Ten Notable Differences Between Inbound And Digital Marketing

Inbound and digital marketing both are very commonly used terms in global marketing world today. Though both may sound similar, they are a little different from each other. Before we dive down into differences, let’s understand the meaning of each of these terms.

Inbound Marketing

Creating compelling content to attract prospects and customers to your digital properties across different stage of a buyer’s journey such as attract, interest, desire and action is termed as Inbound Marketing.

Inbound marketing, over the last few years, became synonymous with HubSpot as they leveraged it well by creating a whole educational ecosystem around certifications for inbound marketing.

Examples of Inbound Marketing

  • Creating blogs
  • Writing whitepapers, use cases or case studies
  • Creating infographics or eBooks
  • Conducting webinars or Podcasts
  • SEO for any of the asset types mentioned above
  • Affiliate marketing

inbound marketing

Outbound Marketing

Traditional approach wherein businesses reach out to customers to sell a product or service is called as Outbound Marketing.

Cold calling for instance is outbound marketing.

outbound marketing

Digital Marketing

Every marketing tactic which is online or over the internet could safely be called as Digital Marketing. Using online channels such as website, search, social media or marketing automation to reach your customers are integral components of digital marketing.

Examples of Digital Marketing

  • Running a paid social media campaign on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
  • Paid search or google ads campaign to drive leads
  • Paid search campaign to drive webinar registrations
  • SEO for any of the asset types mentioned above

digital marketing strategy


Ten Differences between Inbound and Digital Marketing


Difference 1: Broader vs Methodology

Digital marketing is broader as it encompasses everything in the digital marketing world. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is focussed around the methodology used to create compelling content across different stages of your buyer’s journey (Attract, Convince, Convert and Delight for example)

Difference 2: Short Vs Long Term

Digital marketing is helpful in addressing short term goals such as immediate leads this quarter using paid search, inbound marketing on the other hand, is more strategic and requires more time and efforts including joining the dots between different stages of your buyers’ journey.

Difference 3: Push vs Pull Marketing

Inbound marketing is attention focussed and pull form of marketing while digital marketing could be anything between push and pull.

For example, writing a blog is meant to attract customers on your website – it is pull marketing or inbound marketing in this case, however, when you start advertising the same blog through google ads to reach your potential customers, it then, becomes a push form of marketing (or digital marketing tactic as a whole)

Difference 4: Objective difference

Digital marketing is all about reaching your customers and prospects through digital media such as website, search, social media, emails or publisher networks, while Inbound marketing is all about attracting your customers and then converting and retaining them thereafter.

Difference 5: Consumer Behaviour

Inbound marketing is intent driven and based upon the customers need at any given point of time. Digital marketing may or may not be intent based, for example, a paid search campaign on google may try to push a product or services related to the keyword being searched and not necessarily the exact product being searched. Inbound on the other hand, will show the most relevant web page for that very keywords through organic search results.

Difference 6: GDPR Friendliness

On a lighter note, anything intent based or user-consent based is safer than a pushed information in this era of privacy sensitive regulations across the globe. Inbound marketing is more GDPR friendly than digital marketing on those lines.

Difference 7: Advertising vs No Advertising

Digital advertising is part and parcel of digital marketing. Inbound marketing has nothing to do with digital advertising.

A google ad is digital marketing and not inbound marketing for instance.

Difference 8: Tools and Technology

Since digital marketing is much wider in scope, the set of tools including marketing technology stack is vast and numerous, Inbound marketing on the other hand, will have limited set of tools.

Difference 9: Career Prospects

If you are an Inbound Marketing professional, you will see lesser money spends and may focus more on SEO, blog, Email marketing and so on. You won’t get sacked because you didn’t rank on one day. (rare to happen at least for a web page in promotion)

Due to the larger piece of advertising money, a digital marketing guy will see more budget and money expenditure in his or her lifetime. You are responsible for money you advertise with. You can get sacked if you burn up the money without results😊

Difference 10: Term Awareness among Hiring community and HR Managers

As of today, on LinkedIn, subject to the way LinkedIn algorithms work, when you search by keyword “Inbound Marketing” there are a total of 11,339 job results (worldwide) whereas when you do the same with the keyword “digital marketing” you notice a Whopping 133,518 job listings as such.

We could safely assume that the hiring community at least likes “digital marketing” more than the word “inbound marketing”.

It is also true when you deep dive into each job description, an SEO job without any money involvement may be listed under “Digital Marketing” for instance.

Results for “Inbound Marketing” job search on LinkedIn
results for inbound marketing

Results for “Digital Marketing” job search on LinkedIn

results for digital marketing

Conclusion Thoughts

Whilst there are few notable differences as we discussed above, both, inbound and digital marketing are important for business and they do complement each other, it is more about the term being used and its context of being used. For example, a user finding your video on YouTube (by typing keywords) is inbound marketing, but when you are asking them to subscribe your channel for subsequent videos, it is digital marketing. The whole process from creation of video content to asking them to subscribe and then pushing more videos to their inbox is inbound first and then digital marketing, both.

