When outbound marketing supports inbound marketing

A large green eye

So it’s back to the subject of digital intelligence and lead nurturing this week after our post, introducing the subject a few weeks ago.

We’re going to dive in a little deeper this time and discuss inbound digital marketing vs the traditional outbound approach. We’ll also touch on other data challenges, including the GDPR regulations that come in to force on May 25th 2018 and apply to all EU member states. Of course the UK has voted to leave the EU and we’ll see how this affects the adoption of GDPR.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing has been a hot topic for many years. Wikipedia defines it as follows:

“Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization.“

It’s the ability to define and closely target potential customers that makes inbound so attractive for marketeers. Content can be served to the right person at the right time, crucially in the right place on the right device. This only works if all the research and targeting is accurate.

We all hate being served irrelevant content and product recommendations.

Whilst inbound marketing can be powerful within the consumer marketplace (B2C), for business to business (B2B) it should be accompanied by a strong outbound strategy.

Where does outbound marketing fit in?

Wordstream defines outbound as follows:

“Outbound marketing (n) is the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience.”

Outbound marketing used to be all about a sales person or team proactively contacting potential leads and trying to convert them into full blown customers. The inbound approach evolved as a more intelligent, lighter touch and subtle strategy.

BUT for B2B both approaches can be combined for the best of both worlds.

Sales teams need to embrace digital for this to happen. Best of breed digital intelligence and lead nurturing tools like CANDDi provide a wealth of information on identified companies, locations, content viewed, time on site and much more.

This is crucial in supporting an outbound strategy. All the information gathered through intelligence tools like CANNDi can be used to increase the chances of a lead turning into a full business opportunity.

Big changes in customer data

Turning to the challenges of privacy and the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, which comes into force in May 2018, this is likely to have less impact in the world of B2B marketing. It’s thought that as much of the legislation focuses on protecting consumer identities there won’t be much change in the world of B2B, at least at first.

The main difference between the current DPA and GDPR is around the definition of personal data. So there will be more controls on profiling the individual but business profiling will be less restricted.

Data privacy requirements are fast increasing due to rapidly developing technology and the desire for organisations to access, not only more but better quality data about consumers. There is a growing pressure here that legislation like the GDPR is designed to address.

Since mobile devices have overtaken desktop, access to personal data and location is highly prized. What if people had a microchip embedded in their body and were part of the Internet of Things? What if they were happy to give away their data for nothing? These are the kind of scenarios that have driven the development of the new GDPR laws.

The ‘holy grail’ of the ‘single customer view’ is much heralded and discussed in digital marketing circles but without industry standards on consumer tracking it’s not likely to arrive any time soon. Also, how would it sit within the GDPR environment?

With the UK leaving the EU after the GDPR legislation comes in, what does this mean? The UK is very likely to observe all parts of the law to enable it to trade with the EU without restrictions.

In finishing up, whilst digital intelligence provides lots of extra valuable profiling the best way to covert that customer is to get the branding, messaging and communication right in the first place! Any hook should be compelling enough to make sure someone becomes interested in your product or service without their data having to be wrung from them.

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