By Todd Murphy | November 30th, 2010
At Universal Information Services our national news monitoring and media analysis efforts have evolved to a point where our client prospects are mostly found through inbound systems. In other words, with the growing use of #newtools from social media platforms, the need for us to interrupt/disrupt our prospective clients is greatly reduced.
Many resources have illuminated this shift away from outbound marketing, but essentially the #newtools (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, Groupon, etc.) now let any organization that must routinely generate new clients, attract those clients to them rather than hunt them down and interrupt them with a marketing pitch. Mix in Google Analytics, and you have an amazing way to analyze your effectiveness for inbound marketing. Whether you call it “interruption marketing” or “disruption selling”, it is a much harder sell than allowing prospects to find you when they are looking for what you have.
If you look at the economics of maintaining a staff of national sales people, how many calls and follow-ups do they have to make in order to bring one new customer to you? We both know the answer here, and that number is somewhere around a “boat-load”. Figure in salaries, support staff, CRM costs, other consumables, and the expense in finding a new client is very high. But, if you can decrease the number of outbound marketers you employ, and convert those people devoted customer service representatives, you’ll find that your ROI is much greater when focused on retention of clients and in selling additional services to those happy clients.
Allowing low, fixed-cost social media tools to funnel leads to your inbound marketing staff means your team is working with those who are already predisposed to want what you are selling. Equally important to this inverse marketing path, is the #samerules concept that clients want to have an enjoyable experience when working with their vendors. From the beginning of the sales cycle you now have a pleasant relationship instead of one that starts with disrupting your client’s day.
Outbound marketing (interruption/disruption) has become a mostly adversarial encounter as we are all trained to initially say, “No!”, when approached by a salesperson. In some cases the salesperson gets lucky and can warm the prospect up to what they are selling. But this conversion is the rare occasion for any service. The excessive abuse by the bad apples of telemarketing and direct marketing has inoculated everyone against the cold call. But if that cold call is now a warm call, and is initiated by the end user and not the marketer, you have a very potent sales mechanism.
Here are several resources that can help you make the jump from disruption marketing…the #newtools of social media.
Rick Burnes, Inbound Marketing & the Next Phase of Marketing on the Web
Brian Halligan, Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
Lee Odden, 22 Social Media Marketing Management Tools
I love the idea that I don’t have to deploy a force of clever sales people charged with penetrating the natural defenses of our future clients. It’s much more enjoyable to be viewed as a solution to a prospects need when THEY contact us. We do still identify and proactively approach organizations that clearly need our services, but now we can be much more selective and increase our probability of winning that business.
The costly, shotgun approach of disruption marketing is dieing, but certainly is not dead. We’d love to hear your opinion on inbound vs. outbound marketing. What #newtools have you found that increase your ROI for marketing and sales?
Universal Information Services