The Business of Marketing for the Digital Age: Attract, Don't Disrupt
Over the past decade outbound, “interruption” marketing has become ineffective. The overwhelming amount of information available on the internet, combined with the vast quantity of “junk” email, has made most people disdain unwanted advertising messages. Spam filters have made it impossible to get messages to a high percentage of contacts, even on targeted and vetted lists.
Clients today don’t want to be interrupted or “sold” to. They prefer to be provided with educational or informational content that provides answers to their problems. They also want to access their desired content when it is convenient for them.
Customers today go on-line to seek out information. Firms need to be where they are in order to reel them in.
Clients want answers to their questions - when and where they need them. Instead of calling someone or issuing an RFQ, many will search on-line from computers, smartphones, or tablets. This has made it imperative for AEC firms to anticipate client questions and post answers in the form of relevant educational content.
In their personal lives people research purchases prior to making a selection. Brand loyalty has become a thing of the past now that people are not limited by geography or time. Individuals know what they are looking for and if they can’t find it on one site they click over to another. Most don’t engage with a supplier until they have decided what they want.
These personal buying habits have been carried over into purchasing professional goods and services, Client expectations have changed dramatically. They want answers to their questions when and where they need it, without having to engage with someone on the phone. This has made it imperative for marketers to fully understand clients and engage them using their preferred methods, at each stage of the marketing funnel.
With inbound, websites are the hub of inbound marketing. Having a high quality website today is essential.
Some of the ways A/E/C firms can implement inbound strategies include:
AEC Clients want answers to their questions - when and where they need them. Instead of calling someone or issuing an RFQ, many will search on-line from computers, smartphones, or tablets. This has made it imperative for AEC firms to anticipate client questions and post answers in the form of relevant educational content.
This article was first published in ENR Magazine 's Special Advertising Section on May 30, 2016. It is one of the articles written by Deborah Briers for the SMPS California Chapters Special Section: SMPS California - The business of marketing is changing. Firms that have embraced new digital and inbound marketing strategies are growing significantly. Are You?
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DEBORAH BRIERS, CPSM, MBA