You're a new busines owner who has enough to think about already. The last thing you want to hear is me telling you to add another thing to your plate, right? Well of course! I wouldn't be much of a marketing blogger if I didn't! Onward!
Based on a True Story (Movie Trailer Coming Soon)
Early in 2015, I was talking with a new soon-to-be client about the best way to approach his marketing strategy for his new business. The idea of inbound, including the term "inbound marketing", was new to him and he wanted to know how to best utilize it while still taking steps to put into play his ideas for traditional marketing, such as advertising in industry magazines and email newsletters that targeted one of his demographics.
I told him that the best way to execute traditional and inbound was in parallel. They both have a place in your business's whole marketing strategy. While they share a common goal, they should play different roles, especially for a new business.
The Role of Traditional Marketing
Unless I'm missing something, I feel like any debate between when to use traditional vs. inbound tactics shouldn't even exist. Traditional marketing's role in your company's overall strategy should focus solely on short term ROI and quick wins. You want people to know about your business now and you have an idea as to what outlets your general audience is looking at and using, especially if you are familiar with your industry's popular channels.
As I stated above, he wanted to use print advertising in industry magazines and purchase banner ads in email newsletters that were sent to folks that comprised of one of his personas. I agreed with him that these could be a great way to gain a quick foothold and start utilizing some of the cash his investors were putting into the ring so he could show some immediate returns and create awareness among a professional care demographic that would help establish continued awareness to his other persona, the consumer.
The biggest reason to use traditional marketing tactics for short term ROI is because as soon as you stop paying for the advertising and exposure, so does the revenue and attention. It only lasts as long as you are feeding it.
The Role of Inbound Marketing
While you spend budget on those quick wins, you should be putting into place your inbound marketing framework. The assets, campaigns and channels you establish here will not have an immediate return for your business and can be hard to swallow for you and/or your investors. But by using the traditional methods to satisfy everyone up front, you can be building value behind the scenes using your inbound strategy to prolong the life of that value, thus creating your long term ROI that will eventually catch fire and allow you to reduce spending on those short term ROI areas.
Upsell Your Extended Warranty!
Another way to look at this is like purchasing an extended warranty on a major purchase. That laptop, refrigerator or home theater will come with a limited 1 year warranty (traditional marketing), but if you spend an additional $30, you will gain 5+ years of extended coverage that will kick in after the original warranty expires (inbound marketing). This extends the life of your piece of mind in and the value of your purchase.