Inbound! Inbound! Inbound!! For awhile there, it was all anyone was talking about. Far too many online marketing companies were making it sound like inbound was all any company needed, the proverbial “magic bullet” of marketing solutions.
Now, it’s easy to see the appeal. Inbound can be less expensive and fairly easy to implement. Combined with some decently researched SEO, and an inbound focus can help companies -especially smaller firms- gain some leads and overall visibility.
But… that’s about it.
In the meantime, there are quite a few areas where inbound really doesn’t help much at all:
- Inbound can’t close complex deals.
- Inbound rarely nurtures fence-sitting buyers.
- Inbound doesn’t increase Total Lifetime Value.
- Inbound can’t increase existing customer satisfaction.
- Inbound doesn’t upsell.
- Inbound can’t reach out to those who aren’t running searches.
- Inbound will never precisely target choice markets or specific clients.
In short, inbound is pretty much a one-trick pony. It can be a fun ride, but its reach is limited.
Moreover, there is growing evidence that inbound is losing its effectiveness. Yes, it’s a bold claim to make, but no ride lasts forever. With the Internet now becoming inundated with content marketing to the point of outright saturation, buyers are turning to other sources of information, particularly social media.
Which is why we say:
There’s No Magic Bullet In Marketing
Don’t get us wrong, there is certainly utility in inbound marketing and we’re not saying it’s time to delete your blog. But inbound is only one tool among many that a business needs to deploy, for a truly successful marketing effort.
There are plenty of other strategies which, when used alongside inbound, create a far more robust and often more cost-effective marketing plan.
Many of the traditional marketing methods, such as display advertising and direct-mail, are still highly useful. Interactive mediums such as webinars and social media chats build bridges. Email automation systems keep a “drip feed” running, which doesn’t require leads running Google searches. And, of course, you need real sales staff who understand the human motivations behind purchases, and can have the final conversations needed for conversions.
That’s why North Star Marketing focuses on holistic approaches that avoid getting tied to a one-trick pony. Inbound is nice, but it can’t do everything.