Performance Marketing Blog

Cold Calling vs. Inbound Marketing

Posted by Natalie Young

Feb 14, 2013 1:17:00 PM

cold calling vs inbound marketingIn this day and age, many unsolicited business calls go unanswered. Modern sales and marketing professionals are up against savvy buyers that are more empowered than ever by easy access to detailed product information on the Web.

Everyone is connected to the latest information. And if buyers don’t want to hear from marketers, they have a variety of technologies (e.g. Caller ID, email spam filters, etc.) to block out marketing attempts to get in touch. But surely some people are able to get through all these defense mechanisms and land that one magical deal. Or are they?

That was the subject of the latest Google+ Debate from Software Advice -- a website that reviews marketing automation technologies -- titled, “Does Cold Calling Still Work?” The panel, moderated by Derek Singleton, brought together inbound marketing and inside sales experts to debate three questions:

  • Given how the Web has empowered B2B buyers, is cold calling still relevant in the Internet Age -- and are companies still generating a return on investment (ROI) on it?
  • With other lead generation activities on the rise, like paid search and content marketing, can cold calling help marketers stand out from the noise?
  • Can inbound marketing and analytics help us better decide who to cold call and when?

Here are the takeaways from the debate.

Cold Calling is Shifting to Warm Calling
Understandably, every panelist agreed that cold calling (in it’s original form) is decreasing significantly in effectiveness. Furthermore, there is no excuse for business calls to be random and unsolicited anymore. In the words of Anneke Seley, Founder and CEO of Reality Works Group, “in this day and age, there’s no excuse for a call to be cold anymore.”

That is, with so many options for connecting with people on the Web (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook) it’s very easy to find out information about your prospect before you pick up a phone. And they, in turn, can learn a little about you before you commit to a call. The group called this “warm calling.”

Only Call the People that Come to You
But Mike Volpe, CMO of HubSpot, thinks that marketers can take it one step further and not even waste time reaching out in this manner. Volpe believes that the world is shifting away from any type of outbound marketing and that your inside sales team should only reply to inbound inquiries because you already they’re interested in your product or service.

Meanwhile, Volpe explains that inbound marketing tactics like SEO and PPC that are significantly cheaper that doing things like employing a great sales rep to make outbound calls. And he says it’s also a much less invasive approach to contacting buyers.

Find a Happy Medium by Employing Both Tactics
Of course, there’s usually room for middle ground. And that’s where Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com, sided on the debate. According to Krogue, InsideSales.com relies very heavily on inbound marketing tactics but the leads they generate by purely inbound means just aren’t high enough value. So he turns to very targeted outbound calling after warming up contacts. To quote Krogue:

If we [at InsideSales.com] just rely on the Internet to bring us leads, it’s like a fish sitting in a pond waiting for the river to bring whatever it brings them. What we’ve found is that if you look at a typical bell curve, 70 percent of all the leads that come in are small. For example, we’re moving up to enterprise class companies and we have to forget about the Web bringing us those leads and have to reach out to initialize the conversation (usually through calling), then we move to a Web-based type of nurturing.”

In any Case, Marketing is Becoming Permission-Based
One point each panelist could agree on was that lead generation is shifting toward a permission-based model of marketing. This means marketing will need to evolve into being about showing buyers how valuable you are, and ultimately getting them to come to you. If you aren’t demonstrating your value in a tangible way, then buyers will increasingly look over your company and not engage with your marketing efforts.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of outbound and inbound marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below. To read the full article, visit the B2B Marketing Mentor.

Read More

Topics: Hubspot, Inbound Marketing, internet marketing, sales development, marketing tactics

B2B Online Marketing to create more leads – 6 Significant Hints

Posted by Natalie Young

Jul 19, 2012 1:39:00 PM

new-media-marketingRemember when marketing meant a well-developed direct mail campaign, attending a few well-chosen trade shows, prospecting for new customers with cold calls and keeping in touch with your customers via personal sales calls. Those days are gone. Today's business executive has a myriad of products and services competing for her attention via the Internet. If you're not making the most of b2b online marketing, you're losing customers.

