Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Inbound Marketing for the Enterprise

  Enterprise Inbound Marketing
Stardate 6/23/2012. Stakeholders are lost. Traditional marketing methods are not working anymore. Budgets are in outer space. You would think with these conditions decision makers at big companies would embrace any new method of lead generation. Despite a common sentiment among expanding executives, building an enterprise does not limit your marketing efforts to the ubiquity of outbound marketing. Responsible for more than 2000 interruptions a day, according to Hubspot, outbound marketing has actually become synonymous with large entities because of their trepidation to enter the more private and personalized arena of inbound marketing.
With a disciplined, uniform approach that appeases shareholders and consumer demographics using new technologies, however, the large enterprise can draw serious results from inbound marketing. So what are these technologies, how are they best utilized, and which large corporations are actually doing this?

Inbound Marketing: A New Frontier

Unlike its more abrasive, less personal counterpart, inbound marketing applies optimized content to social media, e-mail marketing, PPC advertising, and other channels to attract demographics instead of hunting them down. The following methods and technology comprise the staples of inbound marketing for the enterprise:
  • Social Media: Social media marketing incorporates personalized messages, user-generated content, and dependable ad campaigns into a highly visible platform. Using Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and other social media outlets allows businesses to feature diversified content, testimonials, and news updates pertaining to their products and services. Conversations between social media users and the enterprise are live, free-flowing, and visible to everyone. The result is a highly engaging and relevant environment that brings in demographics passively and effectively.
  • SEO: Search engine optimization, the priming of a website’s content to achieve high rankings in search engine results, is one of the most affordable ways to maximize your online presence. A well-devised web of meta tags, back links, long-tail and short-tail keywords should work silently and efficiently to increase your visibility, credibility, and appeal to new demographics.
  • PPC: Pay-per-click advertising offers a dual benefit for burgeoning enterprises of all scales. It funnels traffic to your website while simultaneously generating advertising revenue. As PPC ad publishers contract more affiliates, your keyword-driven displays will reach thousands more surfers, resulting in more exposure and revenue.
  • E-mail: Effective e-mail marketing allows the enterprise to proliferate its brand without hard selling. Soliciting sign-ups on the website, for example, is an effective way to build a database of interested customers. To keep them interested, marketers must constantly develop engaging newsletters and personalized offers.

Enterprise Companies Can Learn From Small Business

Small businesses are known to utilize social media and other inbound marketing techniques because they are agile enough to easily implement and oversee a social presence. This produces results quickly, but ROI growth occurs in relatively small margins thereafter, relevant to volume and market share. Large businesses, many of which erroneously count themselves out of this area of marketing, take longer to implement new policies and practices but produce much more significant increases. Thus, inbound marketing is actually more advantageous to the enterprise than the small business. But how does it produce this result?

The Value of Inbound Marketing for the Enterprise

Inbound marketing strategies deliver value to larger businesses by enabling live-action conversations with consumers and other interested parties, developing brand loyalty with optimized content, and keeping supporters connected using the latest technologies. As mobile apps and social media pervade all conceivable marketing spheres, consumer demand is shifting towards convenience, privacy, and personalized messages.
As such, staying current at the enterprise level means that these platforms must be used to reach these rapidly evolving demographics. To successfully indoctrinate inbound marketing strategies, large companies must overcome their mass quickly and train their sales departments to manage their own network of social media sites and interact with site visitors.
Marketing specialists must translate their increased transparency, caused by inbound marketing, to sincerity and receptiveness if they want to be successful. Going inbound will also necessitate a more dimensional analytics effort, as much of the incoming data has to be measured less linearly and more subjectively. While these changes may require deft maneuvering and even minor restructuring at first, the result is a more-than-worthwhile interface that constantly engages target demographics.

Enterprise Companies Can Learn From Large Companies Too

Several large companies have already succumbed to the lure of inbound marketing with great success. One of the least likely candidates to make this switch, Sun Microsystems, actually pioneered this movement to further personalize their relationships with consumers. CEO Jonathan Schwartz now maintains a blog, on which concerns and business developments are discussed in real time. The resulting spike in consumer loyalty has increased lead generation by more than a hundred times, generating a $500 million stream of revenue.

Social Media For Customer Service?

Taking advantage of Twitter, Comcast has engineered a lightning-fast communication channel with their customers who have problems. Before, as most cable and satellite customers are aware, the Comcast customer with a problem had to wade through a thick fog of bureaucracy, going from operator to operator just to reach a local technician. Now, they just have to tweet to@comcastcares and wait a minute or two for a response.
Finally, Southwest Airlines has utilized YouTube, Twitter, and blogging to display customer photos, transmit information about flights, and strengthen their brand. By opting for increased transparency and decreased response time, they too have driven their ROI to a new level.

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