How inbound marketing helps you to market an innovation
Traditional marketing methods seek to find customers for the company. Inbound marketing goes the opposite way: Here the customer should find the company and its solutions. In this blog post you can read about the advantages of this method and why it is particularly suitable for marketing an innovation.
Advertising messages are lurking around every corner today. We are all threatened with drowning in a flood of marketing messages. In order to be heard at all, advertising is becoming louder and louder and is becoming its biggest enemy: as communication intensifies, the target group becomes more and more closed and perceives advertising more and more as a mere burden. However, information about solutions to problems that plague consumers and business customers is always welcome. What's just annoying is the constant sounding about things that you don't need in the current situation. Relevance is therefore the order of the day. There are many methods to create them.
Companies can be found by the customer
One of these is inbound marketing. Companies and their products and services can be found by users - instead of searching for customers themselves as in established marketing (outbound marketing). In order for a company to be found, it offers search engine optimized content on various channels such as its own website, blogs or social media appearances, which brings real benefits to the target group. If a user is looking for a solution to a specific problem, he comes across this content. The user receives further content offers such as videos, e-books or whitepapers from the company if he discloses some data about himself in return. On this basis, the company submits even more individual content and receives even more detailed data. This material is used to filter out those who actually have a need that the company can satisfy. Only then does the company get in direct contact with the potential customers - if they do not do so on their own initiative anyway. All these steps - starting with the selection and promotion of the content, filtering out the contacts ready for purchase and supporting the sales department in concluding the purchase itself - can be carried out automatically by a software platform. This process is called marketing automation.
The six strengths of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing has decisive strengths over other marketing methods - whether you want to market existing FMCG products or a complex B2B service:
- Compared to classical marketing methods, inbound marketing is very cost-efficient.
- If you use appropriate software solutions for your inbound marketing, this method is very easy to measure. For example, you can see at a glance which content generated how many leads.
- Inbound marketing is only aimed at those who are already looking for the solution your company can deliver. The content you offer is therefore always relevant to the user. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, often runs the risk of having a penetrating effect. For example, cold calls to potential customers at the wrong time or to the wrong person can have a very negative advertising effect.
- Inbound marketing forces you to deal with the customer's perspective. Because content that offers no added value to your target group is not consumed. When this happens, you will quickly change your content strategy and align the content with your target audience.
- Inbound marketing allows you to combine marketing and sales very well. The lead generated by targeted content and further qualified leads go directly to the sales department.
- Inbound marketing is suitable for every conceivable service that companies have to offer. Large trading companies such as Rewe or Hofer maintain blogs on a wide variety of topics. Coca Cola tries with a sophisticated content strategy to further improve the connection to the target group. And even EPUs in the B2B business use inbound marketing to draw attention to themselves and win customers.
7 Benefits relevant to the marketing of innovations
The marketing of innovations often differs significantly from the advertising of existing product services. Inbound marketing has specific strengths in this area:
- Novelties often require explanation. Inbound marketing offers channels - such as blogs, videos or whitepapers - to transport this information accordingly.
- Inbound marketing also enables you to better network the various departments of your company. For example, product management, sales or development can be involved in the creation of the content themselves. This means that more departments are involved in marketing your innovation than just your marketing.
- The reach of the content allows conclusions to be drawn about the market's interest in the innovation itself. You can gain this knowledge at a very early stage if you deal with topics related to innovation. If there is hardly any search for solutions that your novelty should offer, you can stop the innovation process at an early stage and thus protect yourself from expensive flops.
- You can integrate your target group in the creation of content, understand it better and become aware of problems. You can achieve this through interviews with representatives of partner companies or experts. Or you can set up a forum for your customers where you can exchange ideas and take care of your own content.
- Partnering is becoming increasingly important in the development of innovations. More and more companies are working together on R&D projects - such as the development of compostable bras. Inbound marketing can be designed much more easily by different partners together than is the case with classic advertising. Running a blog together is much easier than designing a TV spot with which each partner is satisfied and for whose publication each individual pays accordingly.
- If you score points through useful content, this also increases your awareness and contributes to your brand.
- Inbound marketing itself is not yet very widespread in German-speaking countries. A quite similar method, which is part of inbound marketing - namely content marketing - is on everyone's lips. In practice, this often involves very product- or company-related content that is distributed by PR departments via digital channels. The approach, which originates from the US region and focuses on the benefit of the target group and potential customers, is still not widespread in the D-A-CH region. In short: If you use inbound marketing, you are using a method that is quite new by local standards and your company or marketing is innovative in the public eye.
The dangers and limits of inbound marketing
Despite all these advantages for marketing in general and also the marketing of innovations in particular, inbound marketing is not an egg-laying pig of wool. If you want to use this method, you should also be aware of its limitations and weaknesses:
- Inbound marketing requires resources. Although automation simplifies everyday life and reduces the effort in the long term, time must initially be invested to create the framework for a functioning inbound process.
- Inbound marketing is an ongoing process. You must operate it regularly and permanently. Create the internal structures for this. Even if you outsource content creation to external service providers. Because in inbound marketing you must always have control of the steering wheel yourself.
- A variety of digital channels are available for inbound marketing. Here you may run the risk of getting bogged down if you rely on several isolated solutions. For example, if you coordinate manually on which websites which articles should appear and then want to promote them on other social media platforms. You can overcome this hurdle relatively easily with an appropriate software solution.
Conclusion: How inbound marketing helps you to market an innovation
Companies are successful when they support their customers and take them further. To achieve this, it is necessary to understand one's own clientele as well as possible. Inbound marketing more or less forces you and your company to think from the perspective of your target group. At the same time, it is an appealing form of advertising that is also cost-efficient and very easy to measure. For the marketing of innovations, inbound marketing is in most cases much better suited than the tools of classical advertising.
Born and raised in Vienna. Since 2012 she has been in charge of Business Development at LEAD Innovation with the functions marketing, sales and communication.