In an alarming new report by HubSpot, new light is shed on the dangers of outbound marketing. Consistent use of outbound marketing, also known as “interruption-based marketing”, is proving to cause long-term negative effects on companies profits.

The situation is far more serious than most think. Consistent use of outbound marketing tactics – where a company pushes their message out far and wide, hoping that it resonates with that needle in the haystack – is just not working anymore. Outbound marketing is becoming less and less effective over time for two main reasons.

  • Your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day and is figuring out more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller id, spam filtering, Tivo, and Sirius satellite radio.
  • The cost of (coordination around) learning about something new or shopping for something new using the internet (search engines, blogs, and social media sites) is now much lower than going to a seminar at the Marriott or flying to a trade show in Las Vegas.

The World Has Changed

The Internet has fundamentally transformed the way people discover, share, connect, and shop. 79% of adults use the internet (Pew Internet & American Life Project, May 2010). As this new research suggests, it’s time for your company to transform the way you connect and communicate with your customers – and maybe even more importantly, with potential customers.

Rather than do outbound marketing to the masses of people who are trying to block you out, you should be doing “inbound marketing” where you help yourself “get found” by people already learning about and shopping in your industry. In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through the search engines, through the blogosphere, and through the social media sites.

While the majority of companies spend most of their budget on old school outbound marketing, progressive companies have already flipped their ratios to spend most of their budget on inbound marketing. According to HubSpot research, these companies are already seeing significant results:

  • Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors.
  • Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
  • 67% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B companies have acquired customers through FaceBook.
  • 57% of businesses have acquired customers through their company blog.
  • 42% of companies have acquired a customer through Twitter.
  • 2/3 of marketers report their company blog is “critical” or “important” to their business
  • The number of marketers who report that Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business has increased to 83% in just two years.

What is really needed is a mindset shift from ‘telling and selling’ to ‘building relationships’. Your prospects will reward your for it. 51% of Facebook fans are more likely to buy the brands they fan (Chadwick Martin Bailey & Imoderate Research Technologies, February 2010). Similarly 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend the brands they follow (Chadwick Martin Bailey & Imoderate Research Technologies, February 2010).

Are You Changing With It?

Still, there are plenty of traditional marketing stalwarts out there who aren’t buying all of the social media hype or can’t convince their bosses or marketing teams to experiment in the brave new world of inbound marketing. Therefore, HubSpot provides a seven more stats that are sure to be eye-openers, if not total mind-changers.

  • 78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
  • In the past year, Web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59% among 12-17 year olds,
  • 78% of business people use their mobile device to check email.
  • 40% of US Smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device while in-store, shopping for an item.
  • 200 Million Americans have registered on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
  • 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted-in to.
  • 84% of 25-34 year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising.

The real question becomes this: are you going to embrace this change and transform costly, low-yielding marketing programs into finely-tuned lead generation machines? Alternatively, are you going to risk becoming irrelevant? Trust me, if you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevancy even less.

To learn more check our free Business Owner’s Guide to Success in the 2.0 World.