Inbound - The Blog: The Secrets Behind Click To Close


Prediction #2 — Marketing Strategy Remains A Missing Element From Inbound Marketing Programs

2017 Continues With Companies Skipping Inbound Marketing Strategy And Executing Disconnected Tactics

I write about this every year hoping it will change, but it never does. Companies don’t value strategy, don’t want to pay for it, don’t want to work on it and don’t even want to talk about it. Yet its quality and presence within an inbound engagement is a direct predictor of inbound lead generation success.

So many factors contribute to this habitually absent element of almost every inbound marketing program that we’re asked to comment on. I recognize the complexity of attempting to get a company to change its messages, tell different stories and actually operate in a remarkable way. But if you want leads, it’s not an optional element — it's mandatory.



The Definition Of Being Remarkable, Courtesy Of Amazon

Creating A Remarkable Business Is Hard, But Examples And Marketing Strategy Help

You’ve read this before, right here on this blog: If your business is not remarkable, your business is invisible. I share remarkable businesses and remarkable aspects of businesses every chance I get in a concerted effort to help all of you see what being remarkable means.

I also like to share real stories about real businesses because I think it helps illustrate exactly what it means to be remarkable, and it rarely means retooling the entire business. In fact, it usually means you have well-thought-out marketing strategies and you've made small adjustments, but the right adjustments. Here’s how Amazon made its business remarkable.



7 Reasons Marketing Strategy Is Still Causing Your Inbound Marketing To Fail When It Comes To Producing Results

Time And Time Again, Marketing Strategy Is Missing From Inbound Marketing Engagements

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a major increase in the number of prospects asking us to review their current inbound marketing efforts. Most of them are with other agencies and coming off their first year, but some are working on their own.

The one common denominator across all these situations is — you guessed it  no marketing strategy. No compelling messages, no stories, no differentiation and no connection of the inbound marketing tactics. The results speak for themselves. If you skip or don’t value the marketing strategy work, you should be prepared to expect less-than-stellar results.



Inbound Marketing Produced Leads But We're Not Closing Them. Now What?

Inbound Marketing Needs Inbound Sales To Work

Now that you’re getting leads from inbound marketing it might be time to upgrade your old-school sales process to match your new-school marketing. Better yet, if you’re in the middle of moving to inbound, do your company a big favor and work on inbound sales now instead of waiting to realize you’re not great at closing inbound leads.

Your prospects don’t know the difference between sales and marketing. All they know is that they’re in the middle of an experience with your company. If that experience suddenly feels different to them, they’re going to go underground, they’re going to stop replying and they’re going to slow down the entire sales process. If this sounds familiar, you might have an issue.

No worries. Inbound sales is designed to continue the inbound marketing experience for people who have found their way down into the very bottom of the funnel and asked to speak with your salespeople.



Inbound Marketing Secret #34: Are You A Victim Of Random Acts Of Marketing?

Inbound Marketing Strategy Is A Shield That Protects You From Random Acts Of Marketing

I wrote a blog article a few days ago that introduced readers to the concept of “random acts of marketing.” Again and in full transparency, this term was mentioned to me by a prospect who was feeling the pain associated with their random acts of marketing. So I take no credit in coming up with the term. However, the phrase has resonated with enough people that it’s worth continuing the conversation.

The term perfectly describes the feelings many people have as they start their journey to success with inbound marketing. The complexity of inbound makes it easy to revert to random acts of marketing in an attempt to find something that works.



Why Your Marketing Strategy Might Be Masquarading As Something Else

Don’t Confuse Tactics With Strategy When Thinking About How Your Company Goes To Market

I keep reading blog articles, talking to other agency owners and reviewing proposals (provided to us by prospects looking for our help) that make it seem like marketing strategy is everything except what it should be to impact your results.

Marketing strategy is not branding guidelines. It’s not a technical assessment of your current website. It’s not only target personas, though personas are an element of marketing strategy. It’s not a listing of marketing tactics to be delivered. It’s not a content calendar, nor is it a review of all your current outbound marketing.



How Long Does Inbound Marketing Need To Wean You Off Pay Per Click?

As Long As It Takes To Ramp Up Inbound Marketing Lead Generation

Almost everything with inbound marketing is relative, so the answer to this question has more to do with you than with inbound. If you have a pay per click program running now and you want to get off it, then you can aggressively plan to have other, more inbound-oriented, tactics pick up the slack in as little as 30 days.

If you’re more skeptical about inbound and reluctant to turn off your current source of new website visitors, then you can design an inbound plan that allows you to ramp up inbound more slowly and, at the same time, slowly decrease your PPC efforts. How and when you do this is all about your strategy and plan.



The Future Of Marketing Is Revealed Here For The Very First Time

It’s Part Marketing And Part Delivery But Together They Produce An Experience Worth Talking About

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you know I like to write about personal experiences from time to time. Recently I had an experience, or I should say my son had an experience, that shined a light on the future of marketing. So, I thought I’d share it with all of you.

My son has been driving for about five years and he’s had his own car (a used car) for about three years. As luck would have it, he had his first flat tire on the way to his summer internship in Greenbelt, Md. Like any reasonable kid who runs into a tough spot, he called me for help. “Dad, how do I change this tire?” We talked about it, there was some FaceTiming and, to his credit, he wanted to change the tire himself, even after I suggested he “call someone.”

After a reasonable effort he was unable to remove the jack from the car, and he agreed to call a tire service to get help. Of course, my suggestion was to Google "tire repair, Greenbelt, Md." Off he went and I went back to work.



You Can Be The LeBron James Of Your Team WIth Inbound Marketing

Get The Tools You Need To Dominate The Marketing Game

LeBron James is going to go down in history as one of the best players ever. All he needed to do was win enough championships to be in the conversation with Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson. After winning his third NBA title last night, he did exactly what he needed to do to be considered among the best ever.

The connection to inbound marketing is interesting. There are a lot of similarities in how individuals, whether they’re marketing managers, VPs of marketing or CEOs, can have a more dramatic impact on their own marketing and go from an ordinary player to a superstar performer.

Here are some ways you can become the LeBron of your marketing team.



A New Inbound Marketing Messaging Model Improves Conversion Rates

Status Quo Is The Enemy Of Inbound Marketing

I know everyone wants to jump into blogging, landing pages, websites and content, but the secret to successful lead generation doesn’t start with the tactics. It starts with the messaging. For years, our messaging model was simple: Identify a pain, present a solution, make the solution remarkable and validate with social proof.

But recently, we learned that this model is missing a very important piece – in fact, it’s missing the most important piece, the piece that has to come first. Disruption of the status quo is critical for getting people to make a change and try something different. Without this disruption, it’s too easy for people to dismiss your message and continue their current path – no matter how ineffective that path is.

It’s safer to keep doing what’s not working than to try something new. We’re fighting against human nature, but as marketers, our job is to create messages that move people to action.

Here’s how you can disrupt a prospect’s status quo and move them to action.