The rallying cry of inbound and content marketers everywhere is that outbound marketing, you know, things like advertising, cold calling and overt promotion are evil.
The theory is that if you put enough high quality content out there, the right people will find you. And, both in theory and in fact, this is happening.
The funny thing about evolution, however, is that it never really stops.
As marketers and the customers they aim to attract fully embraced inbound marketing, the sales function had to change with it. The most effective sales professionals today practice inbound selling and collaborate as much as close.
As marketers and the customers they aim to attract fully embraced inbound marketing, outbound marketing became more effective.
Now, before you get out the pitchforks and start skewering, let me explain.
Before inbound marketers built libraries of educational content to lean on in their inbound marketing efforts, most outbound approaches simply shouted buy, buy, buy - and that's the part that turned everyone off.
But now, smart marketers are using their content assets, married with outbound tactics, to attract leads with a more palatable read, read, read or download, download, download!
An add on Facebook, promoting a popular free eBook, highly targeted to people who have shown a real interest in this precise kind of content, is an effective use of inbound and outbound tactics.
Smart sales professionals are using effective network mining techniques combined with content assets to turn what we used to refer to as cold calls into very effective smart calls.
A sales professional, mining social networks and listening for very specific requests for information can offer up a free eBook or video training turning a something cold into something smart.
Once you build an inbound marketing approach and find that this approach attracts and converts the right customers, you can effectively expand and amplify it through other channels. While being found is nice, it can also be quite limiting.
If you want to grow your marketing reach and create greater marketing velocity use your content assets to go find even more of the right customer.
Now, understand, I'm not suggesting a return to the "shout from the rooftops to anyone that will listen days," those days are gone forever. What I am suggesting is that you use the tools at your disposal to narrowly target prospects and invite them to find your valuable, education based content.
I've been promoting this approach for a number of years now and it has become even more effective as social media participation and behavior grows. In fact, the ability to target, learn, access and engage through social networks has made this integrated view the most effective approach possible.
Marketers love to name new strategies and tactics so I think I'll take a stab at coining a term to describe what I see as the latest evolution of sorts.
Inbound marketing + inbound selling + social media + outbound marketing = Omnimarketing.
I believe that smart, balanced Omnimarketing is the way forward.
There is no "either or", "one way is better than another", "this way is cheaper than another" approach that can effectively leverage every opportunity available today.
The Omnimarketing formula looks something like this.
- Build a content strategy that attracts the right customer and builds trust. Test, tweak, add and subtract until you find the right customer conversion journey and experience.
- Work to understand everything you can about the prospects and customers your inbound approach is attracting.
- Get your sales teams to move deeply into social networks to understand even more about the needs and challenges of the customers your marketing is attracting.
- Let your salespeople start leveraging and personalizing content assets to turn up and make smart calls.
- Now start building a narrowly targeted advertising approach that brings even greater numbers of leads into your content or Marketing Hourglass.
- Continue to test, tweak and refine your outbound efforts based on actual conversations and conversions that move through your Omnimarketing approach.
- Re-engage your customers to measure results and enable referrals.
Ominmarketing works because first and foremost it's based on the way that people want to buy today and once you understand that you can add the element of control that targeted outbound marketing brings.