The way consumers shop for services or products has changed dramatically with the advancement of the digital age, especially in the past several years. Since their buying habits have changed – with consumers having more control of the information they receive daily – it’s important for businesses to realize these changes change the way they strategize their marketing.
Before the internet, companies would market to the masses by communicating through cold calls, direct mail, tv/radio commercials, trade shows, etc. in the hope of reaching even one percent of their target audience. That’s called “Outbound Marketing” where companies “push” their products/services to consumers.
But since consumers are bombarded with advertising 24/7, they’ve become efficient at ignoring most of these old-fashioned marketing strategies. Here’s some statistics gathered by blog.hubspot.com:
- 44% of direct mail is NEVER opened.
- 200 MILLION Americans are registered on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
- 91% of email users have unsubscribed from companies emails they previously opted into.
- 86% of people do not watch tv ads.
- 84% of 25 to 34 year olds have left a website because of intrusive or irrelevant ads.
- Inbound marketing costs 62% LESS than outbound.
Because of the changes in consumers habits and their awareness of “old marketing” strategies, today’s marketers aim to “pull” interested customers to them. The marketers focus on specific groups and seek to provide value to them by creating interesting and informative content through blogs, infographics, podcasts, search engine optimization, etc. Instead of going to the customer, the customer seeks to find a product/service through search engines and social media. The information – content – is then spread through networks like Pinterest, Facebook, etc.
The kind of communication between customers and businesses in inbound marketing is two-way and way more interactive than outbound. Customers can leave comments on websites, post, review and even chat live with businesses. Outbound’s communication is one way – from the company to mass audiences – and non-interactive with consumers.
With today’s consumer being media savvy, technologically skilled but also limited in time to what they choose to read or watch, inbound marketing will continue to grow as a large percentage of traditional outbound marketing fades away.