Gone are the days when comprehensive marketing campaigns were the preserve of the super rich corporations. To plan and deploy traditional advertising and all-embracing marketing campaigns, one had to spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds on TV commercials, radio and print adverts, direct mail, trade shows, not to mention the labour needed to handle all these activities that would ‘convince’ consumers to buy your product.
As audiences get increasingly adept at blocking out these ‘interruptive’ – and quite possibly annoying – commercial messages, outbound marketing as we know it is fast losing ground.
So is there a better way to spend your marketing £££?
The good news is that with the advent of the internet and the shift in people’s purchasing habits, there is a much more effective – and affordable – alternative to traditional marketing methods. All a business needs to do is open up and embrace integrated digital marketing.
Indeed, with 78% of consumers searching online before buying a product and 66% of these people purchasing on the internet (Hubspot), businesses can’t afford to miss out on the opportunities offered by the internet and ecommerce.
Yes, you may say, but how exactly can I tap into these opportunities when there’s so much to take care of? Making your webpage visible, driving traffic when there’re billions of pages vying for consumer attention, capturing and nurturing leads, converting them into real customers… Throw regular blogging, search engine optimisation and the need for social media interaction in the mix, and all these processes can appear quite mind-boggling, indeed.
Luckily, now there is an easy and cost-effective solution to the streamlining headaches many an emarketer experiences. It’s called marketing automation and comes in the shape of an all-in-one integrated tool offered by software-as-a-service providers.
An integrated marketing platform streamlines processes by automating otherwise time-consuming manual marketing tasks, such as lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion, thus reducing turnaround times and minimising cost.
But beware – simply integrating digital marketing software into your business strategy won’t yield the results you hope to achieve. Everything – from lead generation down to that crucial sales call which will convert a lead into a client, has to be thought out before you even incorporate the online marketing software. Technology is no substitute for the power of thinking.
As a rule of thumb, use an integrated approach when devising your digital business strategy, optimise the marketing-sales experience and utilise any software as exactly what it should be – a tool for the execution of your overall strategy. UK recruitment software company FireFish did just that for their new recruitment software product and achieved a whopping 84% cost saving per lead!
Since adopting an integrated digital marketing model, the company has slashed its cost per lead more than six times, while the cost to acquire a client dropped from £800 to £148. What is more, with nearly a third of all FireFish demonstrations now carried out with overseas organisations, the integrated digital marketing approach has levelled the playing field for a UK SME and placed it on the global map – something which would otherwise have been impossible.
Facts pointing to the need for an integrated inbound marketing approach are incontestable:
Still, as an Econsultancy study of marketing automation buyers revealed, businesses at large are slow to adopt integrated marketing practices. Surprisingly, the report found that while decision-makers are picking up on marketing automation, 37% of businesses have no plans for using integrated marketing platforms at all.
With a low-cost digital platform, a marginal cost per customer close to zero and a promising return on investment, businesses savvy enough to be among the first to move towards integrated inbound marketing are the ones who will – naturally – be ahead of the pack.