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How digital marketing is impacting the way businesses are branding themselves
Lucas HamonJan 15, 2015 6:00:00 AM5 min read

Inbound VS Outbound Marketing: Brand Development (part 1)

Brand development is Different Today:

This has to be one of the toughest challenges that business owners face. How does one build a brand that attracts qualified, motivated buyers without casting the net to wide or narrow? In other words, how does one get the best branding bang for their buck?

In the past this conversation was mostly about marketing, but today we talk about sales and customer service as well. Too often businesses fail to see the importance of the sales component of their brand, but with digital media management tools becoming so prevalant, particularly social media, it would be wise for you to reconsider its implications.

Of course, I'm going to help you with that, and today, it's all about your brand's TONE.

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: The Brand Management Challenge.


 

ROUND 1: Your Brand's Tone

Tone is not about the message, it's about how it's delivered. It's about the subtext and the emotions it evokes, and comes in the form of something as simple as a voice infuction or more complex, like the buyer's journey itself.

Every one of your employees who touches the public is going to affect your tone, so this is an important topic. Remember, I WAS an outbounder for about a decade, and I was quite good at it -always the top of my class - so I speak from extensive personal experience on both ends.

OUTBOUNDERS:

SALES: Yes, you may get through to prospects that had no idea they needed you, and you may kick open the doors for an entirely new world to them, but you're also starting your relationship as a disruptor. You come off as pushy, often perceived as somebody who doesn't listen or take the time to understand your clients, and you'll burn countless hours chasing leads that never had the possibility of closing to begin with.
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In addition, you have literally 30 seconds to hook their attention and educate them enough to whet their appetite when you cold call. It's a tall order, especially when you're considered a nusiance before you even begin. Don't you love it when they mutter the word, "oh," when they realize you're a cold sales call? That one word really doesd say it all, doesn't it?
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CUSTOMER SERVICE: You're purely reactive, because people only receive your customer service when they call in to complain. Doing so only happens because they are super annoyed and couldn't find a better way to resolve their issues with your service or product. Believe me, they looked, but you're all they could find, and their blood pressure is elevated before you even have the chance to paint on a grin and begin the charade caring.
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If you really cared about customer service, you would interact with them before problems arise, or at least that's how your customers feel. Even though they're calling you, it's a disruption to their day. It's problem solving on your terms, your clock, and nobody looks forward to it. 
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Maybe you have newspaper ads or radio ads as well, which we won't say are bad, because they do help burn your brands into our brains, but as an outbounder, your marketing doesn't interact with your prospects, so it doesn't go beyond this. And remember, people don't turn on the radio or open the paper to learn about you, so again, you are disrupting their day, setting and amplifying your accidental tone.
 
ALL THREE categories paint you as an annoying disruptor, which I can't imagine was an intentional part of your outreach strategy.

INBOUNDERS:

SALES: Not every call you make is going to end in a sale, but the people you're calling have willfully provided you their phone numbers and email addresses, so there is an expectation that they're going to hear from you at one point or another. 
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Your tone is going to be quite a bit more helpful, because you're not interrupting, and it's likely that they downloaded content about your service offering or have read your blogs, so they don't need to be educated from the ground up. Sometimes they even REQUEST your call, and not because they're just kicking the tires, but because they are already 60% of the way through the buyer's journey, and want to validate some of their new discoveries.
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CUSTOMER SERVICE: Yes, you have the complaints as well, but with inbound, the selling doesn't stop when the ink dries on your sales contract. Nope, instead, your email campaigns will continue to provide value (not ads) to their lives, keeping your name and image on their minds. You'll also be listening to what they are saying through social media, providing opportunities to solve problems before they become complaints.
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Better yet, you'll be connecting with them using sophisticated social media management tools and helping them find value through posts you curate and blogs you write, and if you're really solid, they'll even help you promote your message by sharing your awesome content!

Solving problems before they make your customer's blood boil, and instead turning them into conduits to MORE business... imagine that!

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MARKETING: Not everything you do is going to work, but because you are approaching it from so many different angles (blogging, search engine optimization, emails, website, content, and more), there is a greater probabily of your voice landing on the ears of willing participants.
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Best of all, you're providing content that helps your prospects find answers on their own, which is in turn educating them on the problems you solve AND your company. So, THEY get to ultimately decide what your tone is! It's like a Choose Your Own Tone-Venture!

 

WINNER: Inbound

Every business is different, so finding the right model for your outreach program may take a combination of methodologies. But if you build a solid foundation using Google-friendly, inbound-oriented thinking, the rest, even your outbound calling, will get a lot warmer and become a lot more likely to close. Your online branding efforts will make you more likable and approachable - which means fewer hang-ups and a much more positive experience.

Want to speak to a representative for a free inbound marketing assessment? Schedule a consultation today!

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Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.

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