Sometimes I just shake my head at some of the terms thrown about by marketers today. Specifically, I become frustrated over the terms “inbound” and “outbound” marketing. In the digital world, the focus revolves around inbound marketing. The old methods of direct mail, phone solicitation, face-to-face contact, and calls have been set aside as ineffective and “outdated.” Granted, implementing them in their traditional forms no longer delivers the same impact, but the concepts behind outbound marketing still apply.
Look, marketing isn’t broken up into two parts – inbound and outbound. Rather, it is an effective combination of integrated tactics. Instead of drawing a line between the two disciplines, the knowledgeable marketer knows that correctly selected tactics from both work hand-in-hand. It doesn’t matter whether we are referring to search engine marketing or any other marketing tactic.
Personal Success Story – by Julian Aston
One assignment, conducted for our client, Mail Manager, literally “takes the cake.” Not only did we incorporate multiple tactics working in unison, but we also used both online and offline tactics in a synergistic way.
Mail Manager, Inc. is a leading provider of direct mail services. Prior to their 25th year in business, the President, Larry Chason, contacted me about creating a unique marketing program to celebrate their event. His hope was to bring an awareness of his company to new clients and to reconnect with his existing customers.
Research told us that a key advantage direct mail had over other marketing tactics was that it engaged the recipient with something tactile. So, we capitalized on that. In other words, we identified their unique value proposition.
We formulated a year-long campaign showing off the advantages of direct mail by mailing out “engagement” pieces to current customers and a select prospect list. Mailings were initiated monthly and consisted of interesting and engaging concepts like crossword puzzles and word searches.
So, where did the integration come into play?
We accomplished the integration between inbound marketing and outbound marketing with QR codes on the puzzles. These codes linked the viewer to an online site dedicated to supporting the 25th-anniversary promotion. This dedicated site, in turn, hyperlinked back to Mail Manager’s main website.
One piece of material reached out (outbound marketing) and pulled the customers back to the website (inbound marketing).
Next, we integrated our tactics even more. An email campaign announced the details of the direct mail effort. Later, we sent out a corresponding printed newsletter. No stone was left unturned when it came to reaching the target.
If that wasn’t enough, during the campaign we sent out various incentives, like coupons and discounts from Mail Manager. Once again, we drew the customer back “in” with outbound marketing tactics.
As a follow-up, Mail Manager representatives personally visited customers and prospects during the campaign (yes – face to face marketing). They brought 25th-anniversary cupcakes and coffee to make their visit more memorable. That really took the cake!
A Marketing Strategy – Not Inbound or Outbound Marketing
Your company needs an overall marketing plan. Think of it as a living organism. The fundamental aspects of the plan determine which integrated tactics to include, and subsequently, the function of the tactics, i.e. both inbound and outbound marketing. A strategy needs to drive the tactics in order for them to work effectively.
So that you receive the best possible return on your investment, your plan needs to incorporate each of the following tactics:
- Website Presence (inbound and outbound marketing + automation)
- Search Engine Optimization (inbound marketing)
- Paid Search Marketing (inbound marketing)
- Email Campaigns, i.e., recurring messaging, e-Newsletters, etc. (outbound marketing)
- Social Media Campaigns (inbound and outbound marketing)
- Trade show marketing (inbound and outbound marketing)
There’s much more, but you should get the overall picture; not to mention how many times one tactic can represent both inbound and outbound marketing.
Not only does our team at intouch understand how all these tactics work together, but we also have the experience of real-world applications using both online and offline techniques – whether they be inbound, outbound or both.
Let us show you the importance of using marketing strategy as your baseline before moving on to selecting other tactics like search engine marketing, social or email marketing.
Give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.