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Incoming! Inbound marketing

Posted on 27 Apr 2012 in Inbound Marketing | 0 comments

Craig Davis is the ‘Chief Creative Officer’ (worldwide) of advertising agency giant JWT. He says:

“Audiences everywhere are tough. They don’t have time to be bored or brow-beaten by orthodox, old-fashioned advertising. We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in… and be what people are interested in!”

And he’s probably right – ‘worldwide’ and here in Nottingham. There are mountains of statistics that can back him up. But, for me, personal experience always counts for more than impersonal stats. And I personally know plenty of people who’ve signed up to the Telephone Preference Service because they don’t want to be pestered by ‘cold callers’ pushing unrequested sales messages at them. Who are fed up getting junk mail addressed to ‘The Householder’. Or receiving junk emails because a company bought some mailing list or other. Or even having their favourite TV programmes interrupted by ads they’re not interested in.

All are examples of old-fashioned, ‘‘outbound’ marketing. Marketing done on the basis that if you throw enough mud at your supposed target, some of it might stick. And all risk actively turning people against the products being pushed down their throats. So what’s the answer?

Inbound marketing – so what’s the big deal?

Well part of it might just be ‘inbound’ marketing. The sort that persuades potential customers to come to you… when they’re ready. The sort that manages to keep your brand’s name somewhere near the top of their mental list – remembered, trusted and liked – for whenever they might need it.

Which means continually doing things that keep your profile high. They don’t even have to be directly relevant to the market you operate in. They simply have to be relevant to the lives of the people who might some day need a product like yours. And remember, these people have become much more sophisticated in the way they find out about, and buy, the things they might want.

They’ll quite possibly use a variety of different social media on a regular basis. Like Facebook. Twitter. Linked In or You Tube. They’ll trawl through forums and blogs to find expert advice and opinions. They’ll search the entire world via Google, rather than just popping down their local high street.

And that, of course, means that there are so many more ways for you to make yourself noticed – and interesting – than ever before. So you need to get yourself seen out there in the big wide, virtual world.

Time to make yourself ‘likeable’!

Give people something funny, or interesting, or useful by way of ‘added value’. News of other products likely to match their lifestyles. Blog articles that amuse them. Useful tips and links to websites. Bits of music, or video, games or software ‘apps’ that they might like. Give out literally hundreds of ‘hooks’ that’ll stick your brand image to people like Velcro. And, when you begin to hook them on a regular basis, you earn the implicit right to let them know a little something about your product. Without them getting offended.

How do you do this? Well, becoming active in social media would be a fantastic start. Generating your own unique ‘content’, getting potential customers to initially ‘like’ or ‘follow’ you. Gaining their interest and trust. But remembering to do all this – and here’s the tricky bit – while at the same time making sure that every message you put out there speaks in the same, coherent tone about your brand. Whatever that message might be, and to whoever its immediate audience.

Inbound… for Nottingham

And that – especially if you’re based in or around Nottingham – is where we can help. We can add effective inbound marketing to your mix,  It’s what we love doing, and what we’re good at.

About Jason Groom

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