Having done both the forms of marketing and personal inclination towards paid advertising, I feel paid advertising is more challenging as it matters by every frame of a second when you deal with your competition in digital marketing. A paid search campaign on google requires real-time changes or bids for instance, I never get the same adrenaline rush while doing SEO to attract inbound traffic, otherwise.

Which one do you like the most?

Can you think of any more differences between inbound and digital marketing, let me know in the comments section below and please do subscribe our YouTube channel.

Marketing Trends Brands Should Watch Out for in 2019

The year 2018 saw a lot of transformation in marketing, from big guys like Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai being questioned in front of the senate, GDPR coming in effect, to the launch of Android Pie. Consumers are more aware and being cautious of their privacy than ever before. All of this is going to impact marketing as a function and here are such … trends which brands should watch out for in 2019 for being successful.

Augmented Reality reaches masses

Google launched the 1st release of ARCore (a software development kit) in March 2018 which opened the doors for building augmented reality experiences. A lot of applications (mobile & web) with AR experience will be coming up opening the whole new avenues of possibilities around Shopping, Hotel booking, Events, simulations, training, education and so on. Imagine wearing shirts before buying from your camera Lens, being inside a hotel room before booking. Remember PokemonGo?  That’s just an application of Augmented Reality.

There are a lot of fun games and applications if your Smartphone supports ARCore though! I just tried Sketchfab on Andriod Pie, it’s fantastic! Look at the car on my sofa.

AR experience marketing trends

Learn More:

  1. AR Core
  2. Sketchfab
  3. Smartphones and devices which support AR Core

Omni Channel Marketing Content

One size fit all will no longer work, with google awarding separate ranks for Desktop and mobile users and YouTube being the second largest search engine, the new imperative for brands is to have an omnichannel content strategy. Your users are everywhere, consuming more content for business and personal purposes. It was okay to be on one or few specific channels some time ago but not anymore, the biggest trend I observed justifying this is the fact that every product brand in social media is doing advertising on the channels owned by their immediate competition. Why? They see prospects and consumers across all channels now.

Example one:

LinkedIn advertises on google display network

Linkedin Advertizes on GDN

Google ads are also seen on LinkedIn now (notice the right-hand top side)

Linkedin has Google display ads enabled for retargeting

Twitter advertising on Linkedin

Twitter ads on Linkedin

LinkedIn and Facebook advertising on Google (ads in yellow)

LInkedin and Facebook Ads on google

It basically means that all combinations are possible now. If those leading  brands are doing this. Why shouldn’t you?

Learn More

Step by Step Guide To Setup LinkedIn Ads

Voice Search would continue to Grow!

With rise of smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos one, voice search would continue to grow in 2019. Currently, most of the applications of voice search are towards local searches. It would also spread out for real life situations like shopping. It will also go by the fact around which company owns what. For instance, Amazon owns Echo and Amazon ecommerce, so people could really do shopping while ordering from Alexa. Since more than 50% of shopping-based searches in the US origin on amazon.com, Amazon would continue to lead this domain. For marketing, in this example, it means to be a listed product on Amazon, so people could order while talking to Alexa. Have voice search enabled on your website and do local SEO

Learn More:

  1. Voice Search for Local Business Study by Bright Local
  2. How to: Add Voice Search to a Website
  3. What is local SEO

Slow Growth in Visual Search

Google and Bing do offer visual search, it is not used as extensively as text-based search though! Last two years has been a challenge and a lot of players in this market were trying to figure out the accuracy levels from image search results as such. Pinterest, Amazon and eBay offer visual search too, along with a lot of small players like TinEye and picsearch. This domain would continue to see more niche players and will continue to grow. For marketing, having text, image alt tags, embedding visual search among apps, and building image libraries is a good way to get started. Upon advancements, advertising opportunities would slow grow in visual search as well.

Example: you can upload and image or URL of the image to start searching

visual search on google

More Creative Investments in Video

According to Google, in 2018, from awareness to consideration, Video advertising was used at every stage of buyer’s journey. We also see more of Vlogs than blogs today quite often. This trend would continue, and a significant amount of marketing and creative budgets would move towards Videos. Same is true for advertising on LinkedIn as well. Less than 15 seconds as video duration tend to perform better than the longer ones. LinkedIn is also coming up with Square native videos soon.

Social Media Listening and rise of AI Analysts

Consumer voices are best heard while doing social media listening. AI has wonderful applications in this field, Brandwatch last month launched Iris, a personal AI analyst for faster social media insights. These AI Analysts are expected to take up a lot of manual jobs a social listening or social intelligence professional may be doing today, collating data and analyzing trends for instance. For marketing it means, being an early adopter of AI Analyst will have an upper edge at deriving insights.

brandwatch iris

Learn More: Top 6 Social Media Listening Tools To Monitor Your Brand

GenZers entering workforce

About 61 MN GenZers (people born 1997 onwards) are going to enter the workforce in the US alone. Current markets are dominated by millennials at most. Gen Zers seem to be value success, with professional and academic achievement ranking as most important. Marketing will be impacted by their lifestyle, habits, ambitions, choices, working style as well. For marketing it would also mean,  being heavy on social media spends, finding out ways to build  a cult brand and so on.

