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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistThu, Dec 27, 2012 3 min read

Don’t Order Inbound Marketing The Same Way You Order Chinese Food

Inbound Marketing Menu Christmas day is a notoriously busy day for Chinese food restaurants. For one reason, they are one of the only places open. That got me thinking that many people still consider inbound marketing to be a little like the menu at one of these restaurants.

When you order Chinese food, you typically look down the menu and select one item from column A and one from column B and another from column C. There are a lot of firms who have taken to packaging up their inbound marketing services in a similar fashion; one blog post, one landing page, one whitepaper and one email for $3,000 a month.

At Square 2 Marketing, the most successful inbound marketing agency in North America, we have a different philosophy. We believe that all businesses are not created equal and that each inbound marketing program must be customized, personalized and individually designed to take into consideration business goals, industries, current capabilities, business philosophies, personnel challenges and more.

If you are considering an inbound marketing effort make sure your programs are created from scratch with the perfect blend of appropriate tactics and a heavy dose of marketing strategy before any inbound marketing tactics are started.  

Here are a couple of important MUST HAVES before you start.

Make sure you know exactly who your marketing is targeting and that the target personas are detailed, well-thought-out and include a web-behavioral element.

Make sure that your business is differentiated against all your major competitors.

Make sure that your inbound marketing tactics are quantified in terms of website traffic and leads.

When you do start reworking your website, doing email marketing, nurturing your leads and developing educational content, make sure that each campaign has very specific deliverables and a results-oriented strategy. This keeps you focused on the end game (generating leads) and prevents you from being distracted with things like websites, emails and blog posts.

Following these simple steps will prevent you from losing sight of the end goal: growing your business. It also helps you select a partner who has a more long term, holistic approach instead of a short-term project approach to inbound marketing.

Start Today Tip – If you are planning on adding an inbound marketing program to your company in 2013, then this information will help you whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a firm. Either way, you should consider the strategy-before-tactics approach. It might take a little longer and won't be as sexy as jumping right to your new website, but it better positions your business for growth. Do your homework too. If a firm has published pricing on their website then they might not be oriented to customizing the perfect set of tactics for your specific business.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.