I was at a conference yesterday that had a panel of speakers educating the audience on the world of digital marketing.  They were smart people with smart things to share.  Based on random, hand raising polls that the speakers did with the audience tells me that there are so many businesses out there that really still do not understand the power of what digital marketing can do for a business.

I would guess that many of the companies still subscribe to the somewhat less effective method of using “outbound marketing” to generate leads.  By that I mean trade shows, seminars, email blasts from lists they may have purchased, cold calling (does that even work anymore?), telemarketing, etc.  All in the hopes of catching the right person at the right time.

I still believe there is a place for many of those methods.  But, if a company crafted their messages around some of those efforts to solve a particular problem that one of their buyer personas are dealing with and how the companies products or services can solve that problem, it puts an inbound methodology to an outbound tactic.  It may be more effective.  But, as the panel discussed, and I have seen case studies to this effect, in today’s world, often times a buyer is doing his/her research on line and is close to 70% further down the buying cycle before they even contact a business to help solve their problem.  Wouldn’t your average sales person be more successful if they were to get leads of this nature?

With all the recent algorithm changes at Google, it has become increasingly more difficult for online marketers to understand the specific keywords potential customers are using to find them on Google.  Especially with the release of the Hummingbird change.  But, the work of SEO did not die with this change, just a little more challenging.  Google’s job as a search engine is to give the best search results relative to the query.  What the panel all agreed upon was that with the change (and even well before the change) that creating relevant, fresh, problem solving content will give Google and more importantly, the end user, what they are looking for.  Utilizing social channels to share, engage and interact with the content will help a company be relevant when a potential customer is working his way to the 70% level of the buying decision mentioned earlier.

Attract-Convert-Close-Delight, that is HubSpot’s methodology and companies should utilize it, not be afraid of it.  I would suggest if they even use that mindset with practicing Outbound methods, they may be more successful with them.

It was a very good conference yesterday.  Business leaders can not stick their head in the sand around digital marketing.  EMBRACE it, it won’t bite!  Get the right information in front of the right person at the right time.

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