Students Should Know IIT
6 Reasons Why Inbound is Better than Traditional Marketing
While a marketing degree will afford students an understanding of marketing fundamentals, channel strategies, consumer behavior, brand management, and marketing research, digital/internet tactics are left out. They are simply mentioned as a trend without much real depth into its various components. Despite this, many of us will agree that there is a real digital transformation taking place that drastically impacts how business is conducted. The Accenture forecasted the digital evolution to add $1.36 trillion to the economy by 2020 per the Digital Marketing Institute’s “Missing the Mark” Report. It obviously also affects companies’ marketing strategies but without the appropriate teaching for students, how will they be prepared for today’s marketing environment?
There is a major demand for people with digital skills but there is also a large deficit in expertise. “Missing the Mark” also found that less than 10% of marketers have the entry level skills needed. It is even more important for students entering the workforce since they are our future of marketers. Having these skills allows them to take advantage of the salaries and benefits that come along with this highly in demand role. Today’s students need to supplement their traditional courses with education on digital tactics and technologies. The following is a list of topics that’s students should have a general understanding of and a specialization of at least one, if not more, because they are needed but absent in the workplace.
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Learning about Inbound Information Technology (IIT) is a great way for students to gain the knowledge that employers are seeking. First, it covers several of the topics listed above. Second, it will benefit them whether they are looking to work at a small, medium, or large company. Small and medium companies don’t typically have large marketing budgets and look to Inbound agencies to reach their marketing objectives. Large companies either want the expertise in house or outsource to agencies that employ these experts. Lastly, there are many reasons why Inbound is better than Traditional Marketing and further proof that students should study Inbound Information Technology (IIT). But before we jump into that the below graphic is a great depiction from Rand Fishkin of moz.org to explain the difference between Inbound (Pull) versus Outbound (Push or Interruptive) Marketing.
Inbound is Better than Outbound because…
- Inbound has better ROI. There are a few things that contribute to this. Inbound cost less. There is no need for large media budgets, or agencies of record to create fancy TV and print ads. Thus the cost per lead are significantly lower. Also, Inbound activities are trackable and can be optimized mid-campaign to ensure effectiveness. Because many things can be tracked, it easy to prove ROI. In fact, according to the 2016 State of Inbound, 81% of companies that use primarily Inbound techniques find their marketing efforts effective while only 18% of companies felt that way when using primarily outbound marketing.
- It’s more long term than traditional marketing. Inbound marketing focuses on establishing relationships with customers through content. Whether it is blogging, SEO, video, or other forms, the goal is to drive traffic and grow relationships by giving customers what they are seeking. Every time more content is created you reach your established networks and build it even further. And the content is never lost. It can always be promoted again and brought back to the forefront.
- Easier to segment and reach various audiences. When using traditional means to reach an audience, the profile is typically the same regardless of the channel (TV, print, radio) since the media is bought based on mostly demographics. The nuisances tend to come in the messaging. Conversely, the digital landscape allows markets to reach a number of different audiences and do so very effectively. Audiences can be extremely targeted with detailed definition around psychographics, online behaviors, or search terms/topics. The low cost also enables multiple targets while traditional campaigns are limited by the budget due to the high media and production costs.
- It’s immediate and can be easily adjusted via monitoring. When content is published, it is made public immediately. Inbound marketers can also engage with customers live via social media. Monitoring allows for changes and campaigns to be optimized whenever necessary. The complex processes and steps found in traditional advertising do not exist. And companies that do monitor their work can easily calculate ROI, prove the effectiveness, and increase their budgets as was found in the 2016 State of Inbound report. How great is that!
- Build more credibility. Digital marketing allows marketers to interact directly with their audiences in places their audiences already are. Providing them with content or information they are seeking on their terms, instead of pushing your messages at them, allows for better engagement and relationships. The majority of consumers trust word-of-mouth more than any other avenue so social media and the like leverages those social proofs or testimonials. Thus, customers are more loyal and more likely to become brand ambassadors.
- Produces qualified leads. Again, it’s much easier to track a visitor and their online behaviors. Because you can provide more of the content they want, you get leads that provide more information that better qualify them via calls to action, offers, and landing pages with forms. This qualified lead can then be directed to sales to seamlessly close the lead and convert them into customers. More conversion means more revenue.
Who wouldn’t want to hire someone that can prove they know what it takes to effectively reach prospects, covert them to leads then customers, and increase sales? The goal of marketing is to identify customers and reach them with the right message at the right time. There is no better way to do that than with Inbound Information Technology. Students that want to learn the latest in marketing strategies, want a good career outlook post-graduation, and want to be successful in their careers, need to strongly consider studying IIT!