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Inbound isn’t just some new fad. It has been around for over a decade at this point, and it is essential in helping businesses adapt to the digital age and the impact that has had on buyers’ habits.
At this point, if you aren’t adopting at least some level of an inbound strategy then you are probably behind the times.
The truth is, with inbound you are investing in your company’s growth and adaptability.
Inbound is a long-term investment. The work and effort you are putting in today will benefit your entire organization for years to come.
But, just because most marketers are aware of the true value the inbound methodology provides to an organization doesn’t mean that getting the rest of your company bought in is also easy. Adopting the Inbound methodology takes time, resources and is an investment that everyone needs to be bought into to see real success.
When it comes to getting your c-suite to understand the value of inbound, it’s best to start with the possible oppositions and risks that may come up.
Large Investment Required
One of the most common oppositions to inbound you will hear is the monetary investment that is involved with switching up your current strategy. When it comes to addressing costs with your manager or executive team, be prepared to address the different areas that may require some investment and highlight why they are worth it.
Technology plays a huge role in inbound marketing, so you may need to adopt a new platform entirely or at least implement some new processes or integrations into the platforms you currently have. Tech stack investments can be big, but they have a major impact on the productivity and alignment of your company.
You also should consider how much time will be invested into changing to an inbound strategy. There will be a large time investment in terms of training, strategy, adoption and implementation. While this doesn’t necessarily require purchase, your teams will be allocating their time to new initiatives and training rather than spending it where they were prior to inbound.
It is important to remember though, if you are currently highly focused on outbound methods like buying lists, going to trade shows or investing heavily in paid advertising, with successful inbound you can reduce those costs which can help account for the new costs you acquire.
One of the hardest challenges to adopting the inbound methodology is the change management piece. There will probably be new software your teams need to understand and adopt, there will be new responsibilities and there could even be new positions created for content creation or management.
These things can be scary to an executive team and can be seen as a huge risk and investment of time and effort. but, if you are looking to make a change there are probably problems that inbound would solve for or improve in your current system. While you shouldn’t shy away from the amount of change or risk associated, you can and should highlight the long-term benefits that successfully overcoming those changes will have.
Lack of Understanding of the Value
One of the most impactful ways to get anyone else to understand the value that inbound provides is to provide proof and use cases. Videos of other companies like yours explaining how they found value in inbound and what it did for their company at a high level is a great way to resonate with your execs or c-suite.
Second to that, making sure everyone has a clear understanding of how the buying cycle would work at your company once you have adopted an inbound method is also impactful.
Explaining to your executives how a lead will come in using inbound: through organic searching online and then through the content you write, then how they will be nurtured by marketing and then routed to your sales team and worked until they are ready to purchase is a great way for them to see how seamlessly inbound will work.
Low Priority / Poor Timing
Getting your boss or executive team on board goes deeper than just getting them to understand inbound. In order for your team to truly prioritize inbound and get people to want to help and put effort in past just the next few days, they need to understand why inbound is important and be truly willing to make it a priority now over other things that may have been planned prior.
The internet has changed the way people buy, point-blank. Your consumers want to research products on their own and be able to trust your company for information in order to decide for themselves that they are ready to speak to sales or someone at your company.
Inbound was built to adapt to the digital age and the impact that has had on the buying habits and needs of consumers. Whether or not that digital shift has occurred isn’t up for debate, and if you aren’t meeting those needs of your potential buyers, they will go elsewhere.
At this point inbound is not really an option. If you aren’t adopting it you are either behind your competitors or you will be behind your competitors soon.
No change is easy, so getting people to buy into a whole new method of going about marketing and sales and bringing in customers is going to be challenging.
The key to getting buy-in is a clear presentation that has weighed the pros and cons honestly and transparently. Being prepared for any oppositions that may come up, addressing them head-on and already having solutions or plans for those oppositions will help everyone have an easier time accepting that inbound is both feasible and the right choice for your business.
Weslee Clyde is an inbound marketing strategist at New Breed. She is focused on generating results using inbound methods and is driven by the customer experience. When not at the office, you can find her binging a docu-series on true crime or perfecting her gluten-free baking skills.