Does Inbound marketing really work? – Part 1 of 3

07 Oct

There is all this hype about inbound marketing, and you’re not quite sure whether this will really work?  If this summarizes your thinking, then this series is for you.

The bottom-line is, all sales methods have challenges, so what may be worthwhile to ask is, does inbound marketing work better than traditional B2B marketing methods?

In this post we look at old traditional B2B marketing tactics and why they used to work so well.

Going back 20 years, to the days before the internet, email, mobile phones and even voicemail, companies had all the power.

Imagine its 1994, and you’ve launched a services company that solves a major problem for businesses.

You hire a salesperson, and make it their mission to achieve 100 dials a day to a list (you bought) of decision makers at key target companies who have the problem you solve.

Of the 500 or so calls your salesperson make each week, the salesperson secures 3-4 meetings. For each 3-4 meetings, you secure one customer. And it worked. It worked because the salesperson was in control of the buying process.

Your target buyers didn’t have a way to research competitive offerings easily. They couldn’t make a Google search to find answers to their problems, or find out if your solution was really the best. They couldn’t send a quick message to an old colleague on LinkedIn.

They may ask other people in their network, but largely, buying decisions were made based on the sales and marketing material supplied by, in this case, the prospecting company.

Direct mail, cold calling, advertising in trade magazines, you name it.  These “old” ways of marketing focused on interrupting a prospect to get their attention at a time where they hopefully had a problem.  It was a numbers game. If you got your message in front of enough people, you’d make a sale.  Again, this was successful because your salesperson was in control of the buying process.

But something changed. What changed?  We’ll look at that in the next post in this series.



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