Published under: Inbound Marketing, Marketing

Outbound marketing was once the mega-giant of advertising. Billboards, phone calls and TV commercials were photo-1421930451953-73c5c9ae9abfthe only ways that advertisers had to reach their audience. Over the years, consumers have developed methods for ignoring these hooks: spam filters, do not call lists, DVRs. However, there are still some important messages that inbound marketers can learn from this Grandfather of modern advertising.

Audience Targeting

In Florida, it is not uncommon to find your mail box stuffed with glossy flyers picturing smiling, silver-haired men and women; this is especially true during Medicare’s open enrollment period. Advertisers know that Florida is a retirement Mecca and that chances are pretty good that the person receiving that advertisement is going to be reevaluating their insurance choices.

Finding out where your target audience “lives” online and targeting that media is a great way to stretch marketing dollars. For example, if you are selling products or services targeted to Generation Xers, why would you devote your ad dollars to Instagram? The overwhelming majority, more than 90%, of the 150 million users of Instagram are under 35.

Predicting Dialogue

For most outbound marketers, prediction is the only way to get information about what their audiences think of their advertising campaigns. Feedback is often sparse and it is difficult to track exactly which efforts are successful.

Inbound marketers do not have this struggle; feedback is plentiful. But, that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to predict how your message will be received. Instead, inbound marketers should use this information to predict which markets and messages will be the most receptive.

Layered Messaging

Chick-fil-A is a popular fast food chain in the South. Its outbound marketing campaign is centered on a black and white cow that is always encouraging Americans to EAT MOR CHIKIN. This message and mascot appear on billboards, in commercials, as life-size cutouts in restaurants and shopping malls and on home mailers. Chick-fil-A has taken its message and applied it across many mediums.

Creating a unified message across many platforms gives your brand stickiness. It creates a comprehensive online picture of your business that builds trust by developing a recognizable, repeatable brand.

Don’t make the mistake of dismissing the lessons of a strategy that pioneered the marketing world. Outbound marketing continues to drive business to companies and offers many lessons that can be applied to inbound techniques.

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