We’ve seen a change. Digital products are moving forward faster than ever, birthed a lot of solutions to our lives. We’ve seen disruptions on on-demand transportations service, such as Uber, Go-Jek, the way we buy things, like Amazon, and Shopee, on travelling and accomodations, such as Airbnb, and Tiket.

Market penetrations like that doesn’t come easy, especially while we’re thinking about making high-stakes decisions, especially in the industry of financial technology and healthcare. User experience aside, many startups fail because they can’t really communicate what they do, how it actually solves user’s problem, or maybe the market is not educated enough on how to use the product by their marketing activities yet.

Marketing are consisted of push or outbound marketing, and pull or inbound marketing. outbound marketing is when you reach out to your audience, through advertising, email marketing, personal selling and et cetera.

The thing about advertising and push marketing is, it disturbs the audience. Just like when you’re watching youtube videos, and unknown ads pop up, or a cold email marketing, offering products you weren’t even aware of. It pops questions of quality of our products in their heads. While it’s not sinful, it requires certain strategy for outbound marketing to be less-annoying.

Inbound marketing is attracting your audience and pulling their attention towards you, through contents. Inbound marketing could be in the form of: a video, social media posts, blog posts, eBook. In one’s perspective, this is a much better and humane way to attract audience by being of service and solution for them instead of disrupting them.

While pull marketing sounds like a better way to approach, my experience in digital startups proved that you could actually go wrong.

When you’re starting a new business, you need to balance your marketing activities by combining them both. My experience in a startup has proven that if you’re focusing on inbound marketing too much, the results wouldn’t be as expected.

The rule of thumb here is, the audience are busy. Not every audience would search for your specific product category that often unless your product hits that vital pain point to get them search for a solution. My team was spending much time getting leads through instagram, with the goals to get the audience to download our app. Yet the conversion from awareness to act was next to none, because our user perceived us as a community of a common interest, rather than digital service provider.

The thing is, social media was never suppose to work alone. Let’s talk about a design service agency as an example, prospective clients may see what you do on instagram, but not many would consider instagram the only deciding factor. Instagram would work as a gallery, but in order to convert leads to clients, they need to trust you. They need to know your who you are, your process, portfolio etc.

So we reevaluated and I proposed a program, we participate as a tenant to an outdoor adventure event, then we provided a certain amount of discount for the prospective user who has planned to hike, and we lead them to plan it through our app. There was a lot to learn that the user might be afraid to trust our brand, or afraid what if things go wrong and etc. You wouldn’t find such insights only by inbound marketing alone.

You need to know their pains and gains to find exactly what their deciding factor is and what to communicate. I will cover this through another article.

Content marketing is great for brand curiosity, but is not enough to get to certain act if the media is not integrated enough, did not match the prospective user’s touchpoints, or did not communicate as precise as we wanted, or you have not designed a customer path or funnel to follow.

As I said from the beginning, introducing digital product is like offering a new tool, certain people might need to learn to use it, with fear of doing anything wrong. While from UX perspective, we need to design something as self-evident as possible, a familiarity still has to be communicated, through your marketing communication media, and the effective way to market and communicate that, is to combine both conventional and digital. Both familiarity and revolutions. Both inbound and outbound marketing.