As a HubSpot Platinum level partner we get this question pretty often from prospects and businesses starting to do research on various marketing approaches, as well as other marketing firms like Weidert Group interested in selling Inbound Marketing services.
They already know traditional marketing methods aren't generating the quality or quantity of leads needed to achieve business goals, and they also know that the online methods should or could be a more productive outlet for many business types. At the same time, if they've started to look into the capabilities needed to improve online marketing performance, they know they'll need to either hire new people or pay someone to help fill their capabilities and capacity gaps.
We've answered this question —"What kinds of businesses benefit from Inbound Marketing?"— many different ways, sometimes relying on instinct and intuition, and sometimes armed with research and quantitative evidence to support a point of view.
While I could go on and on about the facts and figures that explain the impact of Inbound Marketing on industrial manufacturing companies, for example, what I'm providing below is based almost entirely on what we've learned first hand. So here are my top five characteristics of businesses that could enjoy attractive benefits from Inbound:
1. Selling a very considered purchase
A pack of gum is not a considered purchase. A compensation study, a warehouse conveyor system, or an emergency response vehicle are. So are snowshoes, canoes, and vacations. Whether it's B2B or B2C, when it takes research to make the right purchase, and being wrong has serious ramifications, purchases become "considered" and sellers will benefit from inbound by being found by serious considerers. Good indicators of considered purchases are the sticker price, the process businesses or individuals design to support the purchase, and the approvals required before it can be finalized.
2. Already spending big money on lead generation
Businesses that depend on lots of sales funnel activity because they primarily do project work or their industry has high customer turnover often rely on expensive lead generation services that pummel cold prospects. However, research indicates Inbound can reduce the average cost of qualified warm leads by 60% compared to traditional methods like direct mail, trade shows, and cold calling.
3. Heavy reliance on RFPs
Businesses that rely on requests to provide formal proposals (contractors, original equipment manufacturers, consultants) know that getting on the short lists of companies issuing RFPs is the biggest challenge. Companies using RFPs to make important purchases rely on search to update their short lists of potential vendors. Inbound Marketing can quickly improve SERP (search engine results page) rank and targeted visibility.
4. Meaningful and demonstrable point of difference
To create content that will attract qualified traffic a business has to possess real competitive advantage that is relevant and compelling to their target. You need to provide something in your product or delivery that reflects greater value to customers, compared to most alternatives. Your competitive advantage should be the foundation of your content strategy.
5. Lack of geographic sales boundaries
Specialty manufacturers and technology providers have long recognized that they have potential customers around the world, but some have relied too much on bi-annual trade shows or purchased mailing lists to develop leads. If you sell the best orthopedic dog bed, industrial dryer, or methane digester on the planet, your market should be the whole planet, and Inbound Marketing makes you visible to all potential buyers.
Is your business a prime candidate for the improved performance Inbound Marketing can deliver? Help yourself to our Step-by-Step Guide and decide for yourself.
Topics: Inbound Marketing
With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, he has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. Greg leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.