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Inbound Killed the Radio Star… Or Did It?

Flying Hippo

By Flying Hippo

Remember when MTV actually played music videos? For this hippo, it was a pretty cool time. I rocked out to some great 80’s music while rocking my Zubas and Cavariccis with pride. Instead of having to sit through Teen Mom, Jersey Shore and Teen Mom 2-100, I jammed with J. Geils, puffed up my mullet for Pat Benatar and rocked with REO Speedwagon. But, it was a one-hit wonder that was the first video ever played on the network. Do you remember it? It was a song called ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by a band called the Buggles.


Catchy, right? Yes.

But, did video kill radio? Umm. No.

I bring this up because I’ve been hearing lots of chatter in the marketing world, specifically in the inbound sphere, that traditional media is dead. What do you think? Did inbound kill the radio star? Is traditional advertising dead? Are the days of billboards, radio ads and commercials over? Our answer is a firm ‘No!’ There are still plenty of reasons to incorporate traditional media into your marketing strategy – if the traditional media being used incorporates a little bit of inbound thinking.

A Plan Without A Persona?

In inbound marketing, the buyer persona plays one of the central roles in defining your message – both the content and the style. If you know who you are talking to, you know what to talk to them about and how to talk to them. The same is true with traditional (or, outbound) marketing. If you haven’t drilled down deep enough to discover your buyer personas, Hubspot has a terrific guide here.

Once you have your personas on point, you’ll want to examine every piece of your outbound materials. Make sure that all of your outbound materials are designed to speak to those personas and are placed in mediums that are skewed towards them. There are, of course, some exceptions to this. (For example, you may be advertising a store opening that appeals to all. Or, maybe you’re wanting to drive any sort of traffic to a huge sale.) Just remember that if you don’t speak to a specific audience about their own, unique needs, you might end up with a spot that looks like this video.

Make Them Move

Another integral piece to inbound marketing is the call to action. Whether it be outbound or inbound, every marketing material should have a call to action. In simple terms, calls to action are designed to encourage the customer to act. Whether it be ‘shop now,’ ‘log on’ or ‘check out our newest stuff,’ CTAs are best when they are designed around action-oriented verbs. If your print ad or radio spot don’t encourage the viewer or listener to take action, you might as well just yell your product name from the top of a cliff. (Which may cause your boss to throw you off of one, and no-one wants that.)

One last hint: multiple calls to action can be confusing.

Measure Me

When you send your kids to school, you want to know their progress, right? Enter the report card. If you go on a diet with the goal of losing weight, you’ll probably want to gauge the diet’s effectiveness. That’s why there are scales. But, when it comes to media, there are still folks out there putting ads and commercials out there with no true way to measure the success (or, failure) of the placement and its true return on your marketing dollars.

That’s why we recommend that when it comes to outbound marketing, you make certain to adopt another of inbound’s main tenets: measurement. Being able to track the ROI of your efforts is crucial to the bottom line. But, with outbound marketing, it can be a little tricky to measure its success. Savvy marketing folks have figured out a few effective ways to do this. Hashtags, custom URLs and real-time web analytics are being adopted frequently. If you’re using call only ads, there are plenty of call tracking companies available to help you with your metrics.

So, what do you think? It’s pretty obvious that video didn’t kill the radio star. But, what are your thoughts? Did inbound kill the traditional media buy? We’d love to hear what you have to say. Until then, enjoy the second video ever played on MTV. Gotta run and get my AquaNet.

Find out how Flying Hippo and inbound marketing can rock your brand!

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