Inbound marketing, as we know it, doesn’t work anymore

Daryn Smith, Director at MPULL, has been announced as one of the speakers at the Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Conference 2018 to be held at Vodaworld on 8 Feb. He shares his insights on Inbound marketing.

Five years ago when we started MPULL, inbound marketing – and the tactics associated with the methodology – worked extremely well. Every single one of our customers had a positive return on investment.

Nowadays, the same formula often turns up zero results. That’s because of evolution.

People hate being marketed and sold to, and as a result, subconsciously try to block out the intrusive white noise of marketing and advertising (sometimes not so subconsciously by using PVR and installing ad blockers).

Then, with the influx of brand blogging where influencers are paid to produce “authentic” content about brands and generate fake news, there are few of us left who can believe the online content we’re exposed to.

That said, classic inbound tactics like keyword-stuffed blogging, social media posts to drive traffic to your content, and gating so-called “premium” content behind landing pages, just does not work.

Most of the inbound marketing methodology has been geared towards acquiring new customers and generating leads, and even though we’ve found the above-mentioned tactics to be ineffective, there are parts of them that still work well. And if you expand your thinking beyond just acquisition, the methodology and supporting tools such as HubSpot seriously deliver.

Adapting inbound for onboarding, renewal, upsell, cross-selling, re-engagement, customer service and experience

The power of the inbound methodology is working out which content to deliver, to whom, in which format, and at what time. Because by doing your homework on the end consumer , you can create awesome experiences that lead to referrals.

The content itself is pivotal – the more personal it is, the more believable it is. It also helps to ensure it’s mobile-friendly, so cut it out with the PDFs.

When it comes to acquisition, potential customers begin searching for solutions to their goal or challenge long before settling on a product or service that will solve it. So the earlier you can engage this potential customer, the better. Because not only do you increase the chance of eliminating competitors with a similar product or service, you can eliminate entire product or service categories that act as alternative solutions to the customer. Talk about a head start.

Building customer journeys provides a better solution

The approach we have pivoted to is to build our customers a map for each one of the people they’re targeting – a map that resembles the London underground with many different routes that intertwine and affect one another.

There are many different routes to the same destination. And once at the destination, there are many ways in and around it. But we want our consumer to arrive at the same destination despite their starting point, and we automate this to deliver the right content to the consumer, at the right time, in the right format.

These routes aren’t going away, so don’t be campaign-focused

When a new subway route is built, it’s there for good and will continue to drive results for that city. The same should apply for inbound marketing journeys.

So many brands move onto the next big piece of content or the next campaign, instead of optimising and promoting the routes they’ve already built for customers and potential customers to have amazing experiences.

Ultimately, the only marketing that is not being blocked by humans is referral marketing, and the way you get referrals is to create amazing experiences.

Find out more at the IMC Conference

We’ll dive deeper into the parts of inbound that work and the parts which don’t, as well as how we’ve pivoted to engineer customer journeys, and give you some real world examples at the IMC Conference 2018. Don’t miss it.

Integrated Marketing Communications Conference 2018

Daryn Smith will speak at the Integrated Marketing Communications Conference 2018 on the 8 Feb 2018, Vodaworld, Midrand. 27 of the industry’s top minds will present across three stages, tackling nine topical themes in interactive sessions under the theme Evaluate, Consolidate, Integrate. Heated debates, networking platforms and learning content will be packed into one exhilarating day as big brands, top agencies and media owners come together to examine how the local and continental marketing industry is embracing new and exciting trends in the emerging market space.

Register here: