Don't get me wrong. My business partner, Joe Ruiz, and I have always had a great professional "marriage." With 70 plus years of combined marketing expertise, we've had a good ride. And so have our clients, as we continue to provide them marketing strategies that really deliver, whether it be direct response marketing or integrated marketing communications. Hence our name, Strategic Marketing Solutions .
To keep our professional relationship fresh, we've had to reinvent ourselves several times. Being open to change is one of the many aspects of our partnership that has enabled us to deliver outstanding results for our clients, who include household name consumer brands in the healthcare and pharmaceutical arena, among others.
Then something happened. It was a digital revolution. Disruptive technologies were evolving, and marketers were struggling with how to integrate them into longstanding best practices. In Groundswell, two top Forrester analysts described this fundamental change in consumer behavior as "a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations."
It was the perfect storm. We found we were missing the right technology to execute our recommendations. Echoing our sentiments were our clients, who all had websites but didn't quite know what to do with them.
As marketers who are also business owners, we took a serious look inward, applying our four-step turnkey strategic process to our own company.
While we knew we needed to embrace change, we also knew we had to remain true to our mission: To work with professionals to create and execute integrated marketing strategies to build brand-consumer relationships that are engaging, measurable and profitable.
So how did come upon inbound marketing? We actually found it while browsing for new Internet technologies and best online marketing practices. We really like the inbound marketing process: Get Found --> Convert --> Analyze and think you will too.
The application of this process using inbound marketing software gives us the state-of-the-art tools to connect the “thinking with the doing.” As all communications channels become connected, we now have a way to connect our clients with qualified prospects and leads, converting them to new customers.
As we see it, there are 6 benefits of inbound marketing:
- C onsumer engagement - fosters the customer relationship by enabling them to interact with one another, a company or a brand. In 2009, Ford engaged in unprecedented dialogues with consumers, spending roughly one-quarter of their marketing dollars on digital and social media.
- Consumer empowerment - adds value by giving consumers of your products and services a voice, leveraging their contribution through collaboration, insight and innovation.
- Results measurement - critical for gauging success, an inbound marketing system has an established set of performance analytics in place.
- Digital asset integration - enhances the consumer experience at all touch points in the buying process, maximizing the communications impact on consumers at minimal cost
- Resource efficiencies - allocates marketing resources to those activities that provide the greatest return
- Organizational connectivity – enables various functional areas within an organization to work seamlessly to reflect a central focus around what they sell and support.
Well, perhaps there's a 7th benefit : Joe and I are happily celebrating Strategic Marketing Solution's 10th anniversary!
What benefits have you seen from embracing inbound marketing? Tell us your story in the comments.
Photo credit: Strategic Marketing Solutions
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