As it seems, the world of inbound marketing is a new one for the marketing universe. As technology advances and people begin using the internet more often, the practice of inbound marketing is becoming more and more important.
For those unaware, inbound marketing is a way for businesses to connect with their customer or potential customer by providing them with content they may want to seek out like blogs, social media pages, published articles, and branded entertainment. These practices are quite the opposite of fading outbound marketing techniques that some feel are pushing content on potential customers rather than pulling them in to engage. Outbound marketing include tv and radio advertising, print advertising, online banners and display ads, telemarketing, and more.
Beginning the inbound marketing process may seem a little intimidating for business owners with limited internet experience, but there are many companies willing to help you manage and get the most out of a businesses content marketing experience. After doing some research, I found an article published by The Business Bee listing the top 5 inbound marketing options for small to large business enterprises. Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua, Optify, and Pardot were listed as the top 5 companies.
Hubspot, positioned as the go-to inbound marketing software company for small to medium sized business owners has attempted to convince themselves as well as potential customers that inbound marketing is now the only effective form of marketing. According to the Harvard Business school case study, Hubspot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0, Hubspot credited most of its success to “turning its back on traditional marketing practices” by doing away with outbound marketing all together. The main question is, how far will this one way marketing practice get them? As discussed in the Harvard case study, Hubspot has some challenges to overcome in order to influence growth for their company and one of those challenges includes the debate of whether Hubspot should begin to use outbound marketing.
Now, Marketo who is focused on the B2B customer base realized that a good balance between both inbound marketing and outbound marketing are really the key to success. In their ebook discussing what they believe is the correct way to implement inbound marketing practices, Marketo emphasized the idea that the two marketing practices compliment each other. Marketo explains it best when they say that most often, inbound marketing is found because of outbound marketing.
Like Marketo, I agree that there must be a balance of both marketing practices in order to achieve your ultimate business goals. However, it is not enough to just implement these in and outbound marketing strategies, you must ensure you are reaching your specific customer in a meaningful way by providing them with cohesive and relevant content or promotions.
Here’s an example of some content marketing Chipotle has done in the past. It’s a short film you will find on their YouTube channel about their Chipotle Scarecrow on the quest for wholesome and sustainable food!
Harvard Business School
Hubspot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0
Amplify Your Impact: How to Multiply the Effects of Your Inbound Marketing Program