I’ve been thinking a lot about THE debate. You know the one - which marketing strategies are the best?Us marketers and business development professionals are bombarded with blogs about why the inbound strategy is the way to go, or why outbound is dead or dying. On the other hand, we also hear that outbound isn’t dead. To further confuse myself, I just read a HubSpot blog on overrated marketing practices. How are we supposed to sort it all out?
True, some forms of marketing may not be as effective as they used to be. Should we cast them off, or should we reinvent them? Confused? Let's straighten it out. Acadia began as a company providing outbound marketing, inside sales and lead generation for other B2B companies - we had to reinvent these to evolve. So yes, the landscape is changing, but it's not as confusing as the pundits make it sound.
To put it all together, I'd like to throw out a term that we have begun using: Omnibound Sales and Marketing.
Merriam-Webster defines "omni" as: all: universally <omnidirectional>.
Here's why we should be thinking Omnibound and not just inbound or outbound.
1. As I stated above, "omni" means all and therefore includes all marketing channels, both inbound and outbound.
2. We're all hearing that trade shows are dead or dying. But think about this - the life of a trade show can now extend well beyond the year it's held. Or do you think your trade show leads go to waste (the old Marketing vs. Sales dilemma)? Let's think Omnibound. Leverage the outbound trade show and integrate it with inbound nurturing and follow up.
Take the life of the lead. After a show, leads are distributed to the field with the assumption they'll be treated like the gold nuggets they are. Let’s take advantage of inbound tactics to extend the life of that lead - continue to nurture that trade show lead behind the scenes. Email them. Invite them to an event. Send them an ebook. We've seen trade show leads over a year old turn into business because we try to remain at the front of their mind. Many of those leads are just kicking tires at the show and aren't yet ready to buy. By digitally nurturing, you remain at the front of their mind and are there when they do actually have a need. I can comfortably say that in the past, before inbound, many of those leads died, and their business went to a competitor who happened to walk in the door at the right time. Trade shows can last for years if done right - a prime example of Omnibound.
3. We all love to make cold calls, right? I don’t need to answer that question. But the reality is that we live in a B2B world where a conversation must always be part of the sales process. We're always looking for ways to make calls more productive. When Acadia makes calls like this for our clients, we think Omnibound - and incorporate lead intelligence. It's invaluable to know that someone you've been trying to engage telephonically has visited your site, looked at your services, and/or downloaded an ebook after you left that voice mail. Should this change your behavior and help you prioritize your call-backs and increase your success? Absolutely. Omnibound - combining inbound and outbound tactics.
Whether we're working with clients or planning our internal strategies, we're always looking to leverage our complete spectrum of opportunities. This allows us to maximize our marketing dollar to generate a lead and close a sale. The inbound versus outbound discussion is heated and certainly can “stir the pudding” between the two camps. But this isn't necessary. Just check out this blog from the Bridge Group, which clearly advocates an effective blend of inbound and outbound.
Let’s step back, rethink our positions and define Omnibound to include all sales and marketing tactics and strategies. Not one or the other, but an integrated solution.