Learn More:

Gen Z: What To Expect From The New Workforce

How Millennials are Marketing to Gen Z

Censored Search & Project Dragonfly

Of late there has been a lot of hype and news around Google working on Project Drangonfly for Chinese government to create a censored search engine. Few of the Google employees too signed letters against censored search engine for China during November 2018. It would  basically mean end of transparency and democracy of search engines, globally. Sundar Pichai in his latest hearing with the senate reassured that “they have no plans for launch in China” for now.

google employees


Marketing Certifications will have lesser Value

Every Product OEM owning any marketing product is trying to build a mindshare and gain from educational means. While Hubspot was an early entrant to training and certifications, SEMrush, Adobe and Google are few of the successful brands in this field. Now, there are way too many products, with every product comes the training and thus the certification. It is also a fact that not every company is as great brand as google or Hubspot for argument sake. One, the quality goes down when you have so many certifications that too product related in market and, secondly, recruiters and managers will have tough time deciding what to look for in qualifications.

I did cover a lot of such online courses, I can safely say that most of them try to teach you the product functionalities and questions are framed accordingly. This trend shall continue unless regulatory bodies put a check and define those qualifications, the very nature of digital being dynamic will have challenges to be defined though!

Look at the people fighting on PPC for the keyword “digital marketing courses list” for instance

digital marketing courses

Learn More:

17 Awesome Free Online Marketing Courses for Digital Marketers

Universal basic income

UBI or universal basic income has been debated for over last 2 years now. AI and automation is expected to take away a lot of jobs that we do today and it is happening already. Several recent studies projects that about 47% to 50% of all existing jobs will disappear in next 25 years. Same is backed by prominent industry leaders like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg etc. Ontario in Canada, in fact, started running a pilot project for Universal Basic Incometo know how the money affected health, income, effort and work and housing status among its recipients. That unfortunately, is called off by the new government for now. About 100 CEOs are requesting the government to bring it back though! If it would have been allowed for 3 years as planned, there could have been vast amount of data to analyze if the world really needs a universal basic income as such.

Elon Musk Tweet AI

There are couple of other countries running this project, Sikkim in India intend to roll this out soon, and it is just a matter of time. Every Corporate and marketing would be impacted from this out of the box approach.

Learn More:

  1. Ontario Basic Income Pilot
  2. Basic income around the world

Social Media would strongly influence the global Politics

Gone are the days when political social media content could be ignored. You could easily find political campaigns being run on Social Media to drive influences, donations, charity, opinion polls, exit polls and so on. Politicians has direct access to their voters through social media. It works mutually beneficial for social media companies like Facebook, Twitter as they get advertising dollars and political parties of respective countries as they connect with direct voters as such.Social Media would strongly influence the global Politics

During late 2018, Twitter came with a whole new policy around political campaigning in the US. The account information, deletion and related requests have also seen a spike last year.

data drive

The content removal requests have also seen a spike since 2009 at Google, whilst reasons cited could  be multiple among governments, there could be hidden political interest as well.

reasons for content removal - googleLearn More:

List of elections in 2019

Handpicked Articles to learn more:

  1. Top 20 Marketing Trends brands should watch Out for in 2018
  2. Best Practices for Social Media Usage in 2018
  3. GDPR Implications For Digital Marketing
  4. 2019 B2B Marketing Trends: Ideas For The Contrarian Marketer
  5. Best Free SEO Tools To Gain Ranks on Google

Do you see different or more marketing trends this year? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.

Please do subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Disclosure: We may receive compensation for links to products on this website.



Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.

Top 20 Marketing Trends brands should watch Out for in 2018

Marketing Trends in 2018

2017 for marketing has been a year of transformation, the realization of issues concerning common man and coming up with proactive measures to overcome difficulties consumers face today. From emphasizing more upon digital channels, increasing twitter character lengths to realizing and acting upon fake news in the late 2017, brands today, are becoming more and more consumer-centric. Marketing is evolving and there is a long way to go. In this blog, we shall discuss 20 marketing trends brands should watch out for in 2018 and years to come.

1. Virtual Reality in Questionable state

Virtual reality started with a big bang about 2 years ago. It was expected to be a part of mainstream advertising budgets, but witnessed a limited play in movies and TV shows, unlike games. Flagship mobile phones launch in 2015, Lenovo Vibe X3 for instance, had bundled mobile phone and virtual reality headsets together, which is not a case with leading mobile brands today. This is going to continue further and brands will see lesser traction on mobile devices and applications of virtual reality in marketing. It could take six to eight years for VR to reach a tipping point.