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to ramp up your b2b online marketing effort quickly and inexpensively. Below are just a few ideas:

1.  Create and maintain a blog. Every business needs a blog...a regularly updated blog. This gives you an instant way to share information with your existing and prospective customers. If you don't have time to write the blog yourself, you can hire a freelance writer to help you for a reasonable rate

2.  Embrace social media. The phenomenon that is Facebook has changed the way businesses market to consumers and to each other. What began as a way for college students to keep track of their friends has evolved into the greatest marketing tool in history. And, it's free.  There are more than 750 million active users on the site. Where else could you get this kind of exposure?

3. Make your website interactive. If your website does not give your prospects a way to interact - you may be missing out on converting them to customers. Call to Action buttons and custom tailored landing pages can raise the ROI on your website and help to pinpoint those prospects that are ready to buy.

4.  Learn about SEO. SEO--Search Engine Optimization--is the art and science of getting your Web site ranked in the first few pages of a Google search. Simply put - if you want to get found for specific key words - every page on your web site should be "optimized" to contain these words. If your clients search Google and find your competitors, you may need some fine tuning in this area.

5.  Create an email list. Give your Web site visitors the option to be on your mailing list. Do not underestimate the value of an email address in today's marketplace. Your email list is your sales funnel and it's vital to stay in touch on a regular basis.

6.  Write and publish online press releases. Another useful b2b online marketing approach is to write and publish press releases about your product or service. Did your company recently will an award?  Are you launching a new product? Let other businesses know by writing a press release and posting it on a site such as PR Newswire.
Read More

Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing, marketing services, B2B

Is All This Talk About Inbound Marketing Just a Bunch of Hot Air?

Posted by Natalie Young

Mar 8, 2012 11:19:00 AM

Over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of talk about the emergence of social media inbound-marketing-balloonand inbound marketing strategies as the new wave of marketing. But is it just talk? Is it all a bunch of hot air? Or is something real going on here?

 

The inbound marketing gurus at HupSpot recently shared a case study about one of their clients that gives some pretty compelling evidence that taking an inbound strategy to your marketing isn’t just “pie (or a balloon) in the sky.” You can read the complete case study for yourself, but here’s the gist of it.

 

The company purchased 20 spots before, during, and after the Super Bowl in its local market. The ads used a tracking phone number so the business knew which incoming calls came from the commercial. The commercial drove viewers to the company's homepage, but there was no integration of offline efforts with their website or social media. According to Nielsen Ratings, their ads were seen by 2.8 million viewers.

 

Web traffic for the company was up 11% on Super Bowl Sunday and 4% the following Monday. That’s a nice increase. But during that same time period their blog generated twice as much traffic as the TV spots—AND several inbound leads. The TV ads generated no online leads, only 7 phone calls, and zero opportunities or customer conversions. And what did they pay for this kind of performance? $54,000!

 

Since this company started using inbound marketing it has increased organic traffic by 567% and overall traffic by 583% in less than a year.

 

Does that mean that if you throw together a blog and post it on the Internet that you’ll see the same kind of results? Nope! You need a good strategic plan. You need good content. And you need to execute your plan well. We can help you with that. Shoot us a note and we’ll be happy to talk to you about how you can take advantage of the power of inbound marketing.

 

Unless, of course, you still think it’s just a bunch of hot air!

Read More

Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing, website marketing, Inbound Marketing, marketing services, B2B

What Does Hockey have to do with Sales & Marketing?

Posted by Natalie Young

Dec 13, 2011 2:43:00 PM

What does Hockey have to do with sales & marketing? Better yet, what does a Southern California native girl know about Hockey?

stanley cupWell, as strange as it sounds - I'm a die-hard Ducks fan and have been for many years. Whenever we lost a game, our recently departed coach Randy Carlyle used to say "We didn't play for 60 minutes - we only played for 50". 

As we end the year - it may be the wrong time to slow down your play. That's exactly the time that may earn you that extra push to end the year on an upswing or start 2012 with the momentum you need/want for growth.

If you're struggling to stay motivated for the "last 10 minutes" of the game - you may want to join us for our webinar entitled "Three Things You Can Do NOW to Get Sales by the End of the Year!"

