The future of Inbound Marketing
After 3 days in Boston to the world biggest conference for Inbound Marketing, I see two clear trends within Inbound Marketing: (1) More focus on the customer, and (2) Intelligent use of bots.
More focus on the customer
Companies all over the world are using sentences such as: “Customer focus”, “Creating customer value” “Putting the customer in the centre is the heart of our business” in their visions and mission statements. However, often do companies tend to put the product in focus instead of the costumer. – This might not work out in the future.
The founder of Hubspot, Brian Halligan told that they have changed their business focus doing the last couple of years. When Hubspot asked their clients earlier why they have chosen Hubspot they always answered; Because you are good at content and because your sales machine is amazing. You show the Inbound works.
However, there has been a change. When Hubspot ask people today they get another answer; It is because I know someone who uses Hubspot and is happy about it. He summed it up with “No one trust sales & marketing. They trust customers.”
We have for years worshipped the traditional sales funnel, where you first attract customers (attract), convert them into leads (convert), process them into sales (close). However, this technique is dead now.
Today we use the “flywheel” that is putting the customer in the middle. The customers are not anymore someone we just put at the end of the funnel, the customers are the ones who feet new customers into the machinery.
The focus was before on closing the customer. Today it is about creating good experiences by reducing the customer journey as much as possible to make it easy for the customer.
Brian Halligan said: “Before your products should be 10x better than your competitors. Now your customer experience should be 10x lighter than your competitors”.
In the future companies will not differentiate themselves by differentiating on the product but on the customer experience.
Intelligent use of bots
Larry Kim talked at the conference about: Chatbot Marketing on Messaging Apps. Or the presence of these.
Because way too few companies are taking advance of these Messaging Apps chatbots. Facebook Messenger has today more than 1,3 billions users every month. And the fire biggest Messaging apps (Messenger, Whatsapp, WeChat & Viber) has overtaken the 4 biggest social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn) in the number of active users.
So if the customers are there, why are the companies not? Especially when Messaging Apps has up to 80% opening rate & 50% click rate.