Is Inbound Marketing the New Thing in B2B?

It sure has been getting a lot of attention.

HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, Salesfusion and lots of other software outfits are trying to win your favor and substantial monthly inbound marketing fees. Is it worth it? Let’s take a closer look.

Inbound can be an incredible lead generation machine.

Inbound marketing is creating a stir because the built-in analytical technology promises you “the holy grail” of B2B marketing – accountability. That’s a big step forward seeing as your management has been wanting “proof” of marketing’s worth…well, forever. I can hear your management saying, “Show me how our marketing investment is producing bankable bottom line results.”

Inbound marketing responds to that challenge. It’s all about developing leads, leads, leads. It’s all about being a resource in your marketplace…not selling. Inbound promotes a systematic informational approach to convert website visitors into sales-ready leads. What defines a sales-ready lead depends on agreed criterion worked out between your marketing and salespeople.

Does it work? Sure, when you can generate lots and lots of valuable content…and optimize your website for results. We use it here at the agency for our clients. It’s another valuable arrow in your B2B quiver. But it isn’t everything.

Inbound marketing is passive. The inbound methodology systematically converts your website visitors into sales-ready buyers. Who wouldn’t want that?

Almost by definition, passively generating leads is half the B2B marketing communications job. It’s a perfect complement to proactive outbound marketing in a fully integrated digital marketing program.

Outbound marketing is a brand-building powerhouse.

In outbound marketing, you take the initiative to carry your brand message directly to your market. You tell your story your way – with creativity and passion – to compete for the attention and the confidence of buyers.

For example, take a new product launch or participation at trade shows. Creating brand awareness and preference are still very important elements of a comprehensive integrated B2B program. Often you have to engage with a competitive posture. Your unique selling proposition (USP) still matters. Most times you do not prosper by being a low-cost generic supplier.

Integrated digital marketing programs bring together the best of inbound and outbound marketing. Both depend on the prolific generation and publication of awesome content for success. Both depend on an awesome website and SEO. Both depend on awesome brand messaging that expresses the uniqueness of your brand value.

Integrated digital marketing makes it happen.

All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all marketing tactics, the marketing program becomes more effective and cost efficient. As a B2B agency, we developed B2B 360 Integrated Digital Marketing to meet this improved performance need. To learn more about B2B 360 and how it will benefit your business, download our free eBook: The Better Path to Top-Tier Tech Marketing.

Joe SchubertJoe Schubert founded Schubert b2b in 1978 to raise the performance of tech marcom to new heights. Before falling in love with B2B marketing, Joe started his professional career as a computer engineer out of Villanova and University of Pennsylvania, and worked for companies including Unisys, IBM and AT&T.

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