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What Is Inbound Marketing?

For more than a century, marketing and advertising have been defined by interruptive marketing techniques such as print, radio, and television commercials, cold-calling, sales flyers, and telemarketing.

However, a new era is upon us where the populace is consuming media on their own terms, eschewing commercials, initiating their own search, and embracing social discovery of the products and services they need and want.

It’s no surprise then that marketers are left wondering why it’s getting harder to sell!

Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found, and drawing customers to your website by producing content customers value. These blogs, audio, video, eBooks, eNewsletters, white papers, SEO articles, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing are considered inbound marketing.

Therefore, the process of Inbound Marketing facilitates and hastens client discovery of your offerings, increases web traffic, generates leads, facilitates sales conversations, and builds loyalty with consumers.

1. Generate more traffic
2. Turn visitors into leads
3. Convert leads to sales
4. Turn customers into repeat higher margin customers
5. Analyze, refine, and repeat

Inbound marketing is especially effective for those businesses with long research cycles and knowledge-based products. In these areas prospects are more likely to get informed and hire those who demonstrate expertise.

In the words of an accomplished marketing professional and new client who found Momentum as a result of our own inbound marketing techniques…
“I need to know enough to know who to hire to get the job done.”

Inbound Marketing will allow you to out maneuver your competition, and be regarded as the expert in your field at the moment of interest.

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What is a Digital Strategy?

A well-conceived and properly developed digital strategy is absolutely critical to most every successful marketing plan. When executed, it will leverage all your internet, social, and content marketing initiatives in a way that will generate leads and result in new revenue incredibly fast.

Every business is different. The only common denominator is that all business –regardless of industry – is evolving at an exponential rate. For this reason, it is critical that marketers access the best expertise available to design and create an effective ecosystem that is optimized to deliver the desired results.

The digital ecosystem schematic will illustrate how internet traffic (demand) will be generated and how it is commandeered and routed between web site, blog, audio, video, ebooks, eNewsletters, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social sharing platforms.

All internet marketing, social media, and content initiatives must facilitate discovery and inspire social sharing across all appropriate platforms. All content should be shaped specifically for the venue in which it is deployed. And above all, clear rules of engagement must be implemented to avoid public relations disasters.

When working with a good digital agency, it’s not necessary that you have all the answers. Your digital experts will guide you through the process and begin delivering results your business needs and deserves.

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Is Your Business About To Get Disrupted?

And you just don’t see it coming?

The evidence is all around us. The “era of disruption” has arrived. Is your business about to get disrupted?

Change Agents

Apple disrupted the music industry with the invention of the iPod and iTunes store. Amazon disrupted the book business. Legal Zoom disrupted the legal services business. Netflix disrupted the video business. And so on. And so on.

Indeed, disruption is all around us, hiding, lurking, ready to devour its next victim whole – that is, if the inattentive remain unaware.

The velocity of change in consumer consumption is driving evolution in every sector. And, forgive the platitude, but change does indeed breed opportunity.

As a marketing strategist and founder of a technology-driven hybrid-marketing agency, I find our best clients come to us when they begin to feel the very real pain these changes bring on. They see the writing on the wall, they recognize they need to change their perspective on their business, and they are motivated to look at new opportunities through a whole new prism and move forward. That means harnessing the powers of disruption for good, and disrupting their own undertaking before their competition does.

Often our first step is to undertake a comprehensive top-to-bottom brand review. We guide the client through a careful review of all the benefits that their product or service delivers to their customers. Then we ask them what additional services or products they should be delivering in response to specific targeted customer research results. Finally we brainstorm about what they “could” do for customers to solve their needs in a whole new way. Every idea goes on the table – the good, the bad, and downright ugly.

The especially important question we then ask of the client is: What “could” you do for the customers that your competitors simply cannot do because of cost, infrastructure, technology, corporate policy, or just plain lack of imagination.

We invite members from all the functional areas and all levels from within the organization to participate. It is surprising where the best game-changing ideas often come from.

Often, the most simple, revolutionary, and truly disruptive idea is often first met with an overwhelming chorus of “We can’t do that! It’s never been done before.” However, when prompted to view it from the customer’s perspective and assuming all things are equal, the team begins to see the light.

