Most of us think about marketing in a traditional sense where you develop a campaign and advertise it in traditional mediums such as direct mail, TV or magazines. This traditional outbound method of marketing is currently being challenged with the emergence of new technology, creativity and social media. Inbound marketing strategies are now competing with our traditional methods by earning the attention of consumers rather than buying it through paid media. So we are now forced to rethink marketing to remain competitive in the 21st century.
As marketing dollars shift away from paid media and towards technology and creative, we’re witnessing a new era in the world of advertising. Creativity is becoming indispensable for businesses to develop new and engaging campaign ideas that spark some type of interaction rather than advertise a proclamatory campaign message. And technology is becoming more critical than ever because software and applications are often necessary to implement these new viral inbound strategies that offer the Web 2.0 interactive component.
Video games, iPhone and Facebook applications are becoming wildly popular by consumers who spread the sponsor’s associated brand virally across the Internet by word-of-mouse. BMW launched the “1Series” with a Graffiti Facebook application asking consumers, “What drives you?” Consumers were encouraged to create their own Graffiti art and over 9,000 drawings were submitted garnering over 500,000 votes. For BMW, that was an extremely inexpensive way to not only reach but also engage over 500,000 people. Small businesses can accomplish the same results with the right creative and technological support.
Marketing today is about pulling people in to engage in something for fun or educational purposes. It is about publishing information direct to consumers to attract them to you. Publishing information like news releases, blogs, webcasts, podcasts and viral marketing messages is exactly how David Meerman Scott became a best selling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR. This book delves deep into the inbound marketing system, and he is obviously on to something since it has now been translated into 23 different languages without even working with a publishing company.
The success of these new inbound marketing methods hinges on the creativity behind the ideas and content. Bad content will deliver a negative brand image which is exactly what you don’t want to do! And traditional advertising continues to offer a quick and easy way to market your message to the masses if you have the budget to place media. Your best bet – Convergence Marketing. Mix an inbound marketing approach that will engage your audiences, and then balance your traditional and new media strategy accordingly.