In today’s digital age, customers can be found anywhere – and companies must adapt to serve them wherever they are.
Possibly the most recognizable example of a B2B brand adapting to this new paradigm is Nabisco. The company has successfully transitioned from a brand known for its snack foods and baked goods to a global marketing organization that provides marketing and advertising services to help businesses grow.
Nabisco isn’t the only brand to evolve. Companies like American Express have adjusted their business model in order to utilize online marketing in addition to their long-established offline methods. According to a 2018 report from HubSpot, 48% of businesses use online marketing strategies, while only 14% use solely offline strategies.
The fact is, customers across the world are researching products and services online before purchasing them. That’s why it’s crucial for B2B brands to have an online footprint.
Why Use Both Offline and Online Marketing Channels?
The advantages of a hybrid approach to marketing are many. Companies can use whatever channels and platforms work best for them, and maximize their return on investment (ROI).
Moreover, since customers are researching products and services online before purchasing them, B2B brands can adapt their strategies to take advantage of this phenomenon. Increasingly, businesses are realizing that investing in online marketing doesn’t mean sacrificing other marketing channels.
For instance, a company might decide that running ads on social media is the best strategy to go after a certain audience. They could then expand the reach of these ads by publishing content on their website, or using their own digital marketing agency to implement and run online marketing campaigns. This strategy allows them to leverage their existing social media networks and attract new customers.
Offline & Online Marketing: Similar Yet Different
While online marketing is relatively new to the industry, companies have been using offline marketing to get their word out there for centuries. From newspaper ads to radio commercials, the methods have remained relatively the same.
However, the way we consume content has changed. Thanks to companies like Google and Facebook, along with the massive amounts of data they possess, marketers can tailor their strategies to the digital age. More and more businesses are taking advantage of this by combining online and offline marketing. It’s a combination that has proven to be very effective.
For instance, Google’s Display Network, which consists of different sites and apps that display ads when a user visits a particular domain, allows marketers to target audiences based on where they are in relation to the business – whether they’re walking into the store, on the phone or elsewhere.
From a marketing perspective, offline and online marketing have many similarities. Both require a company to understand its customers’ needs and wants, and develop strategies to satisfy them.
Moreover, since customers are using online platforms to research products and services, marketers should be present on these platforms. However, the methods and technologies used to reach them differ. Offline marketing relies heavily on traditional marketing channels like newspapers, radio and television ads.
In contrast, online marketing uses digital channels like websites, social media and email to reach potential customers. It also encourages interactions between businesses and consumers.
The Importance Of Tracking And Measuring Results
Tracking and measuring results are essential to any marketing plan. If you’re using an unproven marketing channel, it’s difficult to determine whether or not your campaign is successful. This makes the whole process very trial-and-error.
That’s why it’s important to track the results of your different marketing tactics. You can then use this data to determine which ones worked and which ones didn’t. Moreover, using digital marketing channels like website analytics and Google Analytics allow you to monitor the results of your campaigns in real time.
Analytics software can give you a complete picture of how effective your different marketing strategies are, and which ones are performing the best. It also allows you to compare the results of one campaign to another, or to a control group.
For example, if you’re running an email marketing campaign to promote a new product or service, you can use analytics software to compare the open rates, click trough rates and conversion rates of your emails, to those of a control group.
Hybrid Marketing Provides The Best Of Both Worlds
What if we told you there was a way to have all the benefits of offline marketing and the flexibility of modern online marketing strategies? A company called HubSpot has envisioned this scenario and created a product that makes it possible – both for businesses and consumers.
HubSpot’s secret weapon is their inbound marketing method. Simply put, inbound marketing is all about attracting and engaging customers through meaningful interactions.
The idea is to create these pleasant and profitable interactions through marketing strategies that harness both the power of marketing automation and the creativity of marketing and non-marketing employees.
What is marketing automation?
Put simply, marketing automation is the use of software to collect and analyze data, and perform tasks, like email marketing and content creation, without requiring a significant amount of human interaction.
Using marketing automation, you can set up automated email campaigns that trigger based on certain actions, like a purchase or clicking a link.
What is content creation?
The other significant component of a HubSpot Inbound marketing strategy is content creation. Since customers are researching products and services online, content, whether written or visual, helps guide and direct their attention towards your product or service. The better your content is, the more likely consumers are to learn about your products, or, at the very least, acknowledge your existence.
To create successful content, you need a distinct voice that connects with your audience. Moreover, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. That’s why it’s important to develop solid SEO training and content strategies, and connect the two.
How Does HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Work?
Let’s look at an example of how HubSpot’s inbound marketing strategy works, specifically for businesses that use email marketing as part of their marketing mix.
You’ve decided that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to target your audience and grow your business. You’ve even decided to switch to a platform called Mailchimp, which is one of the most popular email marketing services available. You’ve also chosen to make use of HubSpot’s email marketing features, like autoresponders and email templates, as part of your overall strategy.
You’ve gathered your email marketing materials, including a compelling offer, a couple of relevant images and a snappy subject line. Now, you’re ready to send out the emails to your audience.
While all this may seem convenient, the task of sending out these emails is more complex than it seems. For one thing, you need to ensure that each email goes out individually and, preferably, without being detected as spam. Moreover, as you’ve collected subscribers over time, you’ll need to continue to nurture these relationships and provide quality content that will keep them engaged.
To help businesses like yours achieve success, HubSpot has created a special membership which allows you to access all their tools, including their email marketing software, for free. Just visit this link to learn more: https://hangouts.fb.com/signup?code=AQC9N7Yl1NptpRJgY9vZoqoiG5WxQG9Y1HlW
Using Inbound Marketing To Become A Trusted Advisor
Thanks to HubSpot, you have the opportunity to take your knowledge and understanding of your industry and turn it into concise, valuable advice that can help other businesses succeed.
As a trusted advisor in your industry, you can provide valuable advice on which products and tools to invest in, as well as how to use them most effectively. Moreover, since you’re an expert in your industry, you can also help guide other businesses through the various steps they might need to take in order to succeed.
Thanks to inbound marketing, you can become a source of inspiration and knowledge for other businesses, while simultaneously building a community of your own.
(Back to you)
In the last few years, marketing has changed, and businesses must change with it. Thanks to platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, along with the insights and data that these platforms provide, marketing has become inter-connected and – dare we say it – digital.