Social media has totally changed our lives and our way of communication with our prospects, our clients and even with each other, as shown in my previous posts.
Day after day, email is used less as we communicate increasingly through social media networks, blogs or even through our beloved blackberries.The face of marketing as we know it has probably changed forever.
Nowadays we live in a permission-based marketing culture — this means that the buyers are:
- More than ever in control of any information disseminated to them
- More in charge of the buying process than ever before — they want to control what information they consume, when and how they do it, and which companies/ products or services they choose to engage.
Currently to build successful marketing strategies sellers have to include the different stages of the selling cycles in order to engage the majority of the potential early-stage buyers and to nurture the prospective buyers/ clients.
In fact, we are moving away from traditional marketing — as practiced for decades known as “Outbound marketing” — to a new era of marketing we call “Inbound marketing.
Outbound vs. Inbound?
Outbound Marketing or traditional marketing depended on interruption modes that were not authorized, so customers found a way to revolt against the intrusion of these modes, even finding ways to stop it with means such as TIVOs and DVRs, Cable radios, using online news sources and RSS feeds that avoid interruptive ads. Customers also procure services such as caller ID to block unsolicited phone calls, throw away junk mail and delete spam Emails without even reading them
Inbound Marketing is the new Social Media marketing — it requires the customer’s permission and allows ONLY what that customer wants to hear/read/learn about.
Inbound Marketing is achieved through 3 channels:
- SEO: Using keywords to get ranked on Search Engines as Google, Bing, and Yahoo etc…
- Blogs: Using RSS feeds, TechCrunch, Technorati, Youtube (Vblogs)
- Social media: Networks or platforms as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious etc…
So now we have to rethink Marketing versus how we always knew it and start changing our perception on how we should do marketing. In summary, these are the fundamental differences:
|Outbound Marketing||Inbound Marketing|
|TV/ Radio ads||Viral campaigns: PPC & Online ads|
|Email Blasts/ Print ads||Opt in Mailing/ RSS feeds and alerts|
|Cold calling||Social calling 2.0|
|Direct Mail||Opt-in social mail 2.0|
|Telemarketing||Online Search Engine Marketing & Optimization|
|Companies in control of their brand||Customers in control of the brands|
|Push Sales method- One way delivery||Pull method – 2 way communication|
|Sales department in charge/ Company creates content||Peer to peer consulting/ User creates content|
|Repeat the message to educate||Adapt the message to influence audience|
Why should you care?
People with the same interests are finding each other online, conducting conversations and creating groups that form communities that can become very influential with on their respective members.
And conversations regarding companies are taking place right now online — these companies may like it or not, they may contribute to them or not. But the reality is that these conversations are not going away, so whichever companies fail to jump on the social media bandwagon will be left in the cold.
And companies that are not getting involved can potentially cause irreparable damage to brands! A very recent example on the effect of Social media is the YouTube video posted by a couple of employees of Domino’s Pizza doing indescribable things to the Pizza they take to their clients and it went viral, millions of people saw it, Domino’s Pizza CEO had to counteract that to salvage their reputation by posting a video on YouTube to control damages and reassure customers that Domino’s cares and is not about that, needless to add that the employees got fired and for a good reason