying any attention to.
This is not an opinion.
Clickthrough rates on Internet ads are essentially 0%, telemarketers are either prohibited from calling you, are flagged by Caller ID or have been replaced by robotic "Robo Dial" messages that may have redefined the adjectives worthless and annoying. DVR’s have made TV ads the proverbial tree falling in the forest. Your companies’ salesforce and the wildly biased word they are trying to spread is (at best) filtered by your customers or (at worst) immediately deleted. Junk mail, pitiful car dealerships blaring on the radio, print ads and their bravado messages- this list could go on for paragraphs. Customers would be screaming “leave us alone!” but they don’t even hear or see you: They tuned you out YEARS ago.
You’re the singer or stand-up comedian performing in front of 5,000 empty seats. You’re the Construction worker emitting a whistle wolf call to the pretty lady walking by. It’s all he knows, the whistle…just like the salesman telling the customer about his “amazing” products. It’s all their employer knows.
Along comes this thing that is currently called Inbound Marketing.
It says this: If you want them to buy something from you, THEY MUST COME TO YOU (not the other way around of the old model). You make this happen by being relevant and being known. You make this happen by producing content that has real value (video, audio, text). Something relevant to what they want, something they can use, or find informative or entertaining. Do it consistently, do it methodically. Turn this stranger into an acquaintance. Once this stranger no longer thinks you’re some carnival barker with an agenda but actually someone who can provide them something they need or want, they will contact you. They will be an INBOUND call, email. That's when you get your chance to tell them they've come to a good place.
There are no shortcuts. Inbound Marketing shows up to work every day dressed in work overalls, not a salesman suit. There’s no place for the mouth-breathing morons who still believe the "sacred" marketing maxim “if you see my marketing message NINE times, you’ll come around!”.
Real data shows this has been underway for a few years now. It not only works, it’s the only thing that will work.
For decades now, people have been SPRINTING away from the oncoming salesperson. Until relatively recently, their sprint led them into a corner. Now they sprint into open fields.
Are you going to drop marketing leaflets on their heads as they stand there, free in the fields? Or are you smart enough to get their attention to get them to come to you.