The screenshot you see above is captured from Google Trends. “Inbound Marketing” as a key phrase first appeared in 2007 and has been on an upward trend. Today, it is widely practiced around the world and is gaining popularity in Japan. We expect tremendous growth in South-East Asia for the adoption of Inbound marketing in 2015.
I used to hear that South-East Asia is behind the United States in technological trends by 10 years. We at iSmart seriously hope that Inbound Marketing catch on fast in Singapore, not just because we are in the business, but because outbound marketing is getting less viable by the day as the marketplace evolves. Many local marketers are not highly aware of new development in digital marketing methodologies, yet the potential for going Inbound is huge when Singapore is considered the most connected country in the region, with broadband Internet penetration close to 100%! Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines also boast a sizeable Internet user base.
It’s up to us to evangelize the long-term benefits of Inbound Marketing. With ECommerce getting more prominent of late, we are confident that Inbound Marketing is sure to follow next.
Singapore marketers must be thinking, “What’s so special about Inbound if it’s any different from digital marketing?” When I first got in touch with the Inbound philosophy, I could not tell it apart from my earlier Internet marketing experience either, but the subtle difference is there. In fact, you’d never realize email marketing can take an outbound approach as much as an Inbound one.
For example, every time you blast out an eDM mail and hoping and praying someone will click it, that’s outbound. On the other hand, a website visitor arrives at one of your landing pages and download an interesting ebook offer. Thereafter, a series of scheduled email messages is sent out to him on a 3-day interval to nurture his interest until he becomes sales-ready: that’s Inbound.
Outbound: First, you execute a marketing action, then prospects react within their choice.
Inbound: First, prospects signal their interest by their top-of-the-funnel action, then you follow up on them.
Which marketing approach is easier…much easier? There is no debate: Inbound is the way to go because it builds on prospects’ interest that is already there; they come to you on their own initiative. At any point in time—not even in the closing stage—there is no hard selling. Even traditional business owners would have a few good ‘Inbound’ moments, like when you pick up a call and someone whom you have never prospected asked about your products and services. Would you be happy to receive random leads like this at no extra advertising cost? Sure you would. Inbound Marketing is touted to lower lead generation costs by 60%!
I think one of the strongest component of Inbound that sets it apart from digital marketing in general is its follow-up process. Many corporations in Singapore may have an email database here and a blog there, but they’d never know how various digital marketing elements can gel together to become comprehensive. Inbound Marketing, through the use of HubSpot, the world’s no. 1 Inbound Marketing software, is a holistic approach to converting a cold lead into a warm Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) which ultimately becomes a customer, and throughout the process, the marketing execution is timely (saves time) and cost-effective (saves money).
Inbound is not just list building: landing pages are strategically positioned along the buyer’s journey to frame a lead’s problems or challenges and offer corresponding solutions.
Inbound is not just content marketing: articles are written not generically, but with a sharp focus that is relevant to the readers depending on their buyer persona and where they are along the buyer’s journey.
Inbound is not just email marketing: emails are written to be helpful, informative and conversational and sent to the appropriate segmented subscriber list to engage subscribers and build closer relationships. The dialogue and nurturing process breaks down leads’ defenses so they can be more open to speaking to your sales team later.
Inbound is not just search engine optimization (SEO): selected keywords lay the foundation for remarkable content to be written for searchers first, then the search engines. This paves the way towards better understanding of your buyer personas’ queries.
Inbound is not just closing the sale: Too much money, time and effort had been spent to acquire customers only for businesses to neglect them. It is a grave mistake and a huge let-down to customers. According to the White House Office Of Consumer Affairs, “It is 6, 7 times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.” Inbound customer service goes above and beyond to build trust and lasting relationships as a critical priority to creating the Inbound experience. When customers become promoters of your business, you gain 3 very powerful intangible benefits: social proof, marketing leverage and competitive advantage.
It is clear to us that Inbound requires a higher marketing school of thought in order to provide a fuller customer experience in relation to our businesses. Singapore companies have always been ahead of neighboring countries in terms of business practices, so it is high time that we must uphold our leading position by continually updating our marketing strategies to meet business growth goals.
Inbound is the next wave of marketing to maximizing your growth potential. If you are not sure how to get started, do not hesitate to call us or drop us a mail, or you can apply for a FREE website evaluation. We relish a challenge that helps us on both sides to grow in knowledge and expertise in 2015 and beyond.