Inbound Marketing and The Ultimate Internet Image:
Traditional Brick and Mortar Business and Inbound Marketing Consulting
Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion about inbound marketing, search driven advertising, local search, consulting with local brick and mortar businesses; and, helping business people transition from traditional, outbound advertising to the new media, inbound marketing approach to lead generation, traffic building, and new customer and client acquisition. This seems like a tall order and it is…and it isn’t! I will explain below.
The Failure of Outbound Advertising
Traditional brick and mortar businesses have used what is now referred to as outbound advertising. Outbound marketing and/or advertising is intrusive (TV, Yellow Pages, radio, junk mail, etc.), driven by the business with the focus being customer acquisition by any means necessary. While this may seem like a bit of an exaggeration or at the very least a stretch, it’s quite accurate.
Businesses have been resorting to a “take no prisoners” approach to sales and marketing for decades and, until the dawn of the Internet, and particularly with the emergence of SEM or search engine marketing, things started to change…drastically and rapidly!
As businesses moved to the online business environment, they discovered several things almost immediately:
1) Prospective clients and/or customers were defining the search.
2) Traditional brick and mortar businesses seeking to engage their prospective target audience, their target market, had to adapt to this new and dynamic environment
3) The companies able to adapt and get in front of their target market flourished.
4) Inbound marketing consulting emerged.
5) Inbound marketing consultancies serving traditional brick and mortar businesses with their online image, the Ultimate Internet Image if you will, offered a dynamic new form of advertising and marketing.
6) There was a huge disparity in competence among these inbound marketing consultancies, particularly those claiming to be SEO or search engine optimization specialists.
Enter the Inbound Marketing Consultant
In order to answer the need for Internet savvy, inbound marketing specialists many companies settled for less than qualified consultants, rather than taking the time to develop competence in house. The niche was there and if XYZ Inbound Marketing Consultancy didn’t fill it, ABG Internet Marketing and New Media Specialists would. Both companies are, of course, fictitious but you get the point, hope?
Consequently, in the rush to fill an ever expanding niche, a few inbound marketing consultancies failed to deliver. This failure gave an entire industry a black-eye. Sadly, a few unscrupulous SEO consultants simultaneously gouged their unsuspecting brick and mortar clients attempting to create a better online image of hundreds, often thousands of dollars in order to reap the short term windfall; the long term consequences be damned.
Fortunately, two things occurred:
1) The inbound marketing consulting landscape changed, it adapted and, consequently, flourished…exposing and pushing out most of the hacks and replacing them with competent and professional Internet and inbound marketing consultancies, companies in it for the long-term.
2) As with most things Internet, the consumers, in this case the traditional brick and mortar companies seeking the Ultimate Internet Image, and all the profits that go with such an online presence, got smart. With the emergence of greater competition, the consumer, the traditional brick and mortar business benefited in a big way!
Hiring Competent Consultants: Growing Pains
One of the greatest challenges facing new Internet companies focusing on inbound marketing was and remains to be how to hire and/or develop competent staff, marketing specialists capable of speaking the Internet/inbound marketing language. Additionally, these specialists need to have a working knowledge of the outbound strategies the companies and clients are engaged in.
Once again, the inbound marketing consultant needs to have a working knowledge of the traditional brick and mortar business environment, and the outbound advertising arena, as well.
I use arena for a reason, it has degenerated into something of a 3-ring circus, with no clear focus and little hope of competing in the new world of the Internet.
The Birth of an Inbound Marketing Consultant and Consultancy
One of the most common questions I receive from people considering a career as either an entrepreneur in a consultative role or as a sales and marketing specialist in the inbound marketing field is:
“How? How do I do it?”
Of course, the next statement is generally something like:
“I am not a salesman, never have been, and really can’t imagine myself being one. I hate selling!”
Interestingly but not surprisingly, the response is typical…and that’s a good thing!
What is crucial in inbound marketing is an understanding of consumer driven behavior, accessing target markets through an understanding of this behavior, an understanding of how the Internet works, and the ability to listen to prospective clients as they explain their motivation and their goals. Once the prospective client is understood, it then becomes a research driven task to build the Ultimate Internet Image for that client.
The No-Selling Sale!
Significantly, once a client understands that you have their interests at heart, and that you are competent, the sale takes care of itself. In fact, there is little selling to be done! The consultant presents and the traditional brick and mortar client accepts the vision of the consultant based on a relationship developed while engaged in the interview process.
There is much more to this and we will cover it is subsequent videos and articles but for now it is crucial to understand one thing:
It is impossible to fake competence long term!
The charlatan will be found out in short order and the inbound marketing firm that is focused on the client’s needs wants and desires will emerge, adapt over time, prosper, and, unfortunately, clean up the mess of the few who ruin it for those who completely understand this exciting and dynamic marketing milieu!
Call for information and a free outbound advertising consultation and inbound marketing assessment to achieve the Ultimate Internet Image.
Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
PS, For an amazing overall program for developing an inbound marketing consultancy, one you can plug in and go with, a turn key operation, simply click here…the results will be the Ultimate Internet Image…for you and your new clients! Webinar and information good until Saturday 12-19-2009 at midnight, so don’t delay!