However the road from idea to implementation is often a rocky one and inevitably the business owner must summon the guts, gumption and green to make it happen. But when truly disruptive methods find their mark, competitors are often too far behind the game, too stuck in “that’s-the-way-it’s-always-been” to react before it’s too late. In the meantime, the disruptor has won customer after customer and deal after deal, sometimes recreating the business model within the category.

An example of disruption in practice can be found in the telecom business in our own city of Vancouver. Like most large cities, the local legacy cable company, whom we’ll call “Company A” offers a bundled service of cable television, internet, and home phone delivered via co-axial cable, at a price point of approximately $150 per month. The customer of Company A is responsible for purchasing their own HD receiver/PVR(s) (ranging from $250-$450 per unit). Additional terminal connections are extra. All other equipment, including digital television receiver is available on a monthly rental. The customer agrees to return the rented agreement upon cancellation of the account. There are no contracts.

Meanwhile, “Company B,” a telephone telecommunications company entered the marketplace in just the past few years with a broadband television technology –and the same bundle of services – but with a whole new disruptive philosophy.

Company B asked themselves, “What can we do that Company A cannot, will not, or is unable to do?” The answer was to leverage their technology and provide an array of solutions that had never been offered before, at a compelling price point (around $120 per month), and addressing key issues that have driven Company A’s customers absolutely crazy for years.

Company B turned the existing game rules upside down by:

  • Building their offering on the technical advantage that their bandwidth does not peak and crater like coaxial cable-delivered internet.
  • Providing as many additional components at no cost or with no cash outlay: Not one but two free set-top receiver/PVR boxes, both of which can be controlled and accessed from the other. Providing free phone and internet modem.
  • Including free installation from top to bottom, and basic home network computer and routing set-up and troubleshooting. Eureka!
  • No caps on internet usage (a real issue in Canada)
  • Enacting a customer service policy where the answer is always “yes.”

And finally when the value of the total package and discount incentives were just too good for any right-minded prospective customer to refuse, Company B asked what used to be a dirty question in the industry:

“Given this incredible package value we are delivering for you, will you sign for us for three years under very favorable terms, so that we can justify underwriting the value of all of this equipment and service to you?”

The answer nine times out of ten is an absolute “yes!”

Company B disrupted the local industry. They changed the rules of what was doable and they did it. Now, every day, Company A is losing hundreds of customers to Company B. But Company A is too big, too bureaucratic, and has too much invested in its existing technical infrastructure to want or be able to react to the disruption. And their market leadership is ebbing away day-by-day.

Disruption. It’s the new name of the competitive game.

Are you bold enough to be disruptive too? Or will your business be disrupted by another?

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Great Content Is A Godsend

A client recently offered those words at the close of a conference call. And right then it dawned on me: Our clients tend to be experts in their particular field – not experienced multi-media communicators like we are. That’s in our DNA and we sometimes take it for granted. It’s our secret weapon.

Content Marketing is an oft-overused term originally conjured up to describe paid print editorial. In a platform agnostic marketing environment of 2012, truly great content must be deployed across multiple platforms, where consumers want, and how they want.

Any organization can leverage its expertise to create compelling media content – especially if it enjoys a thought-leadership position in the marketplace. An experienced and quality content creator can help these brands literally evolve into media properties that can engage followers with a myriad of specific interests and motivations.

North America’s largest trade association and the leading producer of housing market data had several goals. It sought a way to deliver information on buying, selling, and owning a home as well as other housing market information directly to consumers.

NAR previously relied almost exclusively on the national media to interpret their releases and present the information through their varying lenses. The Association also wanted to create and disseminate credible and timely messages that represented the immense collective expertise and professional acumen of their 1.1 million REALTOR® membership.

With the help of media marketing experts, Real Estate Today was born and within 24 months the weekly 2-hour audio program, hosted by award-winning talent Gil Gross, and its associated web-deployed and social media-driven content became America’s #1 real estate program.

Real Estate Today is now available on on-air, on satellite, on-line, via mobile, and is consumed by over 1 million consumers every month. www.RETradio.com

Example: The National Association of REALTORS® – Real Estate Today

The winning formula for producing great content starts with a comprehensive brand strategy and is fulfilled with highly produced and informative, engaging content that can activate the target audience in a natural and powerful way.

No tactic can rival the successful deployment of superior multi-platform content marketing delivered by a credible organization by proven and professional content creators. It truly is a godsend.

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