Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Inbound Marketing and Marketing, The Battle Continues

Well I am in the midst of a major event in the Nation's Capital and for the first time I hired a inbound marketing specialist to help generate traffic to our website for ticket sales.  I expected that we would be infiltrating a number of blogs, communicating with people online and generally increasing our ticket sales so much so that I could reduce my traditional marketing budget.

For those of you who have been using the web, web metrics and web marketing techniques this is probably nothing new. For a nubie like me however my needs, my perception and the outcomes were not what I anticipated.

First of all I thought that by developing an inbound campaign I was doing everything correctly. We hired the firm, a list of blogs was presented along, emails to a database, a Facebook page and a very robust website that was both regular computer and mobi friendly was developed.

Our inbound guy was pretty enthusiastic about the number of blogs we could reach, the types of incentives we would need to provide and the outcome and generation through our online ticket window.  A few months went by when the Mr. Traditional media guy here, says how are we doing with this inbound stuff.  Are we getting into any blogs and was our website traffic increasing and most of all were we selling any tickets?  Our web designer got active and setup a Facebook page and secured likes in return for entering a contest.   We encouraged our partners of our show to buy into the online inbound campaign for a really small amount of money expecting that the would see the value in it and provide the content, pictures and motivational promotions to make the program meaningful to the ticket audience.

After four months, limited input in the blogs, no support from the partners and limited exposure on the web we took a step back.   Why where we paying a guy to do anything more than what was already being done by those interested would do themselves and that was to find us.  Were the blogs and name mentions really doing anything for us or did anyone read the blogs or care.  Similar to this blog, I bet that its read by 20-30 people every month mostly those in the marketing field that are interested enough to consider the drivel I write as meaningful and important.

Our organic search continued as people interested in our industry found us and ticket sales while ahead of last year at this stage in the event did not get the surge we thought should happen since there was no real pickup by the market.

Our show is just starting this week, ticket sales are increasing due to our radio, print, Facebook pages and public relations campaigns.  Our online campaign has really not generated the results I expected and was told that " well its long-term" you can't expect it to generate what traditional media would do during the same time period however in the beginning I was enthusiastic and thought I needed it.

So for me the jury is out. I know I need to be progressive, be on the ball in regards to looking at what can be done and generate as much exposure online as possible.  I think we need to be consistent and continue with what we are doing, since the size of the market quite frankly is just too large.  However I think I need to look a lot closer at this whole online environment, and inbound campaign and consider it a lot more closely. 

Its not the be all that ends all. Its a support mechanism, another channel to market another approach to take.  For me, traditional media is not dead and is now a part of this bigger online market place.  The challenge is that the consumer has so many options to participate and is now getting their information from somewhere but where. Is it where from Google Ads, or are radio ads doing the job.

I think its a bit of everything. So I will keep experimenting and hoping I can find the right amount of online and offline and traditional media to get the point across.  The question is what do I do for an encore. Keep you posted, looks like this is a long term project after all.