The Inbound Marketing Journey: What Is It & Why Does It Work?

Posted by Murray Sye

on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:18 AM

The inbound marketing journey. what is it and why does it work?Unless you've been living in a remote village in the Amazon, you've likely heard of this new marketing phenomena called inbound marketing. Or, more than likely, you've been doing 'traditional marketing' for most of your career, or you're simply the first to adopt inbound on your marketing team. Either way, today's post will help establish some inbound cred' and help support the direction you and inbound are headed.

What is inbound?

The concept of inbound marketing was a term first coined by Seth Godin. High pressure techniques such as telemarketing, direct mail, print advertising, radio and TV commercials were clearly becoming unsuccessful. The technique of buying attention through advertising – with high pressure – created a negative image of brands and their marketable goods.

How did the transformation take place?

There are three reasons why consumers are skeptical about brands, and why interruptive advertising and cold-calling aren't nearly as effective as they once were. Why doesn't interruptive work?

  1. The proliferation of media: The media landscape has become insanely cluttered. There's a magazine, TV channel, radio station, and a gajillion websites for every conceivable interest.

  2. A history of deceptive advertising: Advertising: Consumers are accustomed to false claims and deceit in advertising, so even when clever ads are seen by consumers, they're thought to be dishonest. According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they'll actually believe them! The history of; interruption, false claims, over-promising, increased regulation, brand egocentrism, exploitation and lawsuits changed it all.

  3. Technology empowered the consumer: Consumers gained access to tools and information that enabled them to dodge interruptive brand messages and instead seek out information when they're ready. VCR's, caller ID, DVR's, the do not call list, spam software, broadband internet, smartphones, social media etc. changed everything.

Instead of buying ads, buying email lists, or cold-calling, the inbound concept is typically focused on sharing and promoting educational content that pulls people toward your website where they can learn more about what you sell on their own accord. Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customer, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.

Inbound methodologies are used to reach potential customers at various levels of brand awareness.

  • Content creation: You create target content that answers your customer's basic questions and needs, and you share that content.

  • Lifecycle marketing: You recognize that people go through stages as they interact with your company, and that each stage requires different marketing actions.

  • Personalization: As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs.

  • Multi-channel: Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you.

  • Integration: Your publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine, allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time.

In summary, inbound marketing is about:

  • Building trust, not skepticism among your prospects

  • Being loved, not ignored by your customers

  • Outsmarting, not outspending your competitors.

Is your business taking advantage of these essential inbound marketing strategies? Get a FREE Online Marketing Evaluation and find out how to improve your level of engagement and eCommerce strategy today!

Free eBook - How to get started with inbound marketing

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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