Over the past five years, the marketing playbook for professional services has changed. Professional services marketers are working feverishly and at breakneck speed. High stress coupled with tight deadlines are always factors in the industry’s traditional marketing methods. Traditional methods tend to be in the form of print collateral including brochures, statements of qualification, postcards, and any other media marketers gratuitously provide to prospective clients. These methods often suffer from a mismanaged message due to intensive labor, cost constraints and focus on collateral production.
Inbound marketing methods offer new opportunity and a more practical approach to being flexible and adaptive in meeting market requirements for quality content. These methods use technology to effectively create, deliver and measure content. The idea is to provide content to capture the interest of a firm’s prospective clients – these methods are proving to be a revolutionary shift the marketing paradigm. As an added benefit, inbound marketing methods significantly reduce the time and cost associated with traditional methods.
There are many reasons why traditional marketing is “out” and inbound marketing is “in.”
Traditional Marketing is “Out”
- Traditional marketing methods require significant upfront costs and do not provide economic benefit to the client pursuit.
- Traditional marketing methods do not have the flexibility to be amplified through a range of communication channels and, once the message is delivered to a prospective client, it cannot be used again.
- The main problem is that for the money we spend on production and print, traditional marketing methods simply do not have a way to track efficacy.
- Traditional marketing methods tend to fall short on targeted messaging. For example, a firm looking to spend a budgeted amount on a company brochure will want to broaden the message to appeal to wider audience. With this approach, the firm greatly risks the ability to effectively position or differentiate itself among the competition in any one give market segment.
- While traditional marketing collateral can be produced with recycled materials and generated on energy efficient printing presses, traditional marketing can never be a sustainable effort.
Inbound Marketing is “In”
- With virtually no upfront costs other than labor, every firm has the opportunity to provide exceptional content to specifically address client concerns. Inbound marketing methods allow for endless ways to provide targeted messages to earn the interest of target audiences. If you are interested in tailoring a message to attract the attention of prospective clients, read Market Segmentation: An Inbound Marketer’s “Social” Bread and Butter.
- Content can be delivered through a range of channels. Content can be accessed through a website, blog, social media channel, automated marketing campaign, or email. With this approach, a firm has the ability to fine-tune a message to include information that client’s truly value.
- Inbound marketing methods can be measured for efficacy. Every inbound marketing effort provides a measured result that allows marketing professionals to come to logical conclusions as what seems to working and what is not. Inbound marketing uses technologies that measure the audience’s response and interest level with each marketing effort.
- Inbound marketing helps you get found by prospective clients looking for your services via search engines. Incorporating keywords in content, taking advantage of metadata, and indexing website pages are just beginning steps to being found by the audiences who are looking for your services. To learn more about how to get found, a good place to start would be investigating the Framework for Professional Services SEO: A Keyword Placement Guide.
- Inbound marketing methods are sustainable – all inbound marketing efforts can be deftly used and re-used to provide statements of qualifications, incorporated in a witty campaign or used to ensnare our client’s with outstanding website and blog content that brings them through the sales funnel or business development lifecycle.
Marketing professionals are experiencing the pain often associated with an unpredictable business climate. It is imperative for all marketing professionals to seek relief with viable alternatives for effectively and efficiently marketing professional services. Today’s environment requires effectively reaching a wider range of prospective clients due to increased competition. Simply, traditional methods cannot effectively meet management's business development goals and inbound marketing methods can effectively deliver desired results.
If you are not yet convinced that inbound marketing is “in”, then you may be persuaded with 5 Compelling Reasons to Prospect with Inbound Marketing Strategies.