Not all that long ago, nobody had ever heard about this thing called inbound marketing. But when tools like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Flickr, and YouTube began to get popular people started paying a whole lot of attention to these new ways of getting messages out to the public.
A lot of businesses focused their attention on the tools. People were blogging, tweeting, posting on Facebook, and making videos for YouTube. But those tools don’t really make marketing “inbound.” Using a wrench like a screwdriver doesn’t make it a screwdriver. Unfortunately, that’s what a lot of businesses are trying to do with inbound marketing tools. They are trying to take the same old marketing assumptions and methods and deliver them in a “new” way.
What makes marketing “inbound” is that it’s not intrusive and it’s not about a “seller” pushing his message out to an unwilling audience. It’s about an interested audience pulling a helpful message in to take a closer look. It’s not about the agenda of the company with something to see, it’s about meeting the needs and the agenda of the recipient.
Inbound marketing grew up around the shift in the way people do business these days. People know that they can use the Internet to access all kinds of information about products and services. And that’s what they are looking for: Information. They are not looking for a sales pitch. Inbound marketing focuses on answering questions that a potential customer may have—rather than on trying to convince him or her that your product or service is superior.
You see, inbound marketing is as much about changing your attitude and approach to customers as it is about changing the tools or technologies you use to reach them. Can anybody blog? Yep! Can anyone tweet? Sure! Can anybody put a company post on Facebook? You bet! Can anyone be successful at generating leads and winning customers with those efforts? Not so much! Your strategy and your message need to match the tools you’re using.
If you’d like to explore the concept of inbound versus outbound marketing a bit more, please download our free report: Inbound Outbound Marketing: Battle Royale.
Blog Post Written by Spencer Powell
Spencer is the Inbound Marketing Director at TMR Direct. Spencer specializes in helping clients create and execute effective inbound marketing campaigns.