Even though I wrote in my previous blog post that I am not a marketing expert, I would like to highlight that once again. In the next few sentences I am going to write about Inbound Methodology and I would like to hear if I learned something wrong 🙂
First of all, let’s define marketing.
Investopedia defines marketing as:
Marketing are activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service.
or even better:
Marketing is everything a company does to acquire customers and maintain a relationship with them.
I actually think that I became interested in marketing once I found out that marketing is not just advertising. More concrete, when I started learning about four P’s of marketing:
And after that about two additional P’s of marketing:
What is Inbound Marketing?
Probably the best way to describe Inbound Marketing is to first describe outbound marketing. Personally, I thought that marketing is actually everything that describes outbound marketing. Traditional advertising with goal to attract the attention of potential buyers. Outbound marketing is type of advertising based on the fact that it buys consumer attention in various ways – commercials, pop-ups, telemarketing, posters, …
On the other hand, inbound is completely different approach. The main goal of inbound is to bring potential customers themselves. The idea is that potential customers want to come to our website, social media page, event, whatever. Inbound marketing is a marketing that a consumer may like because all marketing activities are focused on his/her needs.
Why I like the idea of Inbound and Inbound Marketing?
I like it because it is completely oriented towards customer. I really believe this is the only way to truly provide value to the customer. I like the idea that inbound marketing means alignment of company’s strategy with customers by understanding what customer wants and when (content and context). Inbound is not just marketing it is also a sales.
Inbound methodology defines some stages and some stages of buyer’s journey. I will stick with HubSpot’s definition which I found good and clear. Four stages of the Inbound Methodology are:
If you just take a moment and think about these stages you can see the point. The point I wanted to give in my last blog post – there must be a strong connection among sales, marketing and product/service quality. You have to attract your clients by doing great marketing, using social media channels on the way they should be used (not because Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook should be used on that and that way but because customers are using Facebook on a specific way) and providing value to the customer! That’s what attract means.
After that, you have to convert and close. This means that you have to understand customer completely!! You are not selling, you are providing VALUE! In order to provide value you have to understand customer’s business, needs, plans and goals. Only then you will know basics for the successful next step – delight.
Delight means a lot of different things which are going out of marketing and sales. But, in the end – delight phase is ending with marketing! In order to delight your customer, you have to be good in what are you doing or selling. If you are providing services, you have to be great in that. You need to truly delight your customer! The same applies to the product. I believe this is pretty much clear but I am still experiencing services and products which are not delighting. Moreover, approaches which are not focused on excellence and great customer experience make me angry. That’s not the way if you want to be great!
Probably, in the future, I will go into details of each of these stages. For now I just wanted to give short introduction to the Inbound Methodology I learned and found really useful.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! 😊