The Ugly Truth About Inbound Marketing

Listen up closely, my friends. The state of marketing has changed…thankfully for the better. Having just left a truly awe-inspiring Inbound 15, which is Hubspot’s version of rallying their troops and making loyal fans out of its users, I can’t help but believe that while, yeah, the conference was a total sales tool for Hubspot, they have managed to spark change in the way marketers act, think, and produce marketing campaigns. And not a moment too soon.

The conference was filled with the celebrity keynotes and open bar shenanigans you would expect from an industry event that combines marketing, tech, and creative content producers. Old friends and new acquaintances mixed and mingled in what was dubbed “Club Inbound” next to startups showcasing their latest innovations. All of this took place in the late summer in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts.

Inbound 15 was all about, you guessed it: inbound marketing.

So, let’s first define it.

Inbound Marketing Defined

Inbound marketing is the creation of valuable content and experiences that attract, engage, and delight new prospects.

Instead of pushing ads in customers’ faces, inbound marketing lures people in and works to build long-lasting relationships that benefit both the brand and the customer.

Now, let’s dig deeper and look at a few truths and lies…

Truth: Inbound Marketing Moves the Needle

Inbound marketing strategically places your brand in front of your most important customers at the right time in the buying cycle to make your conversion ratio a number you actually like. When done correctly, it drives business results and delivers ROI.

Lie: Anyone Can Succeed If You “Buy Into” Inbound Marketing

Nothing replaces a well thought out business plan with a high-quality and innovative product or service. All the inbound marketing in the world won’t help if a brand doesn’t understand its market, audience, and position within the market.

Marketing campaigns often fail because a brand is not aligned and is telling the wrong stories.

Lie: All Inbound is Good Inbound

Creating engaging content is great, but there are many nuances to ensure the success of your inbound marketing campaign. From having the right brand strategy to understanding your personas and audience, the ultimate success doesn’t lie solely in the content (although great content helps).

Instead, success is in the hands of the strategist is who able to make course-corrections and change the strategy to ensure maximum effectiveness. Remember, it’s about having the right conversation at the right time with the right audience.

Triggers change, and so should you.

Truth: Get On Board ASAP

Inbound marketing is the new marketing. Technology mixed with storytelling allows for meaningful conversation to happen at any moment.

Brands: It’s time to be the hero to your audience.

Agencies: Be a vehicle of change.