Read More about Virtual Reality Marketing in my previous blog post here.

2. Machine Learning in Marketing

Machine learning, inevitably, will change the way brands consider marketing to their customers today. By now, you must have tried looking at a product on an e-commerce site and the very next second the same product is shown to you across your mailbox, apps you download and websites you visit in multiple ad formats. It will rise more and more with dynamic shift mobility and android market is taking today. Basically, it’s a use case of Machine learning in digital advertising and termed as Retargeting. Leading companies such as Facebook, Google, and Vizury enable this for marketers to effectively target their audience for improved conversions. It also brings in the Real-time application of ads to the desired audience and cut on unwanted spends as machines can learn quicker than human beings. Essentially, personalized and better-targeted ads, real-time application and ability to learn quickly will eventually be more cost effective for businesses. Thus, it will continue to rise in 2018 and marketers will see increased investments in machine learning as a capability.

3. Limiting Gated Content

Creating a simple landing page and gating content has been useful in past few years. From necessary to unnecessary gating of content, and forcing users to submit a form in exchange for an asset, offer or benefit has been overused. Brands like Zendesk and Hubspot have already started using the mix of gated and nongated content. Customers would prefer not forcing them to fill a form every time they need an asset from your website. This trend will see more traction and brands will choose what to gate and what not to gate in 2018. Using a suitable mix and differentiating gated and ungated content will be key to success in 2018.

4. LinkedIn gets life

LinkedIn in 2017, have made multiple improvements to the platform. Last month, I also noticed Akshay Kothari, Head of LinkedIn India, promoting thought leadership driven video bytes often candid conversations, essentially, targeting youth, B2B professionals, and Job seekers, the Purpose LinkedIn is well known for. I personally felt its lot more life on LinkedIn as It is sometimes boring talking business all the time on LinkedIn. This trend will surely be noticed by leading brands, and people will try bringing in youth, new thoughts and candid conversations on LinkedIn. With free data plans floating all around, the video is going to be an integral part of LinkedIn in 2018.

LinkedIn India

On Linkedin editors, news feed appears like the example given below.

LinkedIn Editors

Learn More:

Types of LinkedIn Ads & When to Use Them

Tips & Best practices for LinkedIn Ads

Step by Step Guide To Setup LinkedIn Ads

5. Twitter declines

Twitter didn’t grow in 2017, due to limited improvements in the ad platform and focus on user acquisitions rather, in 2017. There is some positive news on user base and numbers which started growing post-Oct 2017. The increase character length from 140 characters to 280 characters now has been a debatable topic as well. Experts say that Twitter’s technology lags than that of Facebook and Google. The fanciness of hashtags, however, is not going to decline and brands will continue using Twitter in 2018. By what percentage, time can only tell for now.

twitter sales and growth

6. Rise of Instagram

According to Brandwatch, Instagram now reaches an average audience of 500 million people daily in the third quarter of 2017, more than double that of Snapchat or Twitter (each has fewer than 200 million daily active users). Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat, as reported in Business Insider.

Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom told Variety earlier this year: “People say Instagram is super positive and optimistic. If you take a close look at 2017 statistics provided by the Instagram, He seems right, if u glance through the Top hashtags of 2017:

  1. #love
  2. #fashion
  3. #photooftheday
  4. #photography
  5. #art
  6. #beautiful
  7. #travel
  8. #happy
  9. #nature
  10. #picoftheday

It has become a must-have for celebrities, controversial artists, photography enthusiasts and fitness freaks to grow their follower base. Irrespective of a need or no need, Users are experimenting with Instagram.  Whilst it’s good to have 2 to 3 hashtags in a tweet, at least until Twitter had 140 characters limit. Instagram has the exact opposite to play, and it provides more liberty to users. Users are adopting more and more of hashtags to get heard in noisy image place. There aren’t any hashtag limitations as such, but according to, a TrackMaven study of Instagram accounts with 1,000 followers or fewer, posts containing four or five hashtags received an average of 22 interactions compared to 14 interactions on posts with zero hashtags.

7. Net neutrality – loses or wins – Impact is the imperative

As per dictionary, it’s the principle that Internet service providers or ISPs should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking products or websites. In recent development at the US, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington voted to dismantle the “net neutrality” rules. Basically, giving more power to cable and telecom companies to control future of the web. Advertising revenues will eventually start moving towards Telecom and cable companies as marketers will have better avenues for consumer profiling and targeting there. I also see the premium charges being applied to advertising there.

