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Choosing an Inbound Marketing Agency banner 1

With so many types of marketing out there, it is important that you find which type is best for you. 

Enter “types of marketing” into the Google search engine and you’ll get results offering insight into 4, 5, 7, 8,19, 41, and 163 (!) different marketing concepts – and that’s just on the first page. How do you know which type of marketing you need?

First, Do Your Research

In working with companies looking for marketing help – and even when partnering with fellow marketers – we’ve found that with the plethora of marketing options available today decision-makers and teams find it hard to know what type of marketing they need. 
Of course, the pat answer to “Why do we need X type of marketing? What goals will it help us achieve?  “To generate more interest?  More sales?”. But as we discussed in the previous post, marketing is a broad field. And this is a very broad goal. So, before even thinking about marketing goals and how to achieve them, companies need to spend time defining their brand and audience.
Specifically, teams need to know the following: 

  • What makes their company different from the competition (i.e. defining their brand).
    Who their target audience is (market research).
    When, why, and how their service/product will be used (user research).
    What makes their solution valuable to the audience (unique selling point).  

In short, start by focusing on the what of marketing. Then you can move to the why (marketing type) and finally the how, when, and where (marketing strategy).

Table of Contents:

How to Choose an Inbound Marketing Agency


4 Questions to Determine What Type of Marketing You Need

Now that the basic research is done, it’s time to move on to narrowing down goals or problems. In today's world, this should start with a user-centric approach; by keeping your audience in mind throughout the entire process, you’ll get better results.

1. Who Are  Your Personas?

Wait, didn’t we already identify the target audience? Yes, we did. Now we also need to synthesize findings from user research and come up with a complete picture of not only who will be purchasing the product/service but why they will make this decision. We need to consider the Buyer's Journey your persona goes through to make decisions about your products and services. This information should guide the rest of your decisions – particularly where and how you’ll reach potential customers. For example, the age of your target audience will influence what social media platforms you use and the type of content and messaging you create.

2. What is The Customer Buyer's Journey?

The customer buyer's journey describes a buyer's path to purchase. In other words, buyers don't wake up and decide to buy on a whim. They go through a process to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

A typical buyer's journey consists of the following three stages: 

At this stage, your buyer has realized that they have a problem that they need to solve. They are starting to look for a solution to their problem.

Your buyer has determined what their problem is, and they are committed to finding a solution. Most buyers will be looking for their solution online.

Your buyer has made the decision to make a purchase. The question now is what are they buying and who are they buying from. Why should they buy from you?

3. What Are Your Problems/Goals?

Whether you call them problems to solve or goals to achieve, think about what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts. Along with when and where you’ll connect with your target audience, your goals will determine what types of marketing you’ll use. For example, if your goal is to raise awareness about your brand, you’ll use different tactics than you would to convert leads into customers.   

4. What Can You Commit To?

This is another often-overlooked part of choosing a type of marketing. If you want to use content marketing, can you commit to regularly producing and posting high-quality content? If you can’t do this in-house, do you have the budget to outsource it (and the time to train the creators and monitor the results)?  If you’d like to do more on social media, can you assign someone to regularly interact with other users? 

Whatever the goal, make sure that you can maintain your efforts. An unsustainable marketing endeavor or one that’s poorly executed can do more harm than good.

Should You Choose Inbound or Outbound Marketing?

Finally, there are two broad categories of marketing to consider: inbound or outbound. Outbound marketing broadcasts a company’s message to its audience. It’s sometimes called interruption marketing because consumers don’t actively seek it out; think of things like TV commercials or billboards. Inbound marketing tries to attract consumers by producing high-quality, relevant, and useful content. This content is often digital and freely available, like blog posts, explainer videos, and so on.

There are many differences between outbound and inbound marketing, and there’s a place for each one in your marketing strategy. However, many B2B companies rely heavily on inbound marketing because:

  1. It’s more cost-effective than outbound marketing
  2. It offers more value to customers – and is a great way to naturally attract leads.
  3. It provides a higher ROI.
  4. It promotes greater customer engagement and stronger relationships.

However, inbound marketing itself contains many other types of marketing, such as content marketing and social media marketing. And it’s deeply involved with building a brand and nourishing sales. So, even within the inbound marketing designation, it’s important to develop a strategy and choose the right tactics to reach your goals.

Marketing Types and Creating Marketing Strategy

You’ll probably need more than one type of marketing – inbound or otherwise – as you promote your business and product. Later in this series, we’ll discuss the different types of marketing and marketing agencies available. But before we delve into specifics, let’s talk about how marketing types and marketing strategies interact. Join us for our next article to find out more.

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How to Choose an Inbound Marketing Agency