Is outbound marketing dead? Hardly. However, while it is difficult to prove your return on investment (ROI) directly, there are indirect metrics that will help you determine the value of your efforts. Read on to learn how.
As the internet has evolved, marketers have taken advantage of technology to get their brand in front of their ideal target audience in a more personalized manner. Traditional marketing efforts often lacked the metrics to determine true return on investment (ROI).
According to HubSpot
Inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a 61% lower cost per lead.
The definition of outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its messages out to the audience.
Examples of Outbound Marketing
- TV Commercials
- Cold Calls
- Radio Commercials
- Podcast Commercials/sponsorships
- Print Advertisements
- Email Blasts
Outbound marketing still makes up a large percentage of marketing budgets fro many businesses. While it has been around for ages, it presents a lot of difficulties, such as:
- Difficulty in tracking the return on investment (ROI)
- Incresing blocking techniques (do not call lists, spam filters, TiVo, Netflix)
- High cost, low yield
In fact, CRM Daily reports
Nearly half of the companies that implement inbound marketing efforts see a 25 percent greater return on investment (ROI) on those programs than companies that do not. The survey found that inbound marketing channels can deliver up to 30 times the campaign conversion rate of traditional outbound direct mail campaigns.
With All That Being Said
Outbound marketing still offers value when used strategically and is combined with inbound marketing. Here are 3 outbound marketing efforts can be tracked, measured, and tied in with inbound marketing.
1. Trade shows and Conferences
Trade shows and conferences can feel inviting and the perfect opportunity to get the exposure your organization is seeking. In order to realize a clear ROI, an organization should develop clear metrics in order to gain value from the event. Metrics could include:
- Generate 10 leads per day from the 3-day event (30 total)
- Collect 30 email addresses per day from the 3-day event (90 total)
- Follow up with each email address through your email newsletter campaign
- Follow up with each lead through phone calls and email with a clear objective in mind, for example, get a follow-up meeting
Analyzing your Efforts
When you create clear, measurable objectives, you hold yourself and your team accountable. You also create targeted, focused goals and objectives that keep your team on track. At the end of the day, you simply review your goals.
Questions to Ask at the End of each Day
Did we generate 10 solid leads today? Why or why not? What can we do to generate more solid leads tomorrow to stay on track?
Did we collect 30 email addresses (apart from the 10 leads)? Why or why not? What can we do to generate more email addresses tomorrow to stay on track?
The goal with outbound marketing is to generate interest. In order to maintain and increase interest, you must guide your target audience through your sales process to get them to realize and understand the value your organization offers.
2. Podcast Sponsorships
According to Pew Research Center, in 2014 alone, there were more than 2.6 billion podcast download requests.
The percentage of Americans who have listened to a podcast in the past month has nearly doubled since 2008, from 9% to 17% by January 2015. The percentage in 2015 was up two points over 2014 levels (15%).
While podcasting is still a relatively new medium, there is big upside potential. Finding podcasts that talk directly to your audience can be a great way to get your message in front of a new audience. Podcast listeners are a very active group that like the intimate, one-on-one medium. Podcast listeners also like to take action by downloading checklists, worksheets, and more that relate to the episode.
One strategy for targeting this audience would be to find an existing podcast that has a healthy audience and is taking on sponsors. Your message would be played to a captive, engaged audience and has a higher result of converting.
Another strategy would be to be a guest on a podcast and offer a worksheet or downloadable pdf to the audience that helps them take action. When the listener submits their email address to receive the freebie, you then have a metric (number of downloads) to assess the value of being a guest on a podcast.
3. Strategic Print Advertisements
Print advertisements, while becoming second to digital, still plays an important role. Used strategically, print advertisements can be an effective form of outbound marketing. Tied to a clear call to action, a print advertisement can be highly converting.
An example of this is Delta’s Sky Magazine. When you are 35,000 feet up in the air, you are a captive audience to a print magazine. A well-crafted ad with a call to action to download an app for use while in the air, or to subscribe to service can be very beneficial.
Gaining Value from Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is not dead. It can still be highly effective, even if difficult to calculate ROI from some activities. By developing metrics and processes that can provide insight, real value can be gained from outbound marketing efforts.
How do you utilize outbound marketing to gain exposure for your organization? How do you measure your efforts to understand the value and ROI? Join the conversation and leave a comment below.