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Traditional Outbound Marketing: Leveraging the Changes

Loading the Sales Funnel

Paul Michael’s started selling home accessories at a large flea market a little over a decade ago. He collected snail mail addresses and sent regular flyers to a growing base of customers. He focused on email addresses when that started to be used by many of his customers. Eventually Michaels moved into a permanent location off a major Interstate and started using strategically placed billboards. As business grew, he added locations and now has an active social media presence. However, he continues to find both his billboards and mailings effective for finding new customers and getting existing ones in for sales and specials.

This successful small business is an example of integrating both traditional outbound and evolving inbound marketing techniques. It underlines the issue that these are not either/or type decisions. Whether your focus is B2C or B2B, the opportunities are the same. The key is adapting your approach and adding the right elements where they can make either method more effective. For instance, adding a website address and a hash tag to a billboard is using both strategies to get more bang for the marketing buck.

The Baby with the Bath Water

As we discussed earlier, traditional outbound marketing does have some real limitations. When you pay for advertising based on a “cost per impression” basis, you’re really throwing a dart at a board. If 50,000 cars drive by your billboard every day, that sounds impressive and costs a penny or so apiece. Yet, if only a handful of those drive-bys are potential customers, it can be expensive on a per prospect basis.

For decades, however, this form of marketing has worked. This includes such time-proven marketing tools such as:

  • Networking
  • Promotional Products
  • Direct Mail.
  • Print Catalogs

This means it’s important to not simply consider outbound marketing outdated and drop it across the board. You certainly want to reevaluate what you spend on yellow page listings and some other advertising. In most cases, you’re most creative approach is to make your outbound more efficient by leveraging it with inbound techniques.

One example of this approach is Insource Electronics. This company has been around for two generations and has relied on a bulky printed catalog for years. While it still produces the catalog in much smaller quantities, it provides copies in digital form on its website and emails targeted pages to specific customers.

These longtime customers can still get the printed copy if they desire, ask for it on a CD or flash drive, or access it on the website. Management and salespeople also carry around a nifty little plastic business card with a built in flash drive. They hand these out at trade shows and other networking events, each one much cheaper than a printed catalog. The drives contain a copy of the catalog, and they also connect to LinkedIn, their website, and to Facebook.

The key tip for this article is to be creative. Evaluate each of your proven outbound marketing techniques and add elements of new digital marketing methods to make them more cost-effective and successful.

Content Posted By Analia Gentile
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