Inbound Marketing Effectiveness vs Outbound Marketing Effectiveness: Which path should your organization take?

Inbound Marketing Effectiveness vs Outbound Marketing Effectiveness are measures every company should consider when planning its marketing efforts. In some cases, it may benefit an organization to use a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the development of content designed to educate potential customers through a process that engages them and ultimately invites them to reach out to an organization. In other words, Inbound Marketing uses activities that bring potential customers in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention.

Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.
— Hubspot

Outbound marketing, on the other hand, often involves cold calling and direct advertising. Both can be effective depending on what type of sales and marketing funnel an organization wishes to build, but in 2015 many companies are finding that Inbound Marketing is more effective at attracting customers to a company and building new relationships.

Did you know that, according to a CEB (Corporate Executive Board) study, "57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier?" This means that inbound marketing will effectively draw those customers who have already made their purchasing decisions, whereas outbound marketing, in this case, is more like a dog barking up the wrong tree.

Why is Inbound Marketing Most Profitable?

Using Inbound marketing and creating content designed to engage and educate, will reinforce a customer's decision to buy because the customer can enter into the conversation at the appropriate stage of the funnel. With outbound marketing, the marketer attempts to drive the identification of the appropriate stage and might lose the customer along the way.

According to an article on Customer Think, "Traditional channels like direct mail, email marketing, trade shows, and promotional marketing still perform in predictable ways." The author, Ian Michiels, Principal and CEO of Gleanster Research, explains that while outbound marketing effectiveness has been on the decline, its predictability still makes it worth pursuit. 

Tracking a potential customer's journey through the buying process is easy when you can track efforts such as outbound calls with a powerful CRM (Customer Relationship Management software). Inbound marketing draws more potential customers, but they can be trickier to track and ultimately hook, which is why using both types of marketing may benefit an organization rather than siding with one over the other 100% of the time.

However, there is no denying the rise of inbound marketing. At Alternative Advertising, we have staff that is Inbound Marketing Certified from Hubspot, we also use Greenrope automated marketing tools for our clients and we've been in the promotional product business for too many years to count. To learn more about how to engage your potential customers, please contact us.

Keys To A Successful B2B Trade Show Booth

How can you make sure you have a successful B2B Trade Show Booth in 2015? The anticipation is over, preparations made, and the time for the trade show has arrived. This is not just another day, but an important marketing strategy through a short-term investment which should ultimately generate positive exposure, and new relationships with potential clients and other businesses. Here are a few tips that can generate valuable results for a business to business trade show booth:

Use Social Media

Nearly all trade show attendees carry smartphones around everywhere they go, and they often participate on social media. Since this technology is readily available and already in use, why not create a hashtag for your event or booth and encourage attendees to post photos (while you do to) so they can see themselves and co-workers in action at the show. You could even setup up a photo booth, celebrity photo op or partner with other exhibitors to host a scavenger hunt where attendees photograph items and post them with the hashtag to be entered into a drawing at the end of the show for a large prize.

Pass Out Useful Promotional Items

Forget the pens and stress balls. Passing out useful promotional items will get attendees to actually appreciate and utilize your items and keep your company name around for years to come. We suggest something like an emergency mobile device backup battery, quality water bottle they can refill at the show, cell phone holder with name tag insert, lower back thermal wrap, usb flex light, tape measure, or a small useful tool like a quick fix screwdriver.

Get a High Traffic Location

Of course the placement of a booth is vital in order to get the traffic needed to achieve your goals. If you can't afford the very biggest booth, try to get next to the exhibitor who can. Another strategy is to position your company next to a complimentary business so you work together to attract trade show traffic to both booths - double the exposure. 

Another tip is to go with a corner or end space. "If you have the option of selecting your space on the show floor, opt for a corner or end-cap location or a spot that allows you to set up your exhibit space against a wall. Corner and end space gives you greater exposure and traffic from multiple directions," says Lisa McQuerrey at Demand Media. Multiple flows of traffic to your booth are ideal for interacting with attendees as well as the surrounding exhibitors who may also benefit from the services you provide.   

Grab Attention With Technology

An interesting, interactive presentation is vital, so set up eye-catching media tools to lure people to the booth. Utilize devices people can touch and interact with, even having a screen that repeats a professional power point presentation is better than static signage at a trade show. Bring the booth to life through interactive experiences and technology. Don't be afraid to be different and unique. Attendees are a little desensitized to predictable trade show booths. Find ways to stand out, even if it pushes you a bit out of your normal comfort zone.

Do Not Be Afraid to Get Help

Trade shows, ultimately, are competitive atmospheres filled with ambitious, purpose-driven individuals. It is important to find little ways to circulate information about your company before an attendee actually comes in contact with your booth. Hire people to hand out flyers advertising the booth (promote the unique value proposition your booth offers), and position the hired helpers (or fun volunteers) in strategic places to easily guide people to the booth. Trade shows can get extremely crowded and chaotic, so it is a wise idea to hire charismatic "ushers" to guide potential clients to the booth.

At Alternative Advertising, we understand how important it is to get a business noticed, and ultimately, remembered. We have a reputation in building lasting relationships and exceeding expectations. When contacting our experienced staff at Alternative Advertising, you will receive professional advice on reaching all of your marketing goals.