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Why You Should Do Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales At The Same Time

Adding Both Simultaneously Might Sound Counterintuitive, But It Will Produce Better Results

Moving from traditional marketing to inbound marketing, and from a traditional sales method to an inbound sales approach, are big undertakings. Both moves come with their own unique challenges. However, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards.

Today we’re going to diagnose the major challenges associated with both, and attempt to help you be better prepared to make the transition. By understanding the challenges, you can make an informed decision about whether you want to do marketing first and sales second, sales first and marketing second, or both at the same time.

Do you need to do them both?



How 30-Day Planning Makes Inbound Marketing Soar

Long-Term Planning Is Out When Data Drives Optimization Of Inbound Marketing Tactics

You can keep doing it the old-school way, with 12-month marketing plans and six-month content calendars. But, even your integrated, three-month marketing campaigns might be too long given what we know about today’s marketing.

What we found is that Agile marketing and 30-day plans give us the best opportunity to be nimble. We can better respond to what’s working well, what’s working better than expected, what’s not working as well as expected and what’s not working at all.



What My Mother Taught Me About Inbound Marketing

Who Knew Your Mom Was An Inbound Marketing Guru?

I know that Mother’s Day was yesterday, but our mothers could use an extension. They put up with our antics for years and years, so let’s give them an extra shout-out.

Who knew your mom actually knows something about inbound marketing? Well, she does.

There is a whole host of lessons your mom has been trying to teach you that apply directly to inbound marketing. In fact, if you follow her teachings, you’ll notice an improvement in website visitors, social reach, leads and even new customers.

Give it a try. Honor your mother by applying these top-notch lessons from Mom.



How Agile Marketing Changes The Way You Execute Inbound Marketing

Don’t Be Hypnotized By The Inbound Marketing Deliverables

I wrote about this a little bit yesterday, but today, I thought I’d dig in deeper and provide you with more insight on how impactful Agile is when it comes to the day-to-day execution of inbound marketing.

The challenge of inbound is that you can become hypnotized by the delivery of it. What I mean by that is once you start executing, the execution itself (instead of the business results) can become the outcome. This is a mistake made by many marketing people who are doing inbound for the first time, as well as many inbound agencies.



Agile Marketing And Inbound Marketing: Why You Need Both

Inbound Without Agile Only Produces Modest Results, Some Of The Time

We know because we’ve been running inbound marketing engagements for a wide variety of clients for a long time – longer than any other agency on the planet. We’ve been practicing inbound marketing since 2003, and we have data on every single client engagement.

Once we started applying Agile marketing to our already solid inbound marketing methodology, we saw a dramatic increase in the business results for our clients. We have felt strongly that it gives our teams the flexibility to respond to the data instead of delivering to the contract  so strongly that in the last four months of 2015, we started moving our entire agency over to Agile.

Here’s why you want your teams or your inbound agency to be practicing Agile. If they’re not, that may be one indication as to why you’re disappointed with the results.



Why Marketing Software Alone Won't Cure Your Inbound Marketing Blues

Software Is Never The Solution If Your Process And Methodology Are Flawed

It really has nothing to do with inbound marketing. This comment applies to everything. If your sales process is bad, CRM software won’t help. If your logistics and supply chain are faulty, ERP software won’t help. If you lack the financial controls, financial software won’t help.

So, if your current marketing is not working and you don’t know why, don’t start looking at marketing automation software until you understand how to make marketing work for your company.

If software isn’t the answer, what is the reason your marketing isn’t working? The answer is usually more about strategy and tactics than it is about what software you’re using to execute. Remember, software is only a hammer. If you don’t know how to build the deck or you don’t have the right wood, nails, glue and footings, your deck is going to be a hot mess no matter how good your hammer is.



Marketing Strategy Is Still Holding Back Progress On Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing Requires Planning If You Want Results

We talk to so many CEOs and VPs of marketing who want to move to inbound or have tried to do so but are still challenged to see results that we started looking around to identify what might be holding them back.

While we certainly have our own theories on what the major issues are, we were surprised to find the following data from Smart Insights. This research shows that the leading factor limiting the results from digital marketing is lack of integrated strategy and planning. In fact, 27% of the respondents identified this as an issue.

In addition, 23% of them felt that their siloed teams were holding them back, so you could make a case that almost 50% of the companies running digital marketing campaigns are missing key strategy and planning components. That makes it an epidemic in our minds.



Inbound Marketing Helps You Tell Your Customers What They Want

Stop Asking Customers What They Want, And Use Inbound Marketing To Tell Them

At the height of the SUV revolution, do you think customers would have asked for a super tiny car like the Mini? Do you think anyone would have imagined a touch-screen phone and camera all in one? What about TV channels that are separate from the cable subscription? No way. Your customers don’t know what they want; they need you to tell them.

Ever watch a focus group? People are great at telling you what other people think or what other people are doing. Sure, they have opinions, but those are guided by their experiences with other products and other services. These groups are good for making your company look like your competitors. If you want your business to be truly remarkable and differentiated, your customers are not the source for inspiration.



Inbound Marketing Prediction #9: Marketing Strategy Still Being Skipped

Inbound Marketing Tactics Without Inbound Marketing Strategy Equal Poor Results

Not all of our predictions for 2016 are positive. Unfortunately, we continue to see businesses attempting to practice inbound marketing without the necessary strategy to support the initiative. Inbound tactics are not enough to rescue a poorly thought-out or planned-out marketing strategy.

No matter how many blog articles, whitepapers, email campaigns or infographics you create, if you’re business is not remarkable and you’re not telling compelling, engaging stories to your prospects, NO number of magic landing pages is going to convert visitors into leads.



Why Your CEO Is Going To Love Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing Connects The Dots Between Investment And Results

How many times have you gone to the CEO with your marketing budget, only to leave the meeting with a small portion of what you hoped to spend? If this sounds familiar, you need to be looking at inbound marketing as a way to show your CEO exactly how investment relates to results.

Next time you’re asked to cut the budget, respond by illustrating the impact this reduction is going to have on lead flow. Inbound marketing helps you make that correlation in a very scientific way.

Less blog articles means less visitors, and less visitors means less conversions, and less conversions means less leads, which means less sales opportunities and less new customers. So, how much did you want to reduce the budget?