77% of marketers are not exceeding their revenue goals, according to a recent study by HubSpot.
No question, the focus of today’s marketing organizations is all about social media, SEO, Inbound Marketing, etc. Should it be? Of course. You cannot grow and thrive without it. But what is overlooked are the principles that those marketing disciplines are rooted in: the expertise of targeted Outbound marketing efforts. So should you shift to Outbound initiatives? Not necessarily. You need a balanced, integrated approach to become one of the 23% of marketers who are exceeding the revenue goals.
Here’s the issue—many marketers are using plans built solely around search engine marketing, social media, email marketing, or some other individual channel. Why? Because they’ve become intoxicated by the lure of astronomically high ROI claims, virtually meaningless when viewed outside the vacuum in which they are seen. This buzz has been generated by companies and people deeply invested in its success. These include companies that are still predominantly staffed by marketing automation solutions engineers, who are actually software wizards, not marketers. And all the talk isn’t limited to the marketing operations and automation folks who are making claims. There are also many strategic consulting firms and agencies that are doing the same, but they don’t have enough experience as practitioners to execute on the very recommendations they’re recommending to clients.
Please understand, marketing automation (and other phenomenon like social media) is the most powerful marketing enablement tool we have seen in our careers. But it’s just that…a tool. It’s a part of the solution. You ALSO need an effective Integrated Marketing strategy, or your marketing investments won’t even come close to being fully monetized.
So how do you begin to rebalance your marketing efforts? First, baseline the impact and effectiveness of all the marketing initiatives that are happening for your company or your client's company. You want to know what is working well. Which ones are falling short? What are the measurement techniques you have been using to assess these initiatives? Or are the insights more anecdotal?
Getting to a balanced approach to all your marketing strategies between ‘Pull’ initiatives (Inbound) and ‘Push’ initiatives (Outbound) is the smartest way to go. Why? Because if you are waiting for your customers or prospects to find you when they have a need, your competition my developing a relationship with them in a more proactive manner. In addition, studies show that as few as 10%-20% of executives are actively seeking out specific solutions to their ongoing business challenges at any given time. It is slightly higher for consumers, but still the majority of buyers are not always seeking out a solution when they are considering the issues or problems. At the same times you need to have the right information ready to be served to the customer or prospect when they are ready to find you.
It is truly creating that integrated and balanced approach to all your marketing efforts that will give you the greatest chance of success and strongest ROI on your marketing investments. If you would like to learn more, please download: Balancing Inbound and Outbound Strategies: Effective Integrated Marketing in Action.