Industrial marketing and advertising have a come long way over the years. In the past, buyers were relatively uninformed about their options; they simply didn’t have access to the wealth of information they do now. They couldn’t turn to Google for company reviews and testimonials, and they couldn’t access company websites for easy comparison, quote requests, and general industry information.
These were the days of cold calls and generic advertisements, and interruption was the key marketing tactic. Things have changed a great deal over the years, rendering these disruptive methods obsolete. In today’s increasingly digital world, interruption is just a nuisance; it’s simply ineffective.
Why Interruption Doesn’t Work
Disruptive marketing tactics have fallen by the wayside for a number of reasons, including:
The Proliferation of Media
Today’s buyers are no longer at the mercy of companies themselves; if buyers need information or want to compare potential business partners, all it takes is a quick search on their smartphones. And it’s not just websites, blogs, and message boards; today, there’s a magazine, podcast, radio show, and TV series for just about every niche interest and industry. These various platforms have become their own advertising mediums; companies can now reach prospective clients on the exact channels these potential customers are browsing. With so many different media options and platforms to turn to, no one is going to spend time on the phone with a cold caller.
Technology Has Empowered Consumers
Buyers now have access to a wealth of information at their fingertips. Whether using smartphones, tablets, or computers, consumers today can access the resources they need with just a few clicks. Consumers are now choosing to self-educate in order to compare products, troubleshoot, and keep up with new innovations and technologies. Plus, buyers can now take various preventative measures to keep interruptions to a minimum; the Do Not Call list, caller ID, and spam filters have all drastically changed the face of marketing. Today, rather than reaching out to companies themselves, people are more likely to turn social media to gain insight into a certain company or receive support for specific application issues.
The Long History of Deceptive Advertising
Consumers are used to being deceived by advertising; in fact, they expect to be. Studies have even shown that buyers need to hear company claims three to five times before they actually believe them. And interruption has long gone hand-in-hand with false claims and overpromising. This general consumer distrust, combined with increased regulation — plus more and more advertising-related lawsuits over the past few years — has resulted in a marketing landscape unconducive to disruptive tactics.
The Alternative: Inbound Marketing
Rather than employing interruptive tactics, marketers today are now turning to inbound marketing strategies to reach their target audiences. Inbound marketing is explicitly permission-based; contacts must be already seeking out your company, and the goal is to get them to provide their contact information willingly in order to receive valuable resources, download informative eBooks and product specs, or sign up for promotions and company alerts.
This is a proven tactic; 77% of online customers say they prefer permission-based promotions via email. And with consumers now spending 50% of their time online engaging with custom content — such as blogs, checklists, webinars, and so on — inbound has become the leading marketing tactic in today’s shifting landscape. Plus, businesses that rely on inbound methods save more than $14 for every newly acquired customer.
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