| by Zoober

What the f**k is inbound marketing?

Sam Davies, Director, Zoober Digital TrainingSam Davies, Director, Zoober Digital Training

I am a salesman. I have sold everything from Coke (the drink) to Yellow Pages. I love selling. It’s what I do.

So why, and how, have I ended up running an inbound marketing training company?

A number of years ago I started noticing a subtle but sophisticated cultural shift in how my clients were behaving. I don’t think they were consciously doing it, but they were slowly taking more control and more power within our relationship. They were far more informed about the products and services I was trying to sell them, they were firing questions back at me that I wasn’t used to and they were far more aware of the competition I was up against. The playing field was definitely being levelled in their favour and my job was becoming increasingly challenging.

On your way home tonight, whether you are on the bus, tube or even in your car, just take a look around you, look carefully at the number of people who are looking at a mobile device, I bet you AT LEAST HALF of all the people you look at will be. There are more mobile phones in the UK than there are toothbrushes, for gods sake. People aren’t looking at billboards anymore; they’re not even looking at the ROAD!

I also want you all to take a second and think about the last time you sat in front of a TV programme without fast forwarding through the adverts… If I could see you I would ask you to put your hands up, but if it is anything like the stat I recently saw - about 90% of you would have your hands in the air right now. Yep, 90% of you never watch TV adverts anymore. Why bother when you can jump right through them – TV advertising is dead, a dead donkey which is still being thrashed.

Finally, I want you to think of the last time you picked up a yellow pages directory to find a number – even for a local business, plumber, take away, library, whatever. This is coming from someone who used to work for Yell - consumers don’t use directories anymore, they just don’t. A look at Yell’s share price says it all!

All these ‘push’ approaches to marketing - advertising, telemarketing, direct mail – which used to be so successful for generating us so many leads are nowhere near as effective as they used to be. Consumers don’t want to feel as if they are having information forced on them when they don’t want it. They want to feel that they are in control of their buying decisions – that they are buying the product or service they want at a time they want it. As businesses we need to change our tactics, to adapt to these changes, to be able to position ourselves in front of these people with the right content at the right time, we need to position ourselves as businesses that can solve their problems or satisfy their aspirations.

This cultural shift, together with the far more aggressive market in which we all operate, has made it far more challenging for us to maintain a relationship with our market – it isn’t as easy as sending a new catalogue, pinging out the odd email, throwing your entire budget at PPC or trying to re-engage them with a money off voucher.

Today’s consumer is far more sophisticated than they used to be. They are researching all their suppliers from a far more informed perspective. They are looking at your social media profiles, reading your website, subscribing to your blog and aligning themselves to your services – but you know what? They are doing exactly the same with your competition, and take it from me – if they go to a Social Media profile which hasn’t been branded professionally, or read a blog which hasn’t been updated for 12 months, they’ll think that the company doesn’t care, has no passion and no desire to engage with them on their level. Some 90% of us regularly use social media to research businesses and 1.4 million new blog posts are posted every day. If you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before your customers find a company on their level.

Inbound marketing involves positioning yourself in front of potential customers when they are still researching, not pushing products and services on them but providing them with valuable information which will help them make their decision – and effectively ‘pulling’ them into your site with this useful and relevant content instead, positioning yourself as a thought leader - so when they are ready to buy you will always be front of mind.

Without going all SEO on you – Google’s Caffeine, Panda and Penguin updates have all hugely increased the importance of fresh and relevant content in regards to search results. The old link building retainers at £250 per month are sending businesses spiralling down the Search Engine Result Pages, and companies need to change their approach now!

As 80% of people are using the Internet to carry out research - they are not ready to buy yet - you need to take them through a process of positioning yourself as an organisation that can answer their questions, can solve their problems or meet their needs. Google loves, and needs, relevant, fresh, regular content. Why?

• Over 10 billion searches are conducted on Google every single month
• Google has over 90% of the UK search engine market share
• 72% of all clicks go to the top three listings on a results page
• 18% of searches on Google have never been made before

Inbound marketing is where social media was ten years ago – it’s a new approach to marketing that will transform the way products and services are bought. It’s time to tear up your old digital marketing strategies. No matter how big or small your company, Inbound Marketing can, and will, transform the effectiveness of your entire organisation.

Zoober Digital offers the only inbound marketing training in the UK. We are not a traditional digital training company. What we do is enable and empower organisational change by introducing a 5 step methodology to fragmented marketing activity – resulting in more leads and customers in less time and at less cost.

With a powerful combination of Content Marketing, Social Media and Marketing Automation our approach grows revenue, gives you more leads for less spend and keeps customers coming back for more - to businesses of all sizes.

We offer both public and in-house courses in both London and Birmingham. Our in-house courses include a day of staff assessment and online competency review. The course is then designed to hit the sweet spots within the organisation, resulting in both quick wins and longer term, more strategic objectives.

To find out more about our methodology, our courses or for a guide to inbound marketing, email me at sam@zoobertraining.co.uk
Alternatively download our free guide, Inbound Marketing for beginners, here www.zooberdigitaltraining.co.uk/lp/inbound-marketing-for-beginners/

Sam Davies
Zoober Digital Training

Zoober Digital Training
Tel: 0121 771 0315
Email: sam@zoobertraining.co.uk
Web: www.zoobertraining.co.uk
Twitter: @zoobertraining / @stdavies