Digital Interactive Services

Have you thought about Inbound Marketing this way?

There is more to inbound marketing than just influencing a buyer’s journey in the larger market. While that would arguably be the primary objective, how about adopting a holistic approach to this important strategy, and looking at what inbound marketing can offer within the organization?

Inbound marketing is now so de rigueur that we – consciously or not – are subjected to it every time we use a search engine. The travel guide that was readily available at the first click, the primer to using an app – almost all of them are designed to help. At the exact moment you’re furiously scrolling to wish a problem away, there’s dramatic intervention from a brand, offering just what’s needed. A strategic rescue. And that is one of the reasons why inbound marketing is so effective.

The other? It is wholly consensual. Perhaps a more appropriate term would be interventional or consensual marketing; for the interaction with a “prospect” is initiated by the prospect themselves. If one chooses to engage further than the content at hand, great – otherwise, it was a pleasure meeting you, really.

That’s probably why inbound marketing stands out as quite the sophisticate. The relationship with a potential customer isn’t transactional. The content that you choose to view is yours – no strings attached. This non-conformist and unconditional approach to what marketers earlier considered sacrosanct – being in the midst of your customers and target audience, whenever, wherever, however – is what changed the landscape of digital marketing for good.

But almost always, inbound marketing has been talked about in the context of outbound marketing – as the differentiator, and, as a strategy – that would set a brand apart from the rest. Something requiring rigorous governance, a content model that would enable you to publish stories at regular intervals – catering to each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Inbound marketing though, doesn’t always have to be leveraged to afford you a position in the larger market. The dynamicity of it is that it can even be of greater use within the company. Think of these “inbound interactions” as a way to market your practice to the rest of the company. After all, every large or small organization is made up of individual business units. And every organization – large and small – will look to maximize the scope of its various revenue streams. The non-tangible benefits are aplenty too, especially with a company’s ESG policies and performance now influencing a sizeable chunk of investors. So, numbers aside, possibly the best outcome of this exercise would be an open, inclusive work culture where a company treats its employees as valuable stakeholders, leading to impactful conversations across the board. The result? Greater employee advocacy, anywhere and everywhere, in the universe and the metaverse. Now, how can you get there?

It's OK to overshare

A client in the financial services vertical had a brainwave during one of their design-thinking workshops. They envisioned a theme, called it visibility, and devised a few parameters to evaluate its growth. Every unit in the organization was required to contribute to the theme – for their own good, of course. A content management team, with a writer and a designer, was set up to meet the objective. The firm, along with the content team, charted a calendar to periodically publish a “creative” on their internal social media pages. Think of an infographic or an article a week talking about the latest achievements or simple BAU activities carried out by a particular business area. The creatives were simply structured, aimed at solving a problem or illustrating the benefits that a particular process can offer more often than not to other functional areas within the company. Moreover, as a capability center to the parent organization, the creatives aimed at generating more visibility across geographies. Now, what can the advantages of such an initiative be? With time, the organization could get to know its people better, identify more strengths, and consequently enhance the pool of capabilities that it could present to the external market.

Tip 1: Tell a story; Leverage resources within

Got brilliant results this quarter? Tell everyone how. Design an infographic or an interactive multimedia creative. Host a knowledge sharing session. A talk by Patrick Winston, the late American computer scientist, and professor at MIT, has over 5 million views on YouTube. Titled How to Speak, Winston, with characteristic disregard, scorns at beginning presentations with a joke. A more effective strategy to hold your audience’s interest, he says, would be to tell them what they would learn at the end of the hour, which they have no idea about at that moment. Basis the creative at hand, tell your colleagues or co-workers how you would enrich their knowledge by the time you’re done. Make the promise, and then tell the story to just about anyone willing to listen- about a problem that you solved and how your product or service was instrumental in solving it.

Since the first step to convincing the larger market begins at home, turning inbound marketing inward could result in an organization-wide concerted effort to promote your services – or product – to the outside world. That’s 10X marketing across channels. A large part of it human and hence, naturally trustworthy.

Tip 2: Doing it already? Do it better

Inbound marketing is almost a rite of passage to lead generation – and that isn’t news. What perhaps is, how initiating the exercise within the organization can boost overall visibility. If you’ve just tentatively begun doing that with sporadic e-mails and newsletters, it’s time to step on the gas. A full-fledged content team could help represent your solutions and achievements using a plethora of creative tools at its disposal. Creating content – engaging, and visually appealing – isn’t an easy task.

That’s precisely where a content creation team, armed with just the right expertise, could help. You could set goals for each creative, strategize based on the audience you’re catering to, and essentially, take charge of your own narrative. That way, even if you don’t achieve stupendous success in the external market right away, you’re all set for a more clued in and engaged base of promoters within.

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