I am pushing to stay motivated and am hoping those around me will stay motivated too. Please feel free to invite your sales staff for this free training session and as an added BONUS - you'll receive our ebook which can be used well into 2012 to help you stay motivated.

improve salesWhy is this so important? I work hard to generate leads for my clients through Inbound Marketing techniques. I realized that the better equipped my clients are at "closing inbound sales leads" - the more valuable my services will be to my clients.

Our goal is to have Happy & Successful clients - 

Here's to a winning season!

Read More

Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, Hubspot, website marketing, Inbound Marketing, marketing services, smarketing

What do Preschoolers know about Inbound Marketing?

Posted by Natalie Young

Sep 20, 2011 9:01:00 AM



My three-year old twins just started preschool. They will get to do fun things like show and tell day. The other day my kids took their pull-line flying saucer toy to show and tell, which proved to be an instant hit with the other kids. 

Marketing tools

My twins didn’t have to force the other kids in their Preschool Class to play with the flying saucer. They did not have to "push" their classmates to listen to long explanations about the toy. All they had to do was show them how fun it was to play with the flying saucer.  

Then, it occurred to me that Inbound Marketing works in sorta the same way. A proper inbound marketing plan can pull your target market towards you and your products. It can spark curiosity about you and your brand...just like show and tell. When you have people’s curiosity you don’t really need to force the sale. 

Let’s lay out an example from a recent client. The client is a music school and they had a website but it was not generating leads. We looked into our “toy box” and started applying SEO, informational blogging, landing pages, and call to action buttons. After 1 year – here are some of the results:

·         Grew customer base by 400%

·         Nearly tripled number of teachers

·         Tremendously reduced paid search expenses

·         Grew organic traffic 10x in less than a year, from 60 visits in September to over 600 visits in June.

Incorporating a tailored inbound marketing plan will increase your brand exposure. Here are the take-away points:

  • Your website is the "playground" for your prospects and clients.
  • Just like those kids in preschool - share your toys and your target will come to the playground.
  • If you don't show and tell - they won't know you exist.
  • If you don't have a way to capture those interested in your product (landing pages, webinars, product information, videos), they will leave your playground.
  • If they leave your playground - they WILL find another (your competition)

A well-designed marketing plan can attract customers to your brand and do it within your advertising budget. To learn about starting your Inbound Marketing strategy stay tuned for future blog posts on this topic. Our goal is to help market your brand using marketing tools to help you "get found" by your prospects, "Convert" those prospects into leads, and then "analyze" the data so you know what's working.

 Natalie Young Inbound Marketer, marketing consultant

 

Read More

Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing, marketing services, B2B, branding

Inbound Marketing Summit 2011

Posted by Natalie Young

Sep 14, 2011 6:40:00 PM

Today is my wedding anniversary and I'm on a plane (by myself) headed for Boston. My husband has always been uber supportive of my career, but now more than ever - even on our sacred day - he can see the excitement that Inbound Marketing has brought to my agency. This week in Boston, Inbound Marketers, experts in marketing innovation, acclaimed marketing strategists, and thought leaders are gathering to discuss ideas, concepts, strategies and more! I plan on spending two days working on advanced strategies to: ~learn creative ways to use content you've already created ~Learn new and creative inbound solutions that you can implement immediately ~learn easier ways to set your up for success and fast! Some of the specific topics that I will be tackling will be: ~How to Create Offers That Convert ~How to Increase Customer Conversion Rates ~Engaging Leads with Email and Lead Nurturing ~How to Turn More Leads Into Your Best Customers. By sharing the goals, challenges and stories of real world experience I will be armed with more innovative ideas for those clients who have chosen to harness the power of the Internet rather than sticking with traditional ideas that are no longer getting the results businesses need to be successful. Stay tuned for my follow up when I can't wait to start sharing some new ideas for how to market your business using best practices for online marketing success. The early adopters of this methodology can look forward to growing success, more leads, more customers, advanced lead nurturing, and higher revenue. Oh, one more thing, thanks honey for watching the kids!
Read More

Topics: lead nurturing, lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing, marketing services, B2B

What's The Difference in Having a Website vs a Web Presence ...

