Like they say, you can't know where you're going without knowing where you've been. Before making the decision to dive (or not to dive) into inbound marketing services, there are questions that any business owner and/or marketing manager MUST ask themselves and their team.
Inbound marketing, and honestly any major change in a business, shouldn't be a decision that is made lightly. Let's take a look at three tough questions that you need to honestly answer before you start your inbound marketing campaign.
1. Is the status quo really so bad?
What happens if you just stay the same...continue doing what you're currently doing? Would that really be so bad?
It's important to take a look and project what you could do this year if you were to continue with the marketing campaign that you've been running. If that idea isn't something that you think can get you to your goals, then it may be the right time to look into creating an inbound marketing campaign. In order to take the plunge into inbound marketing, there has to be some urgency. If your current plan isn't doing that bad, maybe now isn't the right time. It's important you establish what you expect out of your campaign and whether or not you think a change can improve your efforts.
2. What happens if you don't reach your goals?
Maybe it will delay your next project. Maybe you won't be able to open that next location. Maybe you'll actually have to layoff some of your staff.
Whatever it may be, it's important to take a hard look at the consequences that your business may be facing if you do not reach your goals. Having this honest conversation internally will typically help get the creative juices flowing and spark a brainstorm of how you can avoid those consequences and reach your business goals.
3. How much do you really know?
How much do you know about your customers? How are your customers finding you? Which marketing initiatives have been most (and least) successful? Do you have a defined online conversion path?
It's time to take a look at all sides of your current marketing. What's working? What's not? Having that honest conversation (despite which vendors you like best or what used to work five years ago) and making a decision on what marketing initiatives to continue and which to stop is important to do every year.
In a previous life, I worked on the client side as a Marketing Manager. I was given pretty much free reign to determine what I thought would be most successful and pursue new marketing campaigns, that is except for one untouchable tactic - radio. This company had success years ago and got off the ground by spending an ungodly amount of money each week on radio ads so it became untouchable eventhough it wasn't working anymore. We were spending far more of our budget on radio than anything else just because we liked the sales rep and the owner was so loyal to the radio station because it worked once upon a time.
The moral of the story is - you have to make decisions on your marketing (and really any business decision) based on logic and numbers, not previous results and loyalty.
Making a big marketing change is never an easy thing to do and we encourage all of your essential employees to join in the conversation. Have these tough conversations now and you'll set yourself up for a successful year.
Think an inbound marketing campaign may be the answer, but want to learn more? Check out our FREE Inbound Marketing 101 eBook. It's a great place to start to understand what inbound marketing is, the services it includes (typically), and help you determine if it's going to be useful for your business or not!