Inbound & Outbound: The New Hybrid

March 28, 2013
An Inbound and outbound marketing work together for lead generating results

Inbound marketing can be tricky. It has the allure of being a revenue generation machine, but it has the reputation of being trendy and unproven. The secret is thinking of it as a complement to your traditional marketing — inbound and outbound programs are meant to work hand-in-hand and actually support one another.

When trying to gain buy-in from a client or boss to employ inbound marketing, start with what you know, understand what your client/boss is thinking, and then demonstrate just how powerful this relationship can be.

Start by merging traffic

While the term “inbound marketing” may be new, it’s founded in tradition. Take traditional marketing and sprinkle it in with your paid advertising. Now attach a social media component around it. Integrating these pieces tightly is a challenge, but it makes for stronger campaigns.

Take Audi’s commercials for their Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. The commercials convey the pride of ownership and the dependable nature of the Audi lineup. The commercial also conveys a sense of performance and style regardless whether you are the first owner or the next.

The truly unifying component of this campaign is that there is a digital element under the tagline “Truth in Engineering.” Multiple landing pages have been created to demonstrate special financing offers, a CPO warranty and the 300+ point inspection that comes with each pre-owned vehicle.

This commercial is directly linked to Audi’s social media campaign, their video series and their “Truth in 24” iPhone app correlating technology both in racing and on the city streets. Audi embeds hashtags in their commercials, so you can see the topic trending on Twitter.

Did I mention that Audi’s dealer networking utilizes a traditional mail campaign, promoting maintenance services to get you to the finish line in Le Man-style fashion? Every aspect of Audi’s marketing is deliberately connected, providing consistent messaging and presence across many platforms.

Head to the races

Here are the steps to take what you know, what a client might be comfortable with, and then how you can supercharge the results.

1) You have content, right? Those blog posts, videos and even a whitepaper or two that you have carefully crafted in the past. Now is a great time to repurpose that content. You have it so why not re-promote it as fuel for your lead generation campaign. If you don’t have relevant content, your next step is to build it — now!

2) Build new content. You have a strategic content plan and editorial calendar, but you need more. Old content is great, but how about some fresh stuff? Think video. Don’t just think about it, actually build it. Having video in your content plan can garner some great results. It’s searchable and relevant, so make it stand out.

3) Clearly identify a call to action on your newly-minted landing pages for your campaign. Craft a compelling offer for each of your target audiences.

Driven by data

No matter where you're at with inbound or outbound marketing, you need the data it takes to get you where you want to be.

You should already have a solid idea of your customer audience and your sales goals. Your customer data should back this up and allow you to project where you want to be. You also need a point of validation to track the metrics of your campaign, including overall results and those attributed by the levers you have pulled during the various stages of your campaign.

With all of these tactics and the mechanism to measure results, you have the tools necessary to incorporate the full power of both inbound and outbound marketing — all the way to the finish line.

[Image: David Villareal Fernandez]