Inbound marketing

source -- Inbound Marketing

We’re living a revolution in the way people communicate. How did a relatively unknown, young, single-term black senator with funny ears and a funnier name get elected President of the United States? Simple: He and his team understood the revolution and harnessed the power of the Web to communicate effectively with the masses. They built an online following of tens of millions and raised half a billion dollars, much of it from small donations on the Web.

We’re living a revolution in the way people find products and choose companies to do business with. These days, practically everyone turns to the Web first when researching anything from what’s the best baby stroller to buy to which corporate accounting firm to hire for your business. We start at Google or another search engine and we tap our online network of friends, family members, and colleagues via e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, Facebook, and Twitter.

We’re living a revolution where the companies that attract our attention are not the ones with big budgets and glitzy TV ads. Now we pay attention to the ones with great Web content, like Zappos, a shoe retailer that’s quickly grown into a billion-dollar business.

Clearly, a great Web presence is critical for any business. Inbound marketing is at the forefront of the revolution. And with revolution comes liberation!

We’re liberated from the tyranny of marketing effectiveness being determined by the size of our wallets. Today, anyone with a story to tell can command an audience—and customers—on the Web. Your potential customers are looking for products and services like yours right now, today, this minute.

We’re liberated from the tyranny of having to interrupt people’s daily lives to try to market to them. Rather than grasping for buyers’ attention with expensive ad campaigns, now we can publish engaging and useful information on the Web and deliver it exactly when people are interested. People land on our virtual doorstep. This is a dream come true!

We’re liberated from the tyranny of always relying on mainstream media to get our information into the marketplace. Now we can tell our story directly. And the best part is that, when you tell the story well, you’ll get found by people who are eager to do business with you.

Inbound marketing is about getting found online, through search engines and on sites like Facebook and YouTube and Twitter—sites that hundreds of millions of people use to find answers each day.

Oh, and one more thing: Now marketing is fun! When was the last time you got excited about buying yet another contact list of people you could interrupt? Never, right? Inbound marketing is fun, and with it comes a more rewarding way to live.

But as in every revolution, the rules have changed. If you’re like me and you’ve grown up with a traditional marketing education that focused on the “four P’s,” then you’ve got to unlearn what you have learned. If you have an MBA, or you’ve trained on the job, then you’ve got to unlearn what you have learned. You need to forget what worked in the past, in the off-line world, before the revolution. You need to pick up some new skills.

—David Meerman Scott
Bestselling author of
The New Rulesof Marketing & PR

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