The Internet has turned marketing on its head and it has gone through a massive revolution. Outbound marketing – magazines, TV, billboards, etc. – has taken a backseat to new and better methods of educating consumers about new products and services. The new ways of interacting with the possible consumer are faster and more interactive than the old ways. Additionally, the consumer has taken the reigns of how they want to learn about products and services with tools like social media (talking to others about your products, services and brand) and with mobile devices (connecting your brand and content whenever they want).
Answering the phone to do Inbound Marketing
Even with all of the access the internet provides to people, your phone is still ringing, right? Every day you're answering questions to members about the location of your next event or providing the general public referrals to your member service providers.
Your job as an association is to be the beacon for your industry and to provide the answers to your membership and consumers so that you can leverage the daily experiences from your front lines to develop your strategy for content development, which is the cornerstone for inbound marketing.
One Thing to Getting Start
The only thing needed to start is to implement a simple process for your team answering the phone. If you have them ask the question, “Did you try to find that information on our website and were unsuccessful?," and the customer replies "no," then you should answer the question and direct them to the correct location on your website for more information - as long as what is online can supplement your answers. If they say "yes," then you should mark that question as a follow up for additional development since the content didn’t satisfy their questions which prompted their call.
Once you've worked this process for a week or two, you'll start to see trends and you can start enhancing or building that content into your website. Then, your members and consumers can get access to your information at their convenience. These steps will also help your outbound communications to members by further defining their wants and needs.
The final takeaway - the questions that are asked during the calls you get Wednesday at 4pm during regular business hours are the same that people ask on Sunday at 4pm.