Scalar Enterprises Blog
This page contains news about Scalar Enterprises, work we have been doing for our clients, new features and services etc. From time to time I will also include useful information and articles from myself and from various other sources along with comments, tips and thoughts from myself. Hope you find it useful and why not let me know if you have a question.
I have just produced a new video of our latest Scalar Enterprises web services overview presentation tobring up to date the range of services that we now offer to help small businesses in the Portsmouth and Southampton areas to get up and running on the web or to improve how their current web sites are performing.
I have also created a new “ScalarEnt Channel” on YouTube to pull together some of our more recent videos that we have done for ourselves and clients. Feel free to have a look and let us know what you think by leaving a comment on our YouTube or Facebook pages.
Outbound marketing, as the name implies, involves pushing your marketing messages outwards to customers. This is the traditional, type of marketing we have become used to over the years comprising printed and other media, direct mail shots, emails, cold calling, telemarketing, trade shows etc. This is what is called “interruption” style marketing and unfortunately is pretty much hated these days by most people.
With the recent developments in technology, it is becoming quite easy to screen this type of approach out from your busy schedules e.g. call screening, spam filters etc. You can even filter out those annoying adverts on your TV now !
The bottom line is that people just don’t like being sold to and with the increasing number of new “tools” available to them now, they can filter most of it out so the traditional outbound marketing methods are not so effective.
So what is inbound marketing ? Inbound marketing is what is called “permission” style marketing where people have a choice of what and when they look at it. Now, they are using the Internet to research and learn about the products and services that best meet their needs before they buy.
The media in this case is Blogs, articles, e-books, white papers, RSS feeds, search engine optimisation and social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter . The Social media tools are used for interacting and developing relationships (networking) with individuals on the Web.
The main objective is to use the inbound marketing media and tools to drive traffic to your website so the onus is on you to make your content interesting and relevant so that visitors to your website and blog etc will want to read it and want to come back again and read more and to develop your relationships so that in time you can turn them into customers. It also allows you to keep in touch and support your existing customer base.
Gone are the days when you have to pay out for thousands of leaflets to be printed and distributed, not knowing if it works (as it is difficult to track).
Online marketing offers some major advantages over its predecessors. It can be easily tracked, you can monitor and do changes to your campaigns if required to improve them and it is much cheaper – in many cases it is pretty much free, you just need to invest some time to do it.
You can still use some printed material to complement your online marketing campaign but with digital print, these days you can produce small volumes (a couple of hundred rather than several thousands) very easily and cost effectively and use these to drive traffic to your website.
Another big advantage of inbound marketing is that small businesses can now easily compete against much larger ones – previously they would not have anywhere near the same size marketing budgets available so it was not possible to compete.
A recent industry report produced by Hubspot showed that :
- In 2011, small businesses (1 to 5 employees) plan to spend dramatically more of their budgets on social media and blogs than medium-to-large businesses (50 or more employees).
- Medium-to-large businesses plan to spend more of their budgets on outbound methods, including trade shows, direct mail and telemarketing.
- Small businesses are only giving 10% of their budget to outbound, while medium-to-large business are allocating 28% of their budget to outbound channels.
This report was based on a survey of 644 professionals carried out in January 2011 in the US. Although there are likely to be some variations, the general trends are believed to be valid for the UK as well.
- Inbound marketing channels are maintaining their low-cost advantage: Inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a cost per lead 62% lower than outbound marketing-dominated organizations.
- The gap between spending on inbound vs. outbound continues to widen: In 2009, inbound marketing had a 9% greater share of the lead generation budget; in 2011 its share was 17% greater.
- Blogs and social media channels are generating real customers: 57% of companies using blogs reported that they acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blog.
- More and more business are blogging: Businesses are now in the minority if they do not blog. From 2009 to 2011 the percentage of businesses with a blog grew from 48% to 65%.
- Businesses are increasingly aware their blog is highly valuable: 85% of businesses rated their company blogs as “useful”, “important” or “critical” – 27% rated their company blog as critical to their business.
Are you making the most of inbound marketing in your business ?
In the current difficult financial climate and with everyone having to make cuts in expenditure everywhere they can, many are struggling to make ends meet and cash flow becomes even more important.
In response to this, we thought we would add a pay-as-you go web site solution to our range of services for our clients who prefer to spread the costs for their web site by paying monthly and with no up-front costs.
We have been working hard in the background for quite a while developing our WEBimprove pay-as-you-go web site service and we are now ready to launch it.
Our monthly pay-as-you-go WEBimprove service offers 3 packages, Starter, Improver and Premier which covers most basic needs for a web site. It is suitable for a range of businesses, whether you are just starting out and need to establish your first web site or if you are ready to upgrade your current site to the next level and make it work better for you as your business grows.
You can also add extra options to these base packages if you wish and we also of course have our other range of services to offer still as well so whatever you need, we can help you with a solution.
Interested ? Find out more on our WEBimprove web site or call us FREEPHONE on 0800 5999 702.
A recent article I was reading in a the Web Designer magazine stated that a recent survey by hosting giant 1&1 revealed that 43% of businesses don’t bother to check if their web sites are working or if they are having a positive impact on their trade.
The survey revealed that the average SME apparently has had a web presence for more than 3 years but many of them admitted that they have no quantifiable method for measuring if their web sites are effective. Even those that do, often fail to make use of the results to improve their business.
A massive 83% admitted that they have no idea how to compare their website effectiveness against their business plans.
Scalar Enterprises can help you with your internet marketing and with maintaining your web site and content. We can help you make your site really work for you so that you can get a return on your investment and grow your business. Give us a call to discuss your requirements and start growing your business today.
Steve Wood, Scalar Enterprises, 29th November 2009