8. Rise of ad blocking tech

Recent report during March 2017 explained that ad fraud will cost brands $16.4 billion globally and nearly 20 percent of total digital ad spend was wasted in 2016. It is a growing concern among advertisers and publishers today. It has been bothering Google for some time now. From acknowledging this to be a problem in July 2017 to refunding advertisers for fake ads, Google did it all to regain advertiser’s faith. There is no definite solution to this problem in 2017, there will be focused attention in 2018 by leading brands such as P&G, I personally loved the speech by Marc Pritchard from P&G in Jan 2017 wherein he slammed platforms for lacking uniform standards. Earlier this year, P&G’s programmatic partner The Trade Desk partnered with bots-detection company White Ops eliminate ad fraud, before buyers are charged, from inventory offered by supply-side platforms. This opens new avenues for ad fraud solutions and more service providers in 2018 as brands today, don’t even have a transparent visibility of where their ads were actually shown.

9. Voice Search in 2018

An estimate by ComScore says, by 2020, almost 30 percent of searches will be done by, without a screen. Google, on the other hand, says, about 20 percent of search queries via its app are through voice search. Readiness for voice search will be the need of brands in 2018. More investments expected in voice search friendly websites, apps, it may also lead to the adoption of chatbots/ artificially intelligent virtual assistants to power voice search queries in some cases. Amazon and Google, for instance, have released mini-Wi-Fi speaker for the home, respectively. This possesses a challenge to Google as it limits monetization opportunities.

10. Privacy breach & Marketing

This the topic I love the most, Blackberry Passport , which was way ahead of its generations and Blackberry 10 OS has been killed officially (For now, deadline by blackberry is for 2019) as it was too secure and covering your privacy so much that even the basic blackberry browser could tell you and ask your permission if a website is trying to know your location (At least at that moment). Something which Google always wants from you and even does it without your knowledge. For instance, if you just go to Amazon.com and try buying a product shipping internationally from the US, it says “it can be shipped or not” without actually taking user’s consent. Thanks to Android and China making cheapest possible aAndroiddevices on earth. Basically, you either choose an Android or an Apple ecosystem, the latter being costlier Apple ecosystem, market is growing faster on former one. With growing Android devices and mobile taking the centerstage, your privacy is at risk. In one sentence, Google knows everything about you. Likewise, Xiaomi knows everything about Redmi devices as you have an MI account to sync it all. For brands, it’s the good news as they can target more users, more apps and more personalized customer choices and offers they wish to. Maintaining a fine balance between offering what is required and avoiding too much of content push will determine their success in 2018.

11. Questionable state of Social Media

Power and Politics can overrule social media today. Influencer social media campaigns are at all-time high. One thought vs other, one political party vs other. Smart marketers are using this opportunity to create biased or unbiased content, distribute and monetize from it. Social media is a new mandate for political parties, and marketers will continue to earn more from it in 2018. State of social media remains questionable as One can hire thousands of social media advocates/employees and troll whomsoever they want. Thus, every discussion can become an argument leading to end of the very thought process itself. Above all, fake robots are also being used to gain likes, spike traffics and numbers, eventually, resulting in ad fraud as well. Few classic videos I found as below, where China seems leading the innovation 🙂

Like factory in China 





How Fake Likes are Made





12. Dark Social and Web analytics limitations

It’s dark when people share content through private channels such as instant messaging programs, messaging apps, incognito mode in some cases and email. Simply stating, any web traffic that’s not attributed to a known source is dark social. It is very difficult for marketers to measure anything coming into their website through dark social. While there are certain ways brands can manage it but this it’s a marketing opportunity lost as no one knows how to address this. This trend will continue to rise in 2018 as well.

13. Facebook is the new video platform

During last few months, we noticed a significant number of video posts across Facebook unlike traditional images and content posts. Though there are ad inserts within the videos shown on Facebook which is annoying sometimes, but the mix of liking a page and getting all content from a Facebook page seems working for brands today, it is on demand as you go to Facebook anyway for social media. YouTube on the other hand has the bell icon and subscribing option to do so. But I would go to YouTube primarily for Videos and not for any other form of content. Apart from this, the content repurposing in phenomenal In B2C brands marketing on Facebook. Clearly, Facebook has an upper edge here, with introduction of Facebook watch in August 2017, and continued growth in videos for over 100 million hours of video watch time, much before “Watch” was launched, and free mobile data plans all around, it is poised to move ahead and be the biggest video platform.

14. Rise in Mobile money means more avenues for advertisers

2018 will be a year of massive shift in way we do payments together. From Android & Samsung Pay, Tez by Google to digital mobile banks being a reality, next year will see increase in digital payments. Amazon Pay, Paytm at India are few such examples. This will though, lead to complex partner ecosystems and demand a need for regulations.

15. B2B events won’t die

At least in B2B marketing, people still believe events and trade shows are important to be present, at least the generation born before 80s. I have also seen a lot of resistance to change and shifting budgets towards Digital Marketing, as they say, People are resistant to change in general.  Events also involve Face to face discussions and being felt in public view. Though digital marketing budgets will continue growing, people won’t leave B2B events and conferences and experienials spends either.

16. Gaming videos are New content for engagement

Animation is going in full swing. Gaming companies such as Unilad are using Facebook and showing snippets from the game story itself for engaging users are providing them with the look and feel of the game before it is released. The level of engagements shows it’s working. I see this as a growing trend in 2018 wherein brands will invest more on Facebook and Instagram to gain from such engagements online.

