I believe the marketing landscape is deeply selfish.
Everyone is selling tactics to push their agenda, rather than actually trying to help people. Crazy idea, I know.
To be fair, some of this is a response to human nature: we all want magic bullets. We want a quick fix easy solution, and it’s easy money for internet marketers to sell ideas – “the reason you haven’t yet succeeded is magic bullet X, but you’re in luck – I’ll sell it to you.”
Everyone wants to own. Nobody wants to be sold.
An upmarket competitor to one of our SAAS products really owns the phrase “inbound marketing“. They’ve done a great job, burned millions in VC funds but really did create a solid and successful business, though they’re losing $11,000,000 per quarter, but hey, they appear successful and that’s all that matters, right?
But I digress.
Entire companies with billion dollar public valuations are built on small segments of marketing technology (inbound marketing, lead scoring, etc.), but at the end of day, every traffic method and conversion system is a subset of relationship marketing.
Email marketing without lead scoring and integration is doomed.
Email is already fizzling, albeit slowly, and most of us are none too excited about cleaning our inboxes, even with zealous pre-filtered systems like gmail.
Anything less will eventually be trumped by a holistic system that draws from dozens of potential input methods to learn customer intent, trust level, interest level, etc.. Inbound marketing is only ideal for select industries and audiences. If you need an ambulance, you’re dialing 911, not researching companies online.
Last week I was working on real estate marketing. In Los Angeles where I live, home prices are high, and this means every 20th person you meet is likely to be a real estate agent, and everyone you ever talk to already knows at least one. Sellers and buyers don’t need to look online – they already have an agent friend, or recall that guy they met at a party who really sounded like he knew his stuff – a relationship, #IRL.
SEO has already blurred with social media. Inbound marketing is simply a systemized lead-capture approach that internet marketers have been using for years as a method to start relationship marketing.
But this is where the current technology mostly stops, unless you setup expensive lead scoring systems tied to human evaluation of sales resistance. We [SwiftCloud] are working to solve this.
Marketing is as simple as lots of eyeballs + compelling offer.
Whether it’s compelling gets tricky, and “compelling” still requires trust for any dollar amount more than the impulse-buy range.
And thus – it’s about the relationships. Like real life sales, we do a little dance back and forth: you tell me about a problem you want to solve, and if it may be a fit, I tell you more about solutions I have for that. We dance back and forth to see if it’s a fit. For most, it’s not, but for some, it is, and then we transact money, and I solve your problem. It feels natural, emulates real-world sales, and your trust grows as you learn more.
At SwiftCloud, we’re working on blurring the lines between marketing software and sales CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and I’m of the belief it’s the only logical outcome to unity a set of tactical tools.
For consumers, this means, long term, that you’ll enjoy a smoother transition of your wants, wishes, goals into reality. For sales professionals, software should help you spend more time closing, less time on everything else. For marketers, imagine a world where your tools fit together seamlessly.
* #IRL = In Real Life
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