Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, says that when we think there’s a singular solution to our woes, we’re guilty of “silver bullet thinking.” It’s precisely this type of thinking that’s led to the debate over whether inbound or outbound marketing is “best.” Proponents of inbound marketing claim that, in new era of social media, outbound marketing is no longer effective. Yet, many companies continue to use outbound marketing with great success. Let’s take a look at each.
In my latest article on SitePoint, Transactional vs. Consultative Selling: Knowing the Difference Makes All the Difference, I compared the transactional sale with a consultative one. In Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati’s new book, he explores the fallacy that media companies are “consultative and customer focused.” According to the article, salespeople are saying “I’ll talk about your needs so long as it leads to you only buying my portfolio of solutions …” but that they are “communicating with customers through a product lens (with a pre-determined end in mind).” That’s a problem.
It’s popular to bash Yellow Pages these days. After all, everyone uses the Internet now, right? Yet, a 2010 study conducted by CRM Associates, shows that both usage and calls volumes are increasing to the 2008 level, suggesting that the decline in Yellow Page usage over the past six years was more economy than Internet-driven.
Another study shows that the average consumer uses both Yellow Pages and the Internet when making a purchase decision. A year-long study of 8,000 adults conducted by marketing research firm Burke, Inc. found that 74 percent used print Yellow Pages over the course of the year to find a local business—just slightly behind the 76 percent who used a search engine. So it’s no longer a question of Internet or print. Smart marketers know there is no single advertising method that will bring in all the business. Effective marketing is more like a team than a shotgun.
Curious how Yellow Page consumers convert into leads and sales? Here’s an infographic to show you:
With all the hype surrounding QR Codes, it begs the question: Is anyone really using these? If the amount of code reader app downloads are any indication, here are some raw numbers:
Previously, I wrote about how to make print ads interactive using QR Codes. Depending on who you listen to, QR Codes are the next wave in advertising, or they are Internet’s equivalent of the pet rock.
In my latest SitePoint article, I talked about inbound vs. outbound marketing. In case the difference isn’t clear to you, here’s a quick definition of inbound marketing:
A marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers, where the customers find you through various search engine marketing efforts, social media, or word-of-mouth referrals.
Outbound or traditional marketing would be things like print advertising, direct mail, cold-calling, and television and radio advertising—essentially, anything a company does to find customers, as opposed to “being found.”
It’s become quite vogue to characterize outbound marketing as “old school.” But is traditional marketing really as dead or ineffective as inbound marketers claim?
In my previous post, Internet Marketing 101, I explained the difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. (If you missed that, I suggest you read it first before continuing.) In Internet Marketing 102, I’ll explain the pros and cons of each to help you decide which might be best for you.
Dad was confused. He’d been experimenting with Google AdWords and he called me with a question. He wanted to know how to create an ad that would appear on Google … not the top or right section where the paid ads appear, but in the main center portion of the page.
Dad was trying to do something that’s not even possible. Most small business owners are equally confused about search engine marketing. A recent survey revealed that the majority of small business owners feel that Internet marketing is very important. Yet, 59 percent of small businesses with web sites don’t use paid search marketing … and of those, 90 percent have never even attempted it! So if you want to know more about search engine marketing, but you don’t know a PPC from a SERP, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s my Internet Marketing 101 Primer.
Technology is wonderful… except, of course, when it’s not. Like when my parents have something “really important” to tell us … and they call our house phone, my cell phone and my wife’s cell phone… all in a matter of minutes. (We love you, Mom and Dad, really.)
Or like the time the scoutmaster needed a permission slip for my son’s upcoming campout. He sent me a private Facebook message. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been on Facebook for several days and showed up to the meeting without the slip.
New technologies often replace older technologies. (Do you remember floppy discs? No, neither do I.) But oftentimes, new technologies merely supplement an existing one. Friends and family now have several options to communicate with me: They can call my cell phone or my landline, email me, text me, send me a private Facebook message, or post something on my Facebook wall.
I always find it interesting (and refreshing) when a search marketing company has something positive to say about the Yellow Pages. As someone who ran a web development business for over 5 years, I can certainly understand their bias. But it seems that the folks over at Search Engine People have decided to go with the facts rather than anecdotal evidence regarding the effectiveness of Yellow Page advertising.
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.