The either/or mindset no longer serves your organization’s best interest. Leveraging the combined effect of inbound and performance marketing is the key to achieving quality and quantity in leads and sales. Both of which are essential to maximizing ROI.
To find success in today’s marketplace, organizations need to do two things really well:
• Drive demand.
• Strategically invest in conversion actions that impact the bottom line.
Driving demand requires businesses to speak to a solution that meets their customers’ unique needs while building credibility and trust. On the other hand, the phrase ‘desired conversion actions’ speaks for itself. It places emphasis on tangible results.
One requires organizations to cast a wide net, maximizing visibility and engagement with the right audience. The other demands that marketing teams take a bird’s eye view and focus on actions that generate returns like increasing revenue or market share. As counterintuitive as it might sound, the logical solution is not picking one approach and focusing all your efforts on it.
Driving demand is analogous to ensuring you eat healthy to provide your body with a steady and predictable source of nutrients. And performance marketing is akin to the workout regime you adopt to keep the excess fat off and ensure your muscles are always at peak performance. Without demand generation, you’ll push your company to starvation, increasing the strain on various departments to perform without any breathing room to absorb unpredictability. And, without performance marketing, your company will pack on the additional weight making it hard to be agile and effective.
Blending performance marketing principles with the inbound methodology helps build a holistic digital strategy that can deliver results on both fronts. The paragraphs below outline the individual strengths of inbound and performance marketing and then delve into the benefits an organization can reap from leveraging the interaction between them.
What Inbound Marketing Brings to the Table
The advantages of inbound are limitless. However, in the current context, we present the three that are critical to sustained growth.
Meet your customers when and where they want.
Think back to the last time you made an effort to learn more about a prospective solution for a challenge you were facing. Was it when you were actively looking for an answer; or when an ad popped up in the middle of your favourite show?
Inbound methodology helps you connect with your audience at the time or place of their choosing with relevant and helpful content. What makes it even better is that you don’t need an army of customer service/support staff for it, making it far more sustainable in the long run.
Deliver a personalized experience without being intrusive.
With inbound, you can create the illusion of a one-to-one interaction without having to create content for every visitor individually. How? Because they found your blog, web page or video in response to a specific query. As a result, a single piece of content can feel like a personal response to every site visitor as long as it provides relevant and valuable information.
At the same time, it is also not intrusive because you’ve delivered the content when they asked for it and not when it was convenient for you.
Build trust, credibility, and recall.
Which friend would you call when you needed help? The one who is always there when you need them and respects your boundaries? Or the one who never answers the phone but calls back when they need something?
Inbound methodology enables you to be the former, the friend/solution provider your customers trust and remember. It helps you drive demand by focusing on how you can address your customer’s needs and making them the hero of their story.
The Performance Marketing Edge
Time, money, and resources: none of them are infinite. The principles of performance marketing help you make the best use of what you have.
Become data driven.
By measuring the performance of each campaign against a standard set of indicators like CTR, CPC or CPL, ROI and others, performance marketing enables apples-to-apples comparisons.
Advance with intelligent targeting.
Taking a data-driven approach also helps build a data-backed audience profile, allowing you to expand and segment your audience based on their unique needs. Behaviour and interests are just as important as demographics.
Focus your efforts.
When you know what your customers want and where you can find them, the lack of considerable resources doesn’t feel as overwhelming. You can direct your efforts on tactics that make an impact and maximize ROI.
Each approach has its unique benefits. But when you put the two of them together, you get the best of both worlds.
Inbound helps you dig into the emotional aspect that drives your audiences, while performance marketing helps you validate it with data. Performance marketing uncovers the channels that work best for you, and inbound helps leverage the right kind of content for each channel.
Inbound helps you drive demand and build trust, while performance marketing gives you the data-driven approach needed to convert said demand into qualified leads and sales.
When you leverage this synergy, you’re longer in the position of having to choose between the two.
Organizations can no longer afford to compromise on:
• Meeting their customers where they are.
• Maximizing ROI; budget restrictions aren’t about to elevate anytime soon.
If you fail to leverage the synergy between inbound and performance marketing, you will struggle to deliver results.
However, as you embark on the journey to build this synergy within your marketing machine, remember there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Make sure you tailor your approach to fill the existing gaps in your system and strengthen your foundation before you drive so much demand that your teams can’t keep up.
If you aren’t sure where to start, let’s talk! A quick consultation or brainstorming with peers always helps us get on track.