The internet has come a long way since it begun. In 2018, at least 53% of the world population are active internet users with a reported growth of 7% in comparison to 2017. This means, that there are currently at least 4.021 billion active internet users worldwide and the numbers can only grow from there.
With the high penetration of the internet, consumer purchase behavior has changed. They are more empowered than before as information is readily available to them – usually no more than a click away. This fast information is further amplified with the high penetration of smartphones which is expected to hit 66% of the world population in 2018.
Because of this, it is important that marketers change their mindset and adapt to the ever changing buying behavior of consumers. What then is the difference between traditional marketing and inbound marketing?
Traditional marketing or outbound marketing uses interruption based techniques and target the masses. It is essentially the marketing style we grew up in: Newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, billboards, and etc. These days, it can also be found in the digital space via mass emails (which usually end up in your SPAM folder) or banners on websites. These techniques usually favor companies which have higher marketing budget as they cost a lot.
Unlike traditional marketing or outbound marketing which is marketer centric, inbound marketing is more consumer centric:
- Instead of looking for customers, inbound marketing strategies focuses on getting found by the right customers. Right customers are customers who already have an interest in the products or services provided by your business. This can be done by:
- Being helpful - by adding value to every stage of the consumer purchase journey by providing relevant and helpful content such as:
- Problem solving blog posts
- Personalized emails
- Educational social media videos
- Being human – creating an enjoyable experience for your customers. Good experiences allow customers to feel connected to your business and helps build loyalty, trust and credibility.
Inbound marketing strategies focuses on the consumers and are very targeted – depending on which stage of the consumer purchase journey the customer is in. By understanding your consumers better, businesses can provide the best experience for their customers.