Traditional forms of marketing especially for many consultants in the Electronic Security & Surveillance Industry often focus on “outbound” activities, like aggressively pushing potential customers toward a product or service, regardless of whether they’ve shown any interest in it. “I state this from many years of doing just that!” Now don’t get me wrong, both methods can work; it’s just one is an effective, cost efficient, ROI-driving machine, and the other is not.
By definition, “Inbound” means to bring in. Think about it like this: if you had a choice, would you prefer to speak to 10 or even 100 people who haven’t expressed interest in the products or services, or 5 people who have explicitly told you they are intrigued by what you’re selling? Those of us who subscribe to inbound marketing take the smaller number every single time, since there is probably at least one sale in that group. Traditional marketing casts a much wider net, but since you’re targeting everybody and anybody, you’ll end up speaking to a lot of people who were never interested in having a conversation.
Maximize Your Time & Money
When it comes to marketing, we all know time is money! You’re either paying for somebody’s time or using your own in order to attract the right clients or customers. If the time you’re spending (or paying for) doesn’t create something that extends beyond the finite number of minutes or hours put into it, you could argue the time is being wasted. Not wasted in the sense that work isn’t being done, but rather because of the opportunity cost associated with not adopting an inbound marketing strategy, which generates returns long after implementation.
As an example, consider the practice of cold calling to generate new business. Let’s say you spend 4 hours calling potential clients or knocking on a few doors to a market you’ve never had any contact with. You’re essentially dedicating 4 hours in hopes of finding a new customer; once the 4 hours are up, if you haven’t made a sale, you’ve wasted that time.
Inbound marketing saves time, and therefore money, by investing in tactics with the ability to generate new business both now and in the future. Things like blog posts, whitepapers, expert interviews and my personal favourite, videos that answer the questions of an existing audience. Once you write a post addressing the legitimate concerns of a group of people, you could potentially generate a new customer the day you publish it, the week after, five months down the road, or a full year later. There’s really no limit like there is with the 4 hours of phone calls.
Social Media Marketing is an important aspect of inbound. If you hang out around people who you think might be interested in your products and services, they’ll notice you’re around and, if they believe you can help them solve a problem, they’ll engage. For this to work, however, you need to do your homework and make sure you choose the correct social networks. For example, 77% of B2C marketers think Facebook is killer for their campaigns, while 51% of B2B marketers favour LinkedIn. It has nothing to do with which social network you prefer and everything to do with what your customers use and where they hang out, and if you use social media well, it’ll be a big boost to your inbound campaigns.
Marketing Demands Strategy
The best characteristic of inbound marketing is that it can’t be done without a strategy. Of course it can be done theoretically, but you won’t find an inbound marketer, especially this one, who’s willing to do anything inbound-related without setting goals and devising a plan for accomplishing them. That’s just how we roll at WSI. But seriously, that’s the way it should be! Do you go on road trips without Google Maps? Start a business without a plan? Draft a fantasy football team without doing extensive research and printings off ranking cheat sheets? I certainly hope not!
Cold calling to sell security, like many traditional marketing methods, is no more or less than itself. It’s just cold calling. Inbound marketing activities seek to build a company’s value in the eyes of its target audience. Over time, value, trust and loyalty are what draw customers to businesses – not phone calls.
If you think about it Cold Calling vs. Inbound Marketing, which activity would you say builds value for a company? While you’re on the phone for 4 hours, there’s a chance you could make a handful of connections, if not a sale or two. But how many of your personal and professional circles are full of people whom you cold called? I didn’t think so…
If you think Digital Marketing is a natural fit for your Security Business, then contact us today and let us show you how we can help you carve out your niche and attract people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say, and by association, what you have to sell.
While you’re at it check out our 3 min video explaining the benefits of Inbound Marketing for your business.
Mark Jamieson has had over 16 years experience as an award-winning consultant in the Electronic Security & Surveillance Industry. Mark has taken his expertise into the ever-evolving world of Internet Marketing as a Managing Partner with WSI eStrategies were he continues to consult and educate companies on the importance of a strong online presence in today’s competitive marketplace.