Many inbound marketing consultants do not want me to tell you this, but there’s evidence that inbound marketing is not for everybody. I’ll explain this further, but for now let’s get started with the quiz so that you can determine if inbound marketing is the right path for your organisation.
As you answer the questions below, you’ll need to have a clear vision of your ideal customer. Using buyer personas (fictional characters of the ideal customer) it will make it faster for you to answer the questions.
Here are two examples of buyer personas:
- Andrew the Accountant - Andrew is a professional accountant aged 45, married with 3 children in high school. He enjoys sports, the gym and taking his family on overseas holidays to 4 star beach resorts. He runs a successful firm with 5 other partners, is busy with clients needs, staying up to date with tax changes, wants/needs office automatisation to improve productivity and struggles with balancing work and family time.
- Mary the Account Manager - Mary is a professional aged 34, married with 2 young children in day care. She’s the manager to 3 sales staff working on client retention while increasing account sales. She loves the outdoors, camping in comfort, fashion and having dinner parties with family and friends. She struggles to have enough time to do all the things she likes - driving her children to activities, shopping as well as handling client’s calls after hours.
Now you have the buyer persona of your ideal customer, let's begin (If you still need help check out this free online tool http://www.makemypersona.com)
Answer Yes, No or Unsure to the following questions and I’ll explain the results below.
Inbound Marketing Quiz
Now grab some paper and write down your answers.
Q1. Is the average sale for your organization's product or service over $500?
Q2. Do you ship the product directly to the customer or provide services on-site or remotely (i.e. by phone or the internet)? (Answer no if customers must come instore, such as a cafe, restaurant or medical clinic).
Q3. Can the customer buy your product or services online using the internet?
Q4. Does your customer use the internet or a mobile phone to find and research your product or service?
Q5. Do you have a marketing and sales department with 3+ staff?
Q6. Is telemarketing, door-to-door and direct mail too expensive or gives you too few results?
Q7. Is radio, newspaper and TV too expensive or gives you too few results?
Q8. Is signage or walk-by traffic (customers walking past your shop) too expensive or gives you too few results?
Q9. Do your main competitors use social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter) to sell to customers?
Q10. Do your main competitors use blogs on their website?
Your Inbound Marketing Score
For each answer
- Yes - add one point (+1)
- No - minus one point (-1)
- Unsure - Zero ignore
Starting with the Negative Scores
If your score is between -5 and -3 zone inbound marketing is not right for your organisation.
For these customers it’s all about location, location, location. These organizations often sell impulse buy products such as cold & hot drinks, giftware, takeaway food, cafes and physical retail stores. The decision to buy these product or services by the customers is quick and generally not planned in advance. It is dependent on the environment and the correct timing for the customer.
The main marketing drivers for this type of organisation is good location and good signage to attract the customer. While tools like email marketing and social media can assist with customer retention and repeat sales, you’re still faced with customers emotions, impulses and timing.
If your score is between -2 and zero inbound marketing is still not perfect for your organization.
Your organisation is still needing to use offline marketing methods to ensure long term growth. However there are many tools and methods used in inbound marketing that can be used by your organization to leverage your marketing efforts. Here I see many organisation such as restaurants, fashion stories, short stay holiday places, birthday presents, needing a plumber (home services) falling into this zone. The decision to buy these products or services is dependent on location, timing and the impulse of customers needs. The customer’s buying decision process is longer and generally takes between 2 and 7 days of planning.
The marketing drivers for this type of organisation is location, signage and easy access for the customer. However these customers will use the internet, social media, and ask friends advice to help research their options. So methods such as local SEO, paid advertising on social media and online reviews are great methods to attract customers.
If your score is between 1 and +2 inbound marketing is starting to be a more affordable solution for the organisation.
Customers are using the internet and using mobile phones more often to research their buying of products and services simply because it’s quicker and more convenient for them. The buying decision period is still between 2 and 7 days and location is still a factor, but they’re just as happy to have the product shipped to them by mail if the timing is right.