Unilad gaming

17. Media Surround on gaming consoles

I use an old Sony PlayStation 3, I noticed these Gaming consoles also offering the Content platform to watch videos such as YouTube, Yupp TV and Amazon Prime. This has been there for some time now but the addition of new website/miniature app versions are incremental. In 2018, marketers will have a definite reach to the users using Gaming consoles.

18. More telcos will offer digital content consumption – Free and Paid

At least in the Indian markets, from Airtel, Idea to Reliance Jio, every telecom company is trying to create a content ecosystem of movies and media channels to gain and retain existing users, which is mostly free for end customers. It’s a new mandate, for all leading telecom companies in 2018. This content trend is currently dominated by Netflix and new entrant Amazon in the West for now. Few telecoms, are though offering free data if you buy some data from them. For marketers, this too, will provide more reach and personalized messaging to the audience and new revenue streams for telecom companies.

19. Customer Experience will continue to be a focus in 2018

A classic case is with a mid-segment, Chinese brand like OnePlus which has been innovating with every launch they made from Dash charging to frequent patch updates android users always ask for, respecting every flagship they launched and promising Android Oreo updates Dash charging – is something lot of leading brands failed to recognize even today. Almost every query or concern was addressed by social media/leadership team at OnePlus directly truly living up to their brand positioning of #NeverSettle. Brands should use 360 degree / all marketing channels to hear customer voice and address them in public. Essentially, consistent improvement in customer experience results in free word of mouth and therefore, save your marketing dollars.

oneplus tweet

Explore Oneplus 6T

20. Bitcoin and Blockchain – Marketing Implications

The Harvard Business Review describes “Blockchain” as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. This is very recent and a trending topic amongst marketers. From verifying ad delivery to paying for content creation, distribution and to rewarding customers. It has a whole new set of applications. I liked a blog covering this topic in detail as here. Twenty-Seven Ways Marketers Can Use Blockchain


Trust you found this blog useful, please let me know your feedback, comments and suggestions the comments section below.

Handpicked Articles to Learn More:

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Please do subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Disclosure: We may receive compensation for links to products on this website.



Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.

6 Ways Location-Based Marketing Is Helping You Do Business Better

Using a user’s geographic location data to push information about services or offerings nearby or in the user’s proximity primarily, through mobile devices over a network is called as location-based services.  Location-based marketing has grown since last decade due to the increased adaptation of smartphone and tablets.

Location-based marketing utilizes services to match a user’s location, discovering nearest ATM, weather forecast at your location, tracking a vehicle’s distance from the user etc. are some examples of location-based services as such. It is effective, targeted and ROI impacting when done right, else, it can turn away your customers easily. The success lies in doing it right for your customers.

Push or Pull Marketing?

It is a mix of both, Pull for instance in an example when a user seeks information based on his geographic location. Let’s say, a user searching nearest restaurants on the mobile device.

Push as mentioned above, let’s say an SMS on your mobile device when you are at a mall to buy ice cream on 2nd floor with 30% discount.

Applications of Location-based services include:

  • Location-based games & AR
  • Location-based advertising
  • Business intelligence & analytics
  • Emergency support & Disaster management
  • Tracking, mapping, discovery & information

Early adopters of Location-based marketing:

Active check-in using tools like Foursquare, Gowalla and Whrrl etc, has been well known in the location-based industry for some time now, the current trends are more about the passive use of location to share location-specific information to the end-users.

Facebook and Twitter are now embracing and pushing users to tag updates basis their geographical location, Google news is now customized to your location, any search with queries ending “near me” are few classic use cases of the same. “ice cream near me” for instance gives authrization to google to use your location and show most relevant search results in your proximity.

6 Ways Location-based marketing is helping you do business better:

  1. People flow analytics and securityHelsinki airport, manages the flow of people through its facilities by sensors installed throughout the terminal complex for security and advertising both. Airports are also pushing notifications while on travel such as Time to leave for the gate. Gate changed, reserve 10 minutes more time to go to the gate etc.
  2. Better performance on Organic Search: Location-based marketing performs better in search engines rankings if your business is listed, Listing Properties on web portals such as Google Places, Yelp and Facebook etc. ensure better locational search rankings for you. Advertisers even have option to bid money to rank above local search results now.
  3. The impulse to sales conversion: A prospect near to your store has more potential to convert into a buyer than a person at a distance. For instance, as a marketer, you might want to push an ad to a person who is near your umbrella store on a day it rained suddenly. Thus, Location-based marketing helps shorten the sales cycle from attracting to action.
  4. Targeted and affordable: Since it’s very location specific, it is also targeted, every business listing makes you more visible. Companies such as Foursquare incentivize users to share location and explore for instance.
  5. Reward customers: By comparing location-specific ad push vs actual sales made, repeat customers can also be awarded more often to ensure repeated buying behaviour. For instance, inside an airport, movement of your prospects could also help in understanding the buying preferences.
  6. Navigation Integration: Business listings today are often integrated with maps (driving and directions) it also helps users to identify places of interest while travelling.

