These days all people talk about is the transition from grass roots marketing into the new wave of inbound marketing. SEO/SEM, social media and blogging have many traditional marketers in limbo over how to build an effective marketing strategy, especially when they have been doing what they do for so long. It gets even more complicated for online retailers with large product catalogs spanning hundreds (if not thousands) of categories.
The wisdom of old tells us that it’s more cost effective to have a sales force dedicated to cold calling or to spend monstrous amounts of money on media buys and other old-world advertising. These strategies were pure ‘spray-and-pray’ numbers games that are not only hard to measure but also don’t seem to have modern day value.
Current Inbound Marketing strategies are no doubt the most effective form of marketing, even for eCommerce businesses. Consumers are looking to be educated. They comb the net hunting down every scrap of info they can before making purchase decisions. Why isn’t your store the go-to destination for this information? If you provide a consumer with the much needed product-review that pushes them over the buying-edge, then perhaps they may just buy from you!
Some traditional line-items on your marketing budget may have been:
These days, there’s one more very major component:
When do sales come into play? From the moment the lead reaches out to you. Traditionally marketing was used to generate leads, which they would then hand over to the sales department to close the deal. Herein lies the on-going feud between sales and marketing. Sales always put the blame on marketing for not delivering the message properly, or pricing the product to high. Marketing in turn would blame the sales department for having an under trained staff. With efforts shifting towards Inbound Marketing tactics for lead generation, it is important that your marketing coordinator be sales ready. If your marketing team is putting together the content to generate leads, they usually have a pretty good understanding of the product.
One final thought. When a company needs to make budget cuts, why is it Marketing tends to be high on the list of “cuts”?