Inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you. There is no need to fight for your prospects’ attention.
The Big Picture: A Changing Industry
The face of retail is changing. 2017 will see the closure of hundreds of Macy’s, KMart, Sears, CVS and other retail store across the US. The disruption in retail may very well accelerate, and the Pro Audio and Musical Instrument space is by no means exempt.
Your challenge, as a manufacturer, rep, distributor, or vendor, is to protect both your market share and profit margin in a radically different retail landscape. A future where retail channels are severely limited is a viable reality.
The business world is littered with the fading history of vendors who relied on big box retailers. Companies like WalMart, Pier 1, and others built empires on squeezing their suppliers’ margins until those vendors’ businesses failed.
A proactive Inbound Marketing strategy can help future-proof your business, while providing actionable quality leads right now.
How will Inbound Marketing help your business?
Inbound Marketing was developed to address a real world reality: traditional marketing techniques are failing. From Print Media, to TV, Radio, Direct Mail, and Billboards, costs are rising while ROI is evaporating.
Inbound uses the internet to help your prospects find you. In fact, your potential customers are already looking for you. They are searching for information in order to make a buying decision, and if you are able to provide solid, objective, and accessible content to them, you will grab their attention.
Search algorithms (Google, Bing, etc) have matured to the place where they can judge quality content. The result: your ability to rise to the top of a Google search is directly proportionate to your ability to deliver valuable information. Valuable information that is targeted to the searches your future customers are predicted to make.
Inbound Marketing provides a framework for creating the content that will bring visitors to your web property.
Acquire Intelligence and Data
Once your prospect has landed on your website the real art of the sales process begins. Poorly designed sites will see their visitors ‘Bounce’. That is to say that a potential customer lands on your site, stays for a few seconds, and then hits the back button to explore another Search Engine result option. It is overwhelmingly likely that this bounced prospect will never return.
Inbound Methodology is used to create a successful first step in this buyer’s journey. Your goal is to provide something of value to your prospect. In exchange, your prospect provides something that is of value to you: a name and email address.
The value that you provide will likely be informational: an informative E-Book or tutorial, a free software or product trial. Your goal is to build credibility as an expert who is happy to provide valuable insight and intelligence. Your goal is also to get a return visit to your site.
Well crafted, dynamic email campaigns will result in return traffic. Smart campaigns will serve customized content to your prospects based on their behavior. You will know their behavior, because once they have provided an email address, all of their interactions become actionable data.
Inbound Methodology will track your known, and unknown, visitors, and provide you insight into their product interests. This tracking can also help predict when a prospect is ready to convert into a paying customer.
Yes, unknown visitors are tracked also. With Marketing Automation integrated into your site, you will get information about random site visitors. That information will come in the form of an IP Address or geographic location. However, as soon as the visitor provides an email address, their former history is no longer anonymous. The user’s entire history with you is now accessible.
Based on the data that you acquired, you are able to develop marketing sequences to convert the lead into a customer and ultimately an evangelist for your brand. Action can take many forms:
- Limited time coupon or offer
- Demo or trial
- Product Shootout
- Invitation to an event
Support Your Channel Retailers
Your business model may dictate sending all Sales Ready Leads to your authorized retailers. Having an Inbound Marketing program in place strengthens your standing with current accounts, and becomes a strong selling point for potential new accounts.
Possibly the most important point is the fact that you are future-proofing your business. You are building a structure that can support your retailers, but also supports your sustainability. You are not dependent on your current retail channels, and will have the capability of shifting that business model if appropriate.
Plan for the Future
Consider what independence could do for your business. A future where one online retailer controls the Musical Instrument space is not a far flung fantasy. Building a solid niche where you have evangelists, followers, and credibility is a powerful insurance policy to plan for an unpredictable retail landscape future.
Get Started Today
Ready to see what Inbound Marketing will do for your business? Contact us or call us at (213) 814-4084.