Posted by Natalie Young

Aug 31, 2011 1:41:00 PM

Many of today’s well-established business owners are discovering that the world of marketing has changed dramatically.  Traditional methods such as trade shows, direct mail, print advertising and cold calls are costly and less effective than before.  You have to do something to attract new customers or risk losing market share, but what?  You already have a website.

Here’s the thing:  your website is a marketing tool.  If you don’t use it, it’s like having a salesperson with no office, no phone, no Rolodex and no collateral materials.  You need to put that website to work so you can get found online!

Make it your marketing focal point. 

  • These days everyone shops online, whether your customers are individuals or other businesses.  Your website must be engaging and informative enough to keep their interest, or they will go somewhere else. 
  • Your most critical marketing objective is to entice prospects to visit your website, because visitors = leads and, ultimately, sales.
  • SEO (search engine optimization) is the key.  It’s what determines if and where you show up on the list when someone conducts an online search.  There are many factors that determine SEO -- the more you have, the better your position will be. 
  • Use social media, and add a blog.  Studies show they can significantly increase traffic, and they nicely augment your other traditional marketing methods.  

There are significant benefits.

  • You can get found online 24/7.
  • Internet marketing levels the playing field, so you can compete with anyone, anywhere.
  • Website-based marketing can be far more cost-effective.
  • You can build customer relationships that are stronger than ever.
  • You can better target, track and measure your marketing, to be more effective and also more flexible.

You can get help.

In today’s uncertain economy your marketing has to get top-notch results sooner rather than someday.  You need to get found online, but it seems overwhelmingly confusing.  Your smartest business decision may be to get professional help. 

Outsourcing has proven to be a tremendous benefit for all types of small and mid-size companies, providing better results, faster.  You can team up with smart, experienced experts who will do what they’re best at – helping you get found online – so you can focus on other important business development and management issues.
Read More

Topics: lead generation, increase sales, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing services

"Traditional Marketing" vs. "New Marketing" Which is Better?

Posted by Natalie Young

Aug 10, 2011 11:46:00 AM

As a marketing consultant, I walk clients through new marketing strategies that may feel uncomfortable. The fact is that ‘change’ – though uncomfortable – is inevitable especially in marketing.

Recently a client asked:

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "traditional marketing" versus the "new marketing." What is considered traditional marketing and how does new marketing differ from the old way of doing things? And which is better?

—Kate, business owner

 

The designation may simply be explained by a new way of delivering the information to clients.

  • Traditional marketing is “outbound. It’s sending out brochures, advertising, billboards, phone calls, hoping that someone will have a need at the exact moment that we reach out to them. Traditional marketing has also been called “interruption marketing”

  • New marketing is “inbound”. It’s getting found by your prospects when they have a need for your product. Inbound marketing is on their terms, when they are ready.

 

Consider the following facts:

  • More than half of all US residents and more than ¾ of all US adults are online.1

  • One third of US consumers spend at least 3 hours online every day.2

  • More & more of the things we used to do offline, like product research and getting news, we now do online.

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way in which people find, discover, share, shop, & connect. Today’s buyers don’t want to be sold, they want to reach out and find you. They want to interact with your website, download information, read what you have to say, and ultimately buy when they are ready.

 

So which is better? Let's take a look at Inbound Marketing Effectiveness vs. Outbound Marketing Effectiveness on the following graph:

Inbound graph resized 600 

INBOUND MARKETING TACTICS

So how, as a business owner, can you use Inbound Marketing? The answers lie in new delivery methods. Inbound marketing tactics are things like SEO, blogging, social media, website lead generation and lead nurturing. Additionally, these tactics are more cost-effective than traditional forms of outbound marketing. The most important part of Inbound Marketing tactics vs. Traditional tactics is that these new methods are more MEASURABLE. Marketers are shifting their budgets, and seeing measurable results. And that’s when new marketing gets fun.

 costperlead resized 600

THE INBOUND MARKETING PROCESS

The inbound marketing process involves three main steps: Get found > Convert > Analyze. It’s a way of connecting with clients and qualified prospects, and then converting them to new customers. B2B marketing veteran Ron Fink summarized the 6 benefits of Inbound Marketing in this way:

 

  • Consumer engagement fosters the customer relationship by enabling customers to interact with one another, a company or a brand.