Growing concern over privacy

Unwanted messages today are often perceived as spam. Consumers do not prefer sharing their location information and there is a growing concern of spam. Though few publishers and websites today are providing pop-up notifications for asking users location or accepting cookies. A lot of users are still not comfortable with the idea of being tracked to date, despite of regulations like GDPR being in effect, big advertizers like Google have found creative ways to share such information.

The Way forward for Location-based Services

Consumers and millennial today prefer personalization but not at the cost of entering their privacy zone. There is a thin layer between sending offers through push advertising using location-based marketing vs spamming, The first impression of any unsolicited message is spam, this can only be successful when users are given the decision-making power over what they would prefer to be informed for vs what not. This can be done through your ad servers or probably using an app is the safer bet as users will surely have consent agreement while downloading your application. Publishers today should also give the users a control of opting in for a specific type of service or product they would prefer receiving updated and offers for. Though it is adapted to an extent by few publishers, there is a long way to go. This will ensure opted in choice for information and users would be happy to share their location with you, therefore, enabling better business. Ones you win a consumers trust, the journey only continues further. A win-win situation for both your business and your consumers is the way forward for location-based marketing.

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Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.

6 Websites To Create Completely Free Logo For Your Business

Brand management starts with a logo, it’s a symbol, design or unique identity which distinguishes you from competitors and sets you apart. Startups spend hours and days together to find the best logo design for them, it’s not easy and somewhat tedious because of multiple factors involved in choosing a right look and feel for your logo. It needs a unique design, appeal, should not be already existing or similar with any existing logo or a brand, should be in line with your brand colours, Vision of the company etc. etc. In a nutshell, it is not easy to get right choice of the logo in the first attempt!

There are multiple ways to create a logo for your business, you could always hire a professional designer or freelancer from websites such as Fiverr (I did the same for my logo) and brief him/her according to your business requirements, this requires initial investments though! On the other hand, you could also do it yourself which is more fun and free, you could experiment as much as you want without incurring any cost until you are satisfied.

Let me start with the totally free ones first which mean, from concept, creation to final download of your logo file, these are free.

1. Logo Factory Web 

The minimalistic and simplest of all, select a suitable clipart/image from 453 options available, add the text of your logo and tagline, choose the font, and you are all set to download your free logo in PNG format.

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2. Cool Text

You could choose the font and logotype, change colors, add shadow, do much more customization, and finally, generate the logo as png, gif, HTML and in other file formats.

The actual USP of this website is that you can try using a symbol from multiple options available and make a unique combination to design your logo.

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3. Online Logo Maker

This is pretty much similar to the other logo websites as I explained above, the unique proposition being an option to upload an image and trying to utilize your image for creating much-customized choices. This is completely free and you could also download a PNG File.

Explore More: onlinelogomaker

The second set of logo making websites are as below, wherein you can create and customize logos to some extent, however, to download final usable logo, you might want to sign up and invest money into.

4. Logo Garden

Simple interface and plenty of options to choose from. You could decide from industry selection as the first step, the second step is to select a symbol, and yes you can edit and download too. It also gives you an option to visualize your logo across different merchandise. The limitation being you can only download a jpeg version for your logo here.

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5. Logotype maker

Logotype maker is very user-friendly, all you need to do is just type the name of your business name, upon a click, it will suggest multiple options to choose from.  The unique feature offered here is to change background across all logo options you can see in a single click. Once you are satisfied with a design, you will be prompted to register an email and activation needs to be followed. The good news is that you could download your final logo but it needs an attribution on your website.

You also get an option to choose the particular choice of logotype by using keywords in the second tab.

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6Make Logo Online free

Designs options here are graphics intensive with more than (approx.) 20 pages to choose designs from in each category. This website also provides enormous customization options for your chosen logo. You will need to register and pay for a final high-resolution logo.

Explore More: makelogoonlinefree

7. Logaster

I discovered this recently which is more advanced backed by Artificial intelligence and seamless user experience. You could get enormous design options with visualizations across website, merchanside store and all possible branding opportunities in real-time. The best part of this website is single solution for all your logo needs. You can order business cards, social media kits, logo all within a single click.

Explore More: logaster

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Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.

Why Virtual Reality Is The Next Big Leap in Marketing

Virtual reality is all about creating an illusion of reality or an imaginary environment around you using computer simulated graphics and sound effects.

As a concept, it was first designed by Ivan Sutherland in 1968, which is now a reality after almost four decades, the fine maker of The Sword of Damocles, widely considered to be the first virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) system.

