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Connecting with customers when everyone is just too busy.

I don’t read copy or go to a company’s website—I just don’t have time.”

I get tons of email—when did you send it?”

Sorry, we’ve been totally tied up in meetings, etc. Today was the first time we’ve had to discuss it…”

I couldn’t get a time to review where we’re at with the CEO last month. We have a meeting to discuss positioning and branding next month. I’ll let you know what happens, but until then we’re on hold.”

Recently, we’ve heard these and similar comments from marketing professionals. Everyone is too busy to take the time to process information — even the important stuff.  So if you’re too busy, why do you think your customers and prospects are any different?

Let’s look at just 2 tactical approaches—widely adopted by marketing departments in every industry and very much in use today:

Inbound or Content marketing.
In theory, Inbound marketing is a great tactic. It puts your content and messaging online for your prospects to review when they’re ready. But it’s also a free resource library—often downloaded and filed in that “must read later” folder on their desktop, which over time get’s lost, is never read and subsequently gets deleted. Inbound marketing is getting saturated with volumes of “content” circulating everywhere. And it’s always had one inherent problem: It’s a passive tactic. It relies on your prospect seeking it out and then engaging with it. And as we’re all aware, people don’t have the time or inclination to do the work to find it. And they don’t want to give you their contact information via a tracking form to get the information—which often isn’t all that informative.

Content marketing may have had its 15 minutes of fame. Today it may not be enough—Only 23% of executives rate their inbound marketing efforts as “very successful,”  according to an Ascend2 report.

Direct marketing, on the other hand, is not only targeted to your prospects and customers, but it’s an active tactic.
DM works best when barriers to response are removed or minimized, making it easy and simple for your prospect to respond and engage with you. It is the most direct, simple method to communicate your message. Not only does it reach your target, it also has little or no competition once it does, so your message is not only right there in front of them, it’s also clearer and louder and you can direct your target customer to take action and move through your sales cycle or process.

Today, it takes both active and passive marketing to get results.
Marketing departments that focus on one or two tactics only are missing out on the broader and collective brand building efforts of a cross-channel cohesive approach. And that could mean being out of sight when it matters most and not being invited to the RFP or included in the consideration set. The result: Your marketing investment has become a “cost” — and you’re missing your targets, leads, and sales numbers. Longer term, you’ll see greater attrition and an eroding market share.

How much of your efforts are inbound? And how’s that working for you?