What is the difference between them?
To make it short, Inbound marketing is a process, Marketing automation is a tool to support that process.
Inbound marketing: The process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads.
With inbound marketing, companies build their own audience and attract their own attention. They do this by creating relevant and compelling content to attract and convert leads. In the world of inbound marketing, the marketer’s job is not to find leads; it is to help leads find you.
Meanwhile, marketing automation is a tool and a technology that streamlines and automates marketing tasks so companies can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.
There are more and more platforms of automation introduced to the market these days. However, none of them is free. Some of them are suitable for entrepreneurs only, some offering good package for start-ups. You can make a comparison and choose the most suitable one according to your budget and your objectives to use the tool.
Why a combo of inbound marketing and marketing automation is a Should?
Inbound marketing is a pull strategy. It takes time to go over the AIDA model (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action). You need a plan and must cover the whole circle to build your position step by step. It is very similar to build a relationship between two people. How to go from a stranger to a lover takes time and efforts. But you are not sure that after many approaches, they will put you on their favourites or not. Some customers will never have enough desire to make an action. Call-to-action is not always effective and not every “leads” can become sales, now or then. (If you are reading until this part and thinking why you need an inbound marketing, I should provide you that inbound marketing is less 61% in cost to generate a new lead as compared with outbound marketing).
With many tasks a marketing executive is working on, it will be easy to miss a step, or miss a right time to approach customers if they choose the inbound marketing strategy. And among many campaigns, you create per years, which one is the most effective that you need to explore in the future? Marketing automation goes beyond process automation to help marketers get much-needed insight into which marketing programs are working and which aren’t. And this is the glory of automation.
Why Start-up needs to consider this combo?
It can be very tempting for start-up founders like you to delve into outbound marketing techniques with advertising, email blasts to purchased lists, cold calling, trade show to gain some traction and get money to come into your business. But interruptive marketing techniques have been losing effectiveness for years now. Another reason is that it is costly and difficult to measure. Why should you use it?
There’s another way: You can create marketing people love to bring people to you by inbound marketing. It is worth investing for a sustainable growth and you can measure it with marketing automation.
One remark you need to take is about the database. It is not simply that you purchase a database and you can use it. A good database needs to go in line with your target audience’s persona. It is easier to modify, clean, extract data when it is small. And start-ups should consider a good database right from the beginning of your business. Don’t wait for a few years when your database makes a mess and turns your inbound marketing efforts down.
How to do it?
- Build persona for target customers
- Build database properly
- Build an inbound marketing strategy
- Find a suitable platform
If you need more consultancy, contact me now.