  • Consumer empowerment adds value by giving consumers a voice, which can result in collaboration, insight and innovation.

  • Results measurement works with an inbound marketing system that has an established set of performance analytics.

  • Digital asset integration enhances the consumer experience at all touch points in the buying process.

  • Resource efficiencies allocate marketing resources to those activities that provide the greatest ROI.

  • Organizational connectivity enables functional areas to work seamlessly to reflect a focus on what they sell and support.

 

In summary – Inbound Marketing is proving to be the better choice of interaction for today's buyers. Embrace change because the only real failure is to live life without it. 

Take away point - Your prospects are on your doorstep; help invite them in. Adding a healthy dose of inbound tactics to the marketing mix can help boost results in a digital world

 

 

  • 1BLOGHER, APRIL 2011, PEW RESEARCH, MAY 2010, US CENSUS BUREAU, MAY 2011

  • 2THE MEDIA AUDIT, OCTOBER 2010

  • 3HubSpot's Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

Read More

Topics: lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing services

Content Marketing - 3 tips to make it easier

Posted by Natalie Young

Jul 19, 2011 10:56:00 AM

Are you struggling to find new leads? If so, you've probably considered doing something new and different like Search Engine Marketing (SEO). After all, you paid a lot of money to have your web site built. Why aren't the leads flooding in?

Let's take a minute to discuss content marketing, lead generation and getting traffic to your web site. A recent report published by Marketing Sherpa shows that content creation sits on top of the heap when it comes to the most effective means of getting leads to your web site. (see chart below)

Most effective SEO tactics chart 1 resized 600

Content creation or Content Marketing is like a handshake with a new acquaintance. It's the proverbial "hand" that you stick out there on the internet when welcoming new leads to your company. Your prospects are on Google searcing for products. If you've placed your web site on the internet and never go back and use that tool - you're missing out. Web sites today should be interactive lead generating machines. They should provide a a place where conversations happen and prospects can find information and then ask for more with the click of a mouse. Web sites should not remain static.

The other side of the coin is that creating content for your web site is hard to do. It ranks low in popularity by marketers with only 60% of marketers using it. We've created a list here on how to make this job of "creating Content" easier:

1. Answer most common questions:

Every sales person has common questions asked by prospects. These questions get asked time and again. Why not answer these questions in a blog? Create a post or even a multi-page white paper answering these questions on your web site. Don't be afraid that you're giving away the farm - the serious prospects will read and research and will still need your help in the end. The not-so-serious prospects will not call nor will they fill out a form on your web site. That's ok.

 

2. Don't be afraid to list detailed information on your products including price. Prospects are out there asking questions. If you don't answer them - your competitors will!

 

3. Post blogs every week! It's vital to getting found by Google. The more "fresh" content you have on your web site, the easier it will be to be ranked on Google. This also keeps your prospects involved with you. It's like an ongoing conversation with your clients and prospects. If you blog 52 times per year - that's 52 new pages for Google to scan and rank. Within 6 months time you should see an increase in traffic to your site.

 

Content Marketing is just one of the many tools that will help you turn your web site into a lead generating machine. We even have are tools that can help "push" that information simultaneously to your blog, your Facebook page, your Twitter account and more.

If you're interested in seeing where your web site ranks against your competitors...we offer a free analysis: 

Click me

Read More

Topics: lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot, Content Marketing, marketing services

Marketing Help - How does your website rate against your competition?

Posted by Natalie Young

Apr 27, 2011 1:51:00 PM

Edit     Remove

Part of every marketing and promotion budget must include funds set aside for your website. In order to stay current, having a web site that is easy to change on a daily basis is becoming crucial.

describe the imageBefore spending money on making changes to your current web site, let us give you a FREE analysis (Valued at $500) on how your web site compares against your best known competitors.

This valuable insight can save you money by offering you tips from our experts. What will you learn from our analysis?

  • Your overall ranking against your competitors
  • Ways to improve your ranking
  • How intuitive is your web site to visitors?
  • Keyword ranking for search engine optimization
  • How ready are you for social media?
  • Is your site set up to capture leads? 
Read More

Topics: lead generation, increase sales, HubSpot Tips, Hubspot

Promotional marketing ideas for small medium businesses

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all