A Review of Inbound Marketing – Chapter 1:
Inbound Marketing, a book by Hubspot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, gets it. Their book cuts through the marketing rhetoric and uses actual market-proven facts to help you maximize your inbound leads and extend your brand’s reach. It is well worth your time to read, but I know first-hand how busy marketing people can be, so this series of blog articles summarizes some of the key points from each chapter. You can thank me later.
Marketing history is history
Marketing, at its core, is the means by which manufacturers and service providers let the world know about their wares. Even though the medium may change, traditional outbound marketing has remained essentially the same since it began: a one-way conversation with the people you want to buy your stuff.
The first chapter of Inbound Marketing explains that things have changed. With the advent of the Internet, networked computing and general technology improvements, the public now has the ability to guide themselves through their own, customized buying journey.
Consumers are no longer expectant, naive sponges waiting to absorb marketer’s kinda-sorta true claims about how their product helps “revitalize your Q Zone” or transforms pimple-faced dweebs into prom king studs. This is why you need to embrace inbound marketing.
Before diving into the technical strategies of inbound marketing, the authors deliver a requiem for traditional marketing channels… an obituary of sorts:
- TV – Netflix and DVRs happened. Now empowered with more than just the mute button, today’s consumers can easily skip the commercials between episodes of Duck Dynasty.
- Radio – iPods and subscription music services mean fewer listeners.
- Direct Mail – Mailboxes constantly overflowing with “junk mail” has created a numb, unresponsive audience.
- TeleProspecting – Caller ID on cell phones and the Do Not Call Registry.
- Conferences/Trade Shows – Why pay for flights, food and a hotel if you can find the same information online for free?
Your customers didn’t go anywhere. You just need a different approach to reach them. An inbound marketing strategy that includes search engine marketing (SEM and SEO), blogs and social media is the road to follow if you want your audience to listen and interact with your brand.
If you’re still worrying about whether Inbound Marketing will be able to pull it’s weight, a 2013 study by HubSpot determined that SEO and Social Media not only lead in terms of consumer engagement, but they “also lead in sales conversions, netting 15% and 13% above average conversion rates in 2013.”
The good news is that if you market effectively in these channels, you can spend less money on it. Another Hubspot study reported that “inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a 61% lower cost per lead.” You win. Your customers win. Everybody wins!
Step Right Up
If you want to learn more about how inbound marketing can dramatically increase your brand’s reach and engage your customers, give Intelligent Demand a shout. We’d be happy to talk with you.
Ready to read our Chapter 2 review of Inbound Marketing? Visit: Marketing Content: Is Your Web Site a Marketing Hub?
To see all of the other chapters we’ve reviewed, be sure to visit our Demand Generation blog category.