Inbound marketing is sometimes passed over in favor of traditional marketing because it seems too complex or too time consuming. But in most cases it’s more cost-effective, measurable, and successful… when done correctly.
In the ever-expanding world of internet marketing, data is becoming increasingly available and valuable. Analytics are the benchmark of good reporting and proof of that ever-pesky ROI, and are even useful in highlighting more qualitative results, like brand loyalty and emotional connection.
Why does inbound marketing seem to have such an altruistic tone? Today’s marketers seek to be “partners.” They are in the business of providing valuable content that will inspire trust. Content is often something they give away – for free! The new analytic tools empower you.
Tom Friedman of the New York Times writes eloquently about the effects of globalization and technology on governments and companies. In his excellent Sunday Op-Ed, titled, “Help Wanted,” he talks about today’s era as one of the “great unravelings,” on par with the periods after the two World Wars, when countries, even continents, were being reborn amidst uncertainty.
Recently, we had a meeting with an organization seeking a new website.The prospect related with some angst, the multiple conflicting goals of the organization and the difficulty they’re having assuming a leadership position in their market.
One of the biggest changes in the past five years has been the shift from websites being virtual brochures to being much, much more. In the early days of the internet, say 5 to 10 years ago, a company’s website was typically a place to list information and show some attractive images. Today, smart companies have completely integrated their sites with their broader sales and marketing initiatives. Here are some ways that you can ensure that your site is a fully-functioning marketing machine rather than a static brochure:
Well, almost. Regardless of the fact that we provide integrated services, often when a client comes to us for a website, they are not thinking about branding, yet it is often the issue that will make or break the website. Branding is often considered more of a consumer concern or maybe just an expensive “nice-to- have.” Of the six key components of a website development project — Content, Information Architecture, Search, Design, Interactivity and Programming — “content” is nearly always the chief area of focus, where the most time is expended and where differing opinions can affect outcomes and timing.
We received an RFP for a B2B website the other day. It was worded in a way as to constrain response to clearly specified tasks. When the firm called and asked us what made us different from the half dozen other firms that received the RFP, I said, “possibly nothing.” I wasn’t being flippant, just acknowledging that most anybody can create a basic website, the cost is dropping and the tools are improving.
Brand strategy – brand strategy or positioning are fancy terms for professional differentiation. Listen to your customers, incorporate that intelligence into your own language and practice, share the kool-aid with your organization and feel great about being able to explain what you do with confidence while riding the elevator and talking to an impatient prospect. The website will come so much easier and faster when the brand is right.