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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistThu, Aug 14, 2014 7 min read

What The Guardians Of The Galaxy Know About Inbound Marketing

GuardiansThe characters in the new movie Guardians of the Galaxy have more to do with inbound marketing than you might have originally thought.

In fact, we’ve drawn some remarkable parallels for your reading pleasure.

First, the band of misfits drawn together by a sequence of unrelated events proves that each is stronger together then they are apart. This is just like the elements of inbound marketing: When woven together to create an integrated and orchestrated marketing program, they deliver far better results than when each tactic is managed independently.

But the connections go much deeper:

Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, the reluctant leader of the group, is a regular guy who uses his smarts to get him and his friends out of tough situations. He doesn’t have any super powers, just the brains and cunning to creatively outmaneuver many of his stronger foes.

This sounds a lot like our take on marketing strategy. It’s not magic or supernatural powers that transform a business from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s solid planning, creativity and experience in building the elements that have proven to drive results client by client, year over year. Without Peter, the Guardians would never achieve greatness. Without a marketing strategy and an inbound marketing plan, it’s going to be challenging for any inbound program to gain traction and deliver real results.

Gamora, a stealth assassin, starts out on the side of evil but flips to avenge her true family. She is relentless, lethal and rough, but she has a heart of gold. In the end, she is loyal to her friends. Her powers include superhuman strength and agility as well as an accelerated healing factor.

We’ve often written that if you want more visitors to your website, you have to blog. Gamora reminds us of this inbound marketing tactic. It’s a stealth tactic. We don’t know exactly how it works; we just know that it does. Sure, you have to keep keywords in mind for the title, content and tags, but by some magic, the more you blog, the higher you rank. Stop blogging, and watch your rank drop.

Yes, you have to be relentless: Blog as often as you can. Keep it real, be true to your company’s voice and share your thought leadership with anyone who is interested in listening. Be loyal to your subscribers, your prospects, your clients and your fans. Write for them, not for Google, and the results will more than pay off.

Drax, the Destroyer, is on a rampage to avenge the death of his wife and daughter. He is a warrior and single-minded of mission. He is highly emotional, acting first and thinking second. His strength is unmatched.

You can’t just brute-force your way through marketing. You have to channel the powers and apply them with just the right touch, nurturing your leads until the people receiving your message are ready, open and receptive to engaging with your company. Email marketing and email lead nurturing campaigns are similar in nature.

Apply this tactic liberally, but with forethought and tact. Don’t ask for a phone appointment from people who might not be ready to speak with you. Create personalized campaigns that match perfectly with the personas and their place in their own buyer journey, and you’ll find that you have fans who have never spoken with you or your company. When they are ready to buy, they don’t start a search; they just call you.

Rocket, an anthropomorphic raccoon, is an expert marksman and master tactician. His name and aspects of his character are a nod to the 1968 Beatles' song "Rocky Raccoon." Rocket is wanted on 50 charges of theft and prison escape. He is the brains behind the brawn.

Content plays this exact role in an inbound marketing program. The smarter your content, the more leads your program is going to generate. The more you’re able to educate your prospects, the more they are going to be engaged with and connected to your brand, your products/services, your people and your company. The quality of your educational content has the potential to be a sustainable competitive advantage.

Groot, an extraterrestrial tree-like character, has the ability to regenerate limbs, build nests and stretch his branches over long distances. He is loyal to a fault and follows his friends blindly into battle. He is consistent and strong, the muscle behind the group.

Your website design plays a similar role: always there, always on, always telling your story. You have to build your website so that its roots are deep and its foundation based on inbound tactics. Each page must be steeped in strategy, perfectly peppered with keywords and written for your prospects, not you or your people. Make your website's stories about your prospects, and you’ll see your site transform from an electronic brochure into a lead-generating machine that consistently provides you with all of the leads you need to grow your business up and to the right.

This might be a little kitschy for some of you, but the stories are all accurate. Inbound marketing takes a collection of what might seem like separate tactics on the surface and turns them into a highly organized, integrated and strategically managed machine that is capable of producing amazing results – maybe even saving the universe.

Start Today Tip – Look at your current set of marketing tactics. Make sure they work together. Make sure they all tell the same story, in the way that people want to be marketed to today. Don’t sell, but rather educate. And don’t push people through a process. Instead, help them through their own journey with intelligent and creative content. The results are going to impress even the most doubting evil villain.

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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.