Inbound marketing is a term that's been around for a long time and many people use the phrase but don't understand the 'inbound' way. Well how does that affect me I hear you say....
What I will do in this post is open your eyes to inbound. No more, no less. If this interests you enough then sign up for the newsletter using the contact form and we will keep you posted about follow up posts.
How People Deal With Growth
Gaining regular leads, sales and new business is what makes you stay afloat and also grow. The senior management may put days worth of work into the business plan but without execution nothing will happen. In too many cases the execution isn't planed and most businesses are left in two scenarios:
- It is mainly ignored and repeat business is relied on. This is okay until that dries up...
- It is the job of an internal employee but no focus is really given or the effort is ineffective. This is not only a waste of time but may well lead to people not understanding your business offer. This can be worse than doing nothing in some cases. This could be a marketing intern, a sales rep or someone else in the team.
What Inbound Isn't
Some people will say that they do inbound as they have a blog... well I am writing this post to tell you that's not inbound thats just writing some content. Inbound isn't just social media or Google advertising. It's not one thing, its a way of working, a culture if you will. And it doesn't just involve marketing.
So What Is Inbound?
It's a way to help, support and encourage people with an interested in your business area. By supporting those with interest you gain trust, relationships, awareness and more. This in return drives opportunities.
The trick with this is to have the correct things in place to maximise those opportunities. What happens when someone is viewing your information regularly and shows interest. How do you get them into sales?
Having data capture, a solid CRM, processes and the correct content in the correct place you can manage all of this. And the result is you get customers that are a great fit for your business. What is this so good apart from the obvious sale? Well customers that fit not only spend cash but they also enjoy the journey and tell their contacts. So its win win.
What About Your Current Clients?
One of the most important elements to business growth is growing and sustaining current customers. You have already spent money gaining the sale in the first place, how do you build on this? Again using the correct content with process and planning you can ensure these customers stay and grow. But your whole business has to be on board. Your one account manager cant do this alone. And with a haphazard approach that many sales and account managements have it won't be successful forever.
Ask yourself this - if you took out your main sales/account manager what would happen? The answer should be you can replace them and the new person can continue the work with some very some term inconveniences. In most cases this isn't the case as there are no processes or documented data. The risk is huge to your business having a setback that could take you months if not a year to correct. All that growth potential gone.
Sales, Marketing & Service, What's That All About?
The only way you will achieve what I am talking about above is if you embrace inbound as a business, not just in the marketing department. If the message from the 3 areas of the business is different to your customers then you will lose opportunities, confuse customers/prospects and be fighting a hard battle. Alignment, process and automation can ensure everything is consistent, available and optimised.
That's All Great But How Do You Do This?
This is simple, start with the process and software that makes it possible, research and understand what Inbound is and develop from there. We use Hubspot to back up our offering for a reason, it has the full end to end stack to make this possible. Yes there are other alternatives but we are yet to find anything that really does fully what Hubspot does. The platform will guide you through this process and with the right support you can truly become a growth business. No longer relying on one sales person, or that one big client. Reduce the risk and build in structure and the result will be true sustainable growth.
Come back soon for a follow up where I will go into more details on aspects covered above.