It's a legitimate question. But when it was posed recently at a gathering of Social Media purists I felt immediately transported into a scene from Ghostbusters II. You know, the one in the mayor's office ...
Venkman: ... a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
Ray: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff.
Ray: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.
Egon: Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes…
Winston: The dead rising from the grave.
Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.
"Dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria." There you have it.
Gimme a break. The reality is that over 75% of businesses have found that a cross-channel strategy is the way to go. Why? Because different outreach methods are appropriate for different audiences at different stages of The Funnel.
Inbound tactics (content, social, PR, SEO/SEM, AdWords, et al.) are ideal for use at the top of the funnel where Awareness and Interest are generated.
- It's far less expensive than cold calling and list rental.
- The interactive nature of the tools helps develop a relationship with the suspect/prospect.
- Inbound tactics allows more opportunity for sharing info between and among suspects/prospects, increasing probability of referral.
-And just one more anomaly: Once upon a time e-mails were opened 10X more reliably than USPS mail. But, recent studies of B2B direct mail vs. e-mail performance show the two approaches neck n' neck in their open rates.
|This most excellent funnel diagram was created by Kickstart Alliance (www.kickstartall.com). Kickstart helps companies "Align Marketing and Sales for Results." We think it's a great reference piece -- hope you do too!|
As the Nurture Phase progresses tools like mailed/e-mailed content, demos, events, and phone conversations enter the cross-channel mix, and they do so for a reason. The relationship has to shift from one with a company or product, to one with a person in order to make the hand-off smoothly to Sales.
Inbound tactics are terrific at the top of the funnel, but once you establish a relationship with your future customer (i.e., when they evolve from visitor to lead), a cross-channel mix of outbound and inbound marketing tactics yields the greatest return, leading to higher quality Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
So here we are -- dogs and cats living together -- without mass hysteria.
Of course you'll have a tough time convincing anyone of this unless you've deployed the right analytics, but that's a posting for another time ...