Many animal lovers hate the saying ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’ but if you actually check its origin you might be even more disturbed. According to Edward Brumley, Buddhist, Vegan and Atheist, ‘The phrase is just a more recent rendition of an older proverb that was expressed in many different ways, in which various animals were killed in diverse and sundry creative fashions. The earliest known version was recorded in 1678 in the second edition of John Ray’s collection of English proverbs, in which he gives it as “There are more ways to kill a dog than hanging… ‘
Let’s move on swiftly but stick with the idea that there is more than one way to achieve your goal. This notion is worth keeping in mind when it comes to your marketing even if it often looks like you have to choose. Well, let me break it to you gently, you don’t have to. To make things clearer, here are the main two choices you have when you consider your marketing strategy:
- Outbound marketing: This term is used to describe pre-meditated activities you undertake to approach your target markets directly. These activities include tactics such as e-mail marketing, advertising and telemarketing.
- Inbound Marketing: This term is used to describe the tools you create to help people approach your business when they are interested in your product and service. These tools include your website, referral marketing, content marketing and so on.
In addition, most marketing methods could be divided into the following categories:
- Offline marketing which can be seen as old school by some, includes methods such as direct mail, leafleting, telemarketing and telesales
- Online marketing which some will describe as all the rage, includes methods such as e-mail marketing, SEO, Social Media and ad words
Many companies feel they have to choose between the different options. This is sometimes the case due to budget limitations or the marketing company they work with. In my opinion, the choice needs to be down to the various target markets you are after. Here are a few examples to clarify what I mean:
- If your target market is stay at home mums who like to shop locally, you may choose to place targeted adverts in Facebook and use local groups. In this case, you will be utilising an inbound digital marketing campaign
- If you are targeting Estate Agents in Cardiff, you may choose a direct mail campaign which is followed up by telemarketing. In which case, you will be utilising outbound offline marketing campaign
Now, I am always for being as specific as you can when it comes to your target market. If you can narrow it down to people who only come out when it rains on a Sunday, that is great. However, our reality is made up of a very wide choice in nearly every walk of life, which means that even if you are specific, you still need to consider more than one approach to reach more people. By this, I mean that you need to adopt marketing campaigns that reach out to your contacts using a number of platforms. If you can e-mail, connect on LinkedIn and telephone them all in one campaign, you increase your chances of getting through to more people. Of course, you can choose to place some strategic Blogs alongside Ad Words and landing pages instead. The point is that the choice is yours and should be based solely on your growth targets and marketing strategy.
As always, I am happy to discuss your specific questions further. In the meantime, you might find it useful to check out how our lead generation system works.