Over the past two decades, we have witnessed the advent and explosion of the Internet. And that has dramatically changed the way people communicate, get their information, and do business. The job of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), once the foundation of any successful business, has been greatly reduced. Recent studies have show that 60% of people throw the junk mail they receive through the USPS directly into the garbage without ever looking at it. Think of the time, money, and resources businesses waste on this type of marketing. That’s why many companies have turned to email to deliver their daily communication needs.
We have also seen the collapse of newspapers and magazines as people turn to the Internet for their news. In today’s environment, traditional print media has suffered from a significant drop in demand. Will print marketing suffer the same fate?
Why Traditional or Outbound Marketing Might Not Work Anymore
Typically considered a numbers game, outbound marketing is the process by which you distribute printed materials to a large audience. The hope is to make contact with a smaller segment of the audience that has an interest in your product. Highly trained sales teams then turn any leads into revenue. Newspaper ads, fliers, and direct marketing campaigns are examples. In essence, it’s using a big net to catch a few fish.
The Rise of Inbound Marketing
Marketers are always looking for ways to use new technology to their advantage. This has given birth to inbound marketing, which uses the Internet to get your product in front of customers who are actively seeking information related to it. This is done using keywords and search terms to optimize search engine results and drive more traffic to your website.
Your website, blog posts, e-newsletters, and social media helps you develop a conversation with these potential customers. They show off your expertise in your area of specialty and proves your value to potential customers. They also do the useful job of collecting data and generating leads for potential sales. In many ways, inbound marketing is fishing with a pole and a hook, rather than a big net.
The Marketing Mix
Producers are always looking for the most effective way to get their products in front of customers while making the most efficient use of their resources. By using promotions to target your customers and get them to your business, you are better able to generate sales. The use of the Internet and digital data has certainly given businesses the ability to cut down on the cost of materials and distribution while reaching an even broader audience. You also have the ability to create customer research data and zero in on your customers’ needs and preferences. This helps tailor your products to meet market demands while maximizing your profits.
There will always be a need to do business in a three-dimensional world, and it is doubtful that technology will replace print marketing entirely. But as a growing number of people turn to the Internet for their business and communications needs, printed marketing materials will be used much less.