I see a lot of new online retailers operate in this space because the cost of using traditional marketing methods like newspaper advertising, letter box drops, door-to-door selling and telemarketing has become too expensive for getting noticed by your customers. Also the cost of becoming an online retailer can be a lot cheaper than setting up a store in a large shopping centre. I find that some types of professional services such as accountants, lawyers, medical services and B2B style business score in this range.
The marketing drivers for this type of organisation is SEO (ranking high on search engines like Google), paid advertising on social media, online reviews, and helpful blog articles that explain the products or services benefits to customer. Also being able to engage customers in real time via phone, email and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter to answer questions from customers can help them with their buying decision.
If your score is between +3 and +5 inbound marketing is perfect for your company. It’s all about educating the customer about
your product or services.
The customer’s buying decision normally takes more than 7 days and it can take up to 12 months to make a purchase. The average sale is higher than $500 and often the customer doesn’t know what they need or what solutions are available to them to solve their problems or desires.
The type of organisations here are often retail estate agents, cars dealers, insurance providers, health services, oversea travel, B2B products & services, professional services, consultants, IT services, financial planning etc. Quite often the customer does not even know there is a product or service that can help them.
The marketing drivers for this type of organisation is SEO, paid advertising, case studies, online product demos, 3rd party reviews, email marketing nurturing, speaking to sales people and all the others methods that we use to help educate our customers. It becomes critical to provide the right information, at the right time, in the right context that is helpful for the customers .
Where to Start Your Inbound Marketing Journey
So where to now?
If you or your organisation are at the start of the inbound marketing journey, then, it’s time to spend some doing an audit of your marketing methods over the past 12 months and compare that against inbound marketing methods.
In my experience most companies are already moving towards, or are using certain elements of inbound marketing because their customers are now more active on the internet and social media. However this does not mean you should embrace a full inbound marketing methodology.
Get to understand inbound marketing. Below are starter guides, articles and case studies I have found and given to people to determine if using inbound marketing is the right path for them. I know they will help answer your questions.
- Inbound Marketing Video - HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan speaks about how the marketing industry is evolving, digging into traditional methods and shares the benefits of inbound marketing. 13 mins youtube Date Jan 2013
- 19,000 Word, Step by Step Inbound Marketing Plan explained. I have been following these guys from Nectafy for many years and they provide great results for their clients using inbound marketing. Includes video and transcript.
- 10 Signs Your CEO has an Outdated View of Marketing - A funny look at outdated thinking by organisations - by Nataly Kelly. A great read and helps to build a picture of what an organisation looks like when it struggles with digital marketing. It’s only for people who can laugh at themselves!
- Trusted website Marketingland.com looks at the topic Stop The Interruptions! Marketing In the Age of the Always-On Consumer and looks at how technology is changing the way consumers are shopping.
- A recent article breaks down 1000 people’s feedback and opinions on a survey about inbound and outbound marketing Consumer Survey Reveals the Efficacy of Inbound vs. Outbound
- The Inbound Marketing Economy by Kelsay Lebert looks at the skills and job descriptions of 75,315 job ads to break down the trends in the digital marketing and how organisations are changing their needs.
- 5 Key Inbound Marketing Considerations for Marketing Managers gives advice to managers looking at moving their marketing budgets from outbound marketing - where to start and highlights the main pitfalls of changing your marketing approach.
- Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing - Which Is More Effective? The author makes it clear they love inbound marketing, but they share the stats and break it down for you.
- How to Improve Your Lead Generation Using Inbound Marketing- In this guide, you’ll be guided on how many successful business' are using inbound marketing to get leads and converting them into customers.
Still Needing Help?
OK so you’ve read all the articles above and you’ve still got questions. You’re obviously a person who is need help with their “marketing strategy”, and a deeper review and analysis by a professional is the next logical step to answer the questions you have.
You’re welcome to call us on 1300 887 865 or email us to book an Inbound Marketing Strategy Consultation. The cost of this consultation is $240 (+GST) and will provide you with recommendations and an action plan to help you move forward. If you decide that inbound marketing is right for you and you’d like to engage our other services, we will credit this amount against any future work you may do with Crocodile Marketing.