There is a belief that a compelling message and great content, inbound marketing, is going to magically lead to digital marketing success but that is wishful thinking by vendors who are trying to sell you their inbound marketing solutions. “Creating marketing people Love” message is just not credible. Before you get your bowels in a snit let me explain.Vendors are selling high-ticket item solutions for Inbound Marketing and claiming they have a Holy Grail a One-Size-Fits-All to solve your marketing problems. What they have are cash cows for THEM not your business.
The most valuable commodity of any consumer is time. While it’s true that relevant content can garner consumers’ attention exactly how much time do consumers have to be swamped with inbound marketing messages?
Recently I conducted a test foe a small company that makes gourmet chocolate bars in Cambridge, Mass. We launched an inbound marketing program with great content on the health benefits of dark chocolate vs. some highly targeted banner ads featuring the product with compelling attention grabbers. In test after test the online ads pulled in higher conversions than the inbound marketing program featuring pull eMail, content and social media.
Anxious to know more we did a survey to consumers online and we heard a lot. Consumers basically told us that they get too many emails with great links and content from brands and just don’t have the time to take it all in even when it’s something they really may want to read.
Does this mean inbound marketing sucks? No what it really means is that you have to understand how important your brand/product is to your audience. Great content from Tide on how to better clean clothes might appeal to new mom’s but will it really appeal to other segments?
Another thing I have learned from analyzing up and down stream clicks is that even when you have great content users might read it and consume it but still purchase from your competitors. OMG ! That’s right unless your content informs and then gives your audience a reason to purchase from you great content could be an exercise in mental masturbation.
Know your audience and don’t fall into the hype and trap of vendors trying to sell you an inbound marketing solution.