The Marketing Context

Marketing as a function has been undergoing radical changes due to advancements in digital, web, data, analytics and automation. The fundamentals, though, have always remained the same – communicate effectively to gain revenue and market share. With a dire need of differentiation in the noisy marketplace, marketers have always been looking for new technologies and solutions to position themselves better. Virtual reality is one among such innovations.

It has immense potential to transform the way we are experiencing things today, it can extend anywhere from experiencing The Himalayas through Virtual headsets while being in the office to doing meditation or yoga on a beach using VR headsets.

Marketers must adapt to VR quickly!

One of the major challenges faced by marketers today is around awareness and engagement with the brand, the promises which VR brings to the table is that it’s going to be immersive, impactful and a memorable experience.

The rise in mobility is a fact today, virtual experiences, nowadays are often, clubbed together with your mobile devices. For instance, Lenovo recently launched its flagship mobile handset “Vibe X3” for the year, they tried taking this experience to a new high by redefining virtual reality as “Theatre max” experience.

Who is taking Virtual Reality seriously?

Being early adopters of virtual reality, here are the companies which considered VR as a significant step in their brand’s journey:

  1. Google led a $542 million investment in Magic Leap in October 2014. Reportedly, the company is developing augmented reality technology that will weave “3D light sculptures” into the world around us, using a combination of proprietary hardware, software, and firmware. Very soon, Google is also coming up with a new VR headset as the successor to Google Cardboards.
  2. In March 2014, Facebook, Inc. (FB) acquired virtual reality startup Oculus VR for $3 billion. Oculus now offers RIFT, GEAR VR, and Oculus-ready PCs as well.
  3. Sony Corporation (SNE) is poised to launch PlayStation VR (originally dubbed “Project Morpheus”). The consumer version of the PlayStation VR is available now since August 2018
  4. GoPro: In April 2015, GoPro Inc. (GPRO) announced that it acquired French virtual reality startup Kolor, which enables users to produce high-resolution, 360-degree “spherical content.” It is being termed as GoPro Fusion.
  5. HBO and Discovery, in Apr 2016, made major investments in Virtual reality to “to create the universal publishing platform for TV, movies, and original holographic content”.

How are Marketers utilizing Virtual Reality today? 

Let’s explore few use cases of Virtual reality to understand this better.

New York times virtual reality

One of the earliest adopters of VR, NYT started providing NYT VR app and videos to provide an immersive experience to their readers using  Google Cardboard. In October 2015, The Times announced its plans to distribute over one million Google Cardboards to home delivery subscribers, within the same time frame, they witnessed more than 500,000 downloads of the NYT VR app.

Tesco created a Virtual Store

People could really walk around it before it was built. These were, essentially a display of products on walls of metro stations and bus stops. Commuters, especially the tech-savvy, ultra-busy lot, could scan the QR codes of the products on display with their smartphones, and place their orders even as they waited for their trains or buses. The virtual store has been a huge success with commuters and drove over 900,000 app downloads in less than a year, making the Homeplus app the most popular shopping app in South Korea.

Volvo – XC90 Test Drive

In the Automotive world, Volvo was first company to launch a virtual reality campaign on Google Cardboard, meant to experience the all-new Volvo XC90 with Volvo Reality, a full virtual reality test drive on your phone. The brand reported 238 million media impressions, now that’s a lot of immersive experience for a new car launch as such.

Unicef used VR to raise funds

UNICEF China has used virtual reality (VR) technology for documenting its best practices. On July, 25th UNICEF NZ invited the public to see inside a Syrian refugee camp. The award-winning film ‘Clouds over Sidra’ moved people deeply and doubled the rate of donations to UNICEF.

TGI Friday

TGI Fridays at London has created the world’s first virtual dog-sled ride – using cutting-edge 360-degree Oculus virtual reality technology. This was filmed 85 miles above the Arctic Circle, the experience on videos, was overwhelming, of course.

What lies in the Future of VR?

There are portable devices such as VR headsets, Oculus Rift,  HTC Vive, PlayStation VR etc.(upcoming), customers still don’t find it comfortable to wear, using it for more than an hour or so may not be practical. Headset makers don’t recommend their devices for children. Samsung, and Oculus, in fact, urge adults to take at least 10-minute breaks every half-hour, and they warn against driving, riding a bike or operating machinery if the user feels odd after a session. There lies a potential for VR developers to think through, evolve into a medium or channel which can make it more user-friendly to experience on such devices for prolonged hours. Having said that, VR is here to stay, adopting VR is the need of the hour, to sustain and be at par with competition it is important to have VR as one of your marketing tactics in current and years to come, differentiating and creating unique experience utilizing VR, however, can appeal differently to customer and prospects, thus, making your brands more memorable.. Those who do not leverage this as one of the offerings at the bare minimum would surely, lose out on the potential it has and the customer delight it can bring. It is yet to evolve into its complete form, across gaming, simulated training, probably a completely new and next medium after print, radio, and television, the potential is immense and powerful. For marketers, this means that Virtual Reality will be an integral part of their marketing and communications strategy for years to come.

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Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.

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