Marketers and business owners in Melbourne have traditionally used advertising to reach their customers and make them aware of their products and services. This is a form of ‘outbound’ marketing where the advertiser pays to get in front of potential customers in the hope that they will buy. Typical formats included newspaper, Yellow Pages, TV and radio advertising.
Providing the right 'bait'
Now, inbound marketing throws that dynamic on its head despite still needing to gain the initial attention of customers. Fortunately, this is a lot easier to do with inbound compared to outbound marketing as the focus is on providing the right ‘bait’ that customers recognise and want.
Instead of starting from the limited viewpoint of ‘the business’ and targeting every potential customer that their chosen advertising platform can reach, inbound marketing starts first with a clear understanding of their target customer and what they want. Businesses that don’t understand that distinction will continue to struggle with their marketing efforts.
Customer first orientation
Because of the ‘customer first’ orientation, inbound marketing has to provide value to get noticed and requested by Melbourne customers. This ‘value’ can be provided in a wide variety of formats – whatever is most preferred by customers! Typically, E-books, video courses, guides, white papers and software have been provided in exchange for a customer’s contact details.
By creating value that potential customers are happy to receive in exchange for the contact details, inbound marketers are able to build the series of communications needed to become known, liked and trusted by customers. Google also likes inbound marketing as it provides them with a greater volume of relevant information to index and deliver to searchers.
Google's 5000 shopper survey
According to an in-depth shopping behaviour survey by Google involving 5000 shoppers in 2011, customers (on average), accessed 10.4 different sources of information before making a purchase. Back in 2010 it was just 5.2 sources so the demand for a range of relevant information sources to support purchase decisions has increased dramatically. Contrary to what many marketers thought, the research showed that people are researching inexpensive products or services along with the more expensive with reviews, comparisons and rating being popular information sources.