The Changing Marketing Landscape: Outbound vs Inbound
Marketing has been morphing for years now, driven by consumer behavioral shifts and advances in technology, and we want to make sure your dealership is up to speed with it all.
Until recently, marketing efforts consisted almost entirely of what is called outbound marketing. This is the traditional form of marketing where the company initiates the message, interrupting the consumer by talking at them, instead of with them. Many of the traditional mediums support this type of marketing, such as print, billboards, radio, tv and telemarketing, and as the media landscape has grown, these channels became their own advertising medium, cluttering the consumer’s experience. With this form of marketing, communication was a one-way street controlled by the company.
And consumers started taking note and demanding changes. In 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law which established the first national standards against sending unsolicited commercial emails. Over 200 million Americans are on the National Do Not Call Registry. DVRs have become more popular, allowing viewers to skip over commercials. Not only are consumers tuning out the traditional forms of marketing, they are also skeptical of advertising. The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer stated that 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they believe them.
With the consumer-controlled shift in behavior and advertising skepticism, marketing today is focused now on engaging the consumer through information sharing and collaboration, earning their interest instead of buying it. The focus is on quality content that pulls consumers toward your company and product on their own accord, keeping them engaged and coming back for more. This form of marketing is called inbound marketing, where companies share content designed specifically for their customers. Marketing this way attracts high-quality prospects that can convert into leads and ultimately become promoters of your business. Content marketing, such as blogging, white papers and infographics, along with connecting to potential customers via social media networks are some of the best and most effective tactics. Consumers are in control of what messages they want to be exposed to, and it’s up to the business to create valuable content that’s easy for them to find and engage with.
The traditional marketing efforts shouldn’t be ignored altogether, but dealerships looking to improve their sales and marketing ROI should re-allocate a percentage of their marketing efforts to inbound marketing, allowing your dealership to engage customers in meaningful and exciting ways.
What’s your dealership’s current marketing technique? Have you started using more inbound marketing strategies? Let us know in the comments section below.