In this article on Forbes, the author provides hard data that show that spending on TV advertising continues to receive a significant investment each year. As I (or anyone that I asked) hasn’t watched live TV in years, I find this very hard to understand. Thanks to the ability to skip commercials, I just cant’ see how TV advertising can deliver the results that it used to.
The fact that marketing executives continue to pour money into traditional advertising like TV, radio, and print is a strong indication that they either don’t know other options are available (doubtful), or they simply aren’t comfortable enough with these other option to “risk” investing in them.
At least not yet.
I wonder why that is? Could it be because they don’t know any colleagues that are having success with these newer options? Or, could it be that the agency they are dealing with won’t recommend these new options over commission-based media buys? Something tells me that it might be a bit of both.
Today, the alternatives to traditional outbound “interruption marketing” are largely relegated to the small business marketplace (I’m referring to companies doing $10M to $100M). The leaders of companies of this size have found that they don’t need to spend heaps of money trying to “rent” peoples attention to generate leads and achieve their growth goals.
The Internet Has Radically Changed How People Shop
These savvy CEOs have turned to inbound marketing out of pure necessity. The reality is that the way people research and buy products has been radically changed by the Internet.
For example, in the “old” days, if you wanted pricing or product specs, you had to call the sales rep. Today, you just visit the company website or do a search on Google. Want to know what customers think? Don’t call the sales rep to ask for testimonials. Instead, just visit CNET or any one of a number of similar “consumer review” websites.
If you still believe that your hold all the power, you are wrong. Today, the buyer has easy access to any information they want, and as a result, if you are still marketing your products and services like you were in the past, chances are the results you are getting are sub-par at best.
The Inbound Marketing Poster Child
Back in 2006, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah co-founded a company called HubSpot. By focusing entirely on inbound marketing, HubSpot grew to $77.6 million in 2013, up 50% from 2012 (which was up 82% from 2011).
Their blog is one of the most popular websites on the Internet and generates over 50,000 leads a month for the company.
How has HubSpot achieved such dramatic growth? Simple…instead of spending a fortune on advertising that was intended to interrupt people from what they are interested in, HubSpot instead focused on becoming what people are interested in.
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. It recognizes the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention. – Seth Godin
Will Inbound Marketing Work In Your Industry?
Yes, inbound marketing will work for you. Just check out a few of the many case studies HubSpot has published.
The key to achieving success with inbound marketing is to follow a proven formula for success. Just like buying media, with inbound marketing, there are a lot of details that you need to get right.
I believe that there is somewhat of a transition stage happening today where companies are focusing their advertising from television to inbound marketing. I do think however, that there is still a large audience to advertise to through television. Those large companies such as Ford, Chevy, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds may not need to advertise through television because of how well there known, but I believe they still do it to continue to remind the older viewers they are still relevant and as well as to get young viewers used to seeing their brand as they grow older. As far as for those companies who cannot afford to advertise at will, inbound marketing is an outstanding way to advertise without breaking the bank. If your company has a great service or product, consumers will flock to it no matter how they hear about it. So not only does inbound marketing save companies a lot of money, but it also does not annoy or interrupt people from what they are into. This is what I found
very interesting about inbound marketing because not only does it not over reach into consumers preferences but it makes companies seem as though they are not too desperate to advertise their product or service. I believe that with time, inbound
marketing will eventually dominate television advertising because how fast companies are realizing the affectivity of it.
Nevertheless, television advertising can enjoy the rest of it’s attention for the time being while inbound marketing begins to
take over the advertising world.