What is Inbound Marketing and Why Do I Need It?

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cognitiveWhile inbound marketing has grown exponentially in the last few years, business-to-business marketers are hesitant to jump onto the bandwagon. That hesitation stems in large part from a reliance on tactics that have proven successful: traditional outbound marketing, combined with the personal touch of salespeople account representatives.

Those hesitations are certainly understandable. But at the same time, inbound b2b marketing can be immensely successful because it can focus on one thing: the rational mind. Keeping it rational is key to being successful in B2B marketing.

All decisions made by consumers are ultimately emotional. Whether we buy a new shampoo or a new car, buying a product is an emotional experience. We may vary in how much research we conduct before the purchase, but the final decision always comes down to the intangibles — the “feel” of driving the car or simply the color of the logo on the shampoo bottle.

At the same time, it’s no surprise to experienced B2B marketers that in their field, emotions aren’t quite as important. Because purchasing agents make decisions based not for their own good but for the good of the company, the thought-process is much more rational than it would be for individual consumers. While personal relationships between purchasing agents and salespeople certainly matter, metrics like ROI gain in importance, which is where inbound marketing comes in.

Inbound marketing is closely related to content marketing, the idea being that writing and publishing original content is a great way to draw an audience of potential customers. If the content is relevant enough, that audience will be willing to give up their information in order to read it. As a result, B2B marketers can publish content specifically designed to help purchasing agents of their customers make informed decisions.

White papers on the benefits of your products to customers, blog posts explaining how to measure ROI in your customers’ industry, webinars focused on industry trends, and other content marketing strategies are a great way to emphasize and take advantage of the rational decision-making process employed by B2B companies.

In short, Inbound marketing is uniquely suited to generate leads in B2B industries. All it takes is great content that’s focused on helping purchasing agents make a rational decision. And before you know it, the leads will come flowing in, and your salespeople will thank you for an increased pool of qualified prospects!

Much success,

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