Inbound marketing isn’t a tactic or step to take in your business goals. It represents a fundamental shift in the way that marketing is done. It’s based in the way people want to buy and the way that they get information. This isn’t a theory. This is fact.
Today’s buyers – whether they are business buyers or individual consumers – operate differently due to the tools they have on hand. When I stand in Target looking over my options for a new water filter, that is not my first point of decision. I’ve been researching online. I’ve compared reviews, read testimonials and looked into the technology. My buying process didn’t start when I walked by and saw that Target had water filters for sale.
This is what Jim Lecinski, Google’s vice president of U.S. Sales and Service, refers to as the “zero moment of truth.” It’s the moment where you get on your smartphone, tablet or computer and start learning about a product or service. Google’s research showed that 84% of buyers found that the zero moment of truth shaped their purchasing decisions.
While having a smartphone in hand when you’re a consumer is beneficial, it presents a major challenge for businesses. Marketing needs to happen in a non-linear environment. It’s not a matter of adding one blog post to one social media channel and producing a reliable result. It’s not math – it’s not even traditional marketing.
That’s why dabbling doesn’t work. You can half-ass your way to inbound marketing results. You can’t rely on one tactic – or tactician – to create inbound results.
You have to take a full scale approach because your customers are everywhere. They are engaging in searches and social media conversations in thousands of zero moments of truth. If you want to be competitive, you have to be there.
Content marketing isn’t going to save you. Social media isn’t either. A website redesign will only take you so far. You need an inbound marketing approach that takes everything into account.
The sign of a successful company is the ability to meet a specific customer needs. And now their needs extend beyond a specific product or service. Due to online and mobile technology, their needs include delivering information in a specific way and at a time when they are looking for it.
So is inbound marketing really all or nothing? Yes. If you want results, it is.