Approach to Inbound Marketing
Sage’s inbound marketing approach is focussed on the idea of building a partnership with their clients. This is prevalent across the website. Although the products and services that are being offered, these being Financial Management Services such as Accountancy via their Sagecloud, are clear, it is the partnership aspect of the support that the company would give in addition to their products that seems their key selling point.
HelpScout is significantly more product focussed. For example, its website has a clear price list and is more geared towards promoting their product, the Beacon, which is a tool embedded on each page of a website that allows customers to contact the business without leaving the page.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Sage makes it clear that it values building a longstanding relationship, “as your business develops.” The site itself is not jargon heavy, preferring short snappy headlines as to the services on offer. For example, there is a video showing the different parts of its business using only images, followed by a Call to Action and a contact number at the end “call the team now.” HelpScout did not have a contact number on their site, and to send an enquiry via email several further details had to be entered. From a Social Media perspective both were visible on Facebook and Twitter, although Sage (perhaps understandably) has considerably more followers. The main difference was that Sage replied within an hour but HelpScout would normally do so within a day. However, HelpScout’s blog contained more pragmatic and practical advice articles such as “How to improve the Customer Experience.” Sage’s blog is perhaps more general in scope.
Which Organisation was best at Inbound Marketing
While both sites ticked all the boxes one would expect (for example both have a newsletter, blog, and good social media presence) Sage’s inbound marketing was generally better as the site used sharp words such as faster, smarter, secure, perfect, combined with SEO keywords such as “Accountancy Services” again without a focus on the products themselves and its newsletter was full of helpful tips to support a business. Similarly, the blog was updated daily with relevant industry articles as well as promoting their products. HelpScout, I found to be more jargon heavy. The images were hard to decipher due to the small text and their purpose was not immediately clear – an existing knowledge of the Beacon product would have been necessary for the reader to follow these, and what its benefits are is not immediately evident. Strangely although this site is more focussed on product promotion than the idea of forging a partnership, I had to google to find out specifically what the product was as I found this information difficult to ascertain from a quick browse through the site itself.
How each organization could Improve
Help Scout’s inbound marketing could be improved by having a clear description of the product on the homepage and having a video instead of a series of images that did not provide a significant amount of useful information to a new customer. Similarly, a contact number should be included.
I would suggest that Sage’s blog could perhaps be more customer centric in focus in terms of tangible advice on how to improve your business and how specifically Sage would assist in that regard, as I found the content on the current blog a little general in scope.