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Why B2B Marketers Should Drink the Inbound Marketing Kool-Aid

by Jennifer Beever on January 19, 2010

What is Inbound Marketing and why is it important to B2B marketers? A couple of years ago, my answer to this question would have been, “I have no idea.” Today I’m certified in this specialty. Why did I do it? Why should you  consider Inbound Marketing in your 2010 marketing programs?

Inbound Marketing Is… …the art of creating inbound marketing interest from your prospects when they have a need or interest in your product or service.

Inbound Marketing Is Not… …about creating outbound marketing messages that you push onto prospects when you want to, whether or not they are looking.

Bees to Honey

There are several parts to the Inbound Marketing process.

Part 1: Identify where and in what format(s) your prospects like to get information, then build outstanding and valuable content in those places and formats to attract your prospects.

Part 2: Engage prospects as they follow your conversation and gather buying data, all the while measuring their activity and interest.

Part 3: Recognize prospects’ buying signals and have the right resources and additional information to close the buying process.

Why is this important for B2B marketers? Inbound Marketing is in touch with today’s reality. It recognizes that the Internet is a disruptive technology that changed the way people purchase goods and services. Instead of the sales cycle, Inbound Marketing recognizes the buy cycle. It acknowledges that the buyer, not the seller, is in control.

Inbound Marketing is cost-effective and time-efficient. It doesn’t waste time and money trying to reach people and companies that are not interested in buying.  It combines online and offline marketing that attracts qualified buyers with interesting and valuable content. Maybe most importantly, it doesn’t completely annoy your prospects the way traditional, push-marketing ads, mail pieces and emails do.

Do you think I’ve been drinking more than Kool-Aid? Have you already adopted the Inbound Marketing approach? Please comment below.

Flickr Photo by foxypar4 CC BY 2.0

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Caryn Goldsmith January 19, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Jennifer, this is really an important piece. The whole “business cycle” is about being there for customers and prospects. While outbound marketing is important for brand awareness and helping to establish brand preferences, if the marketer forgets to be there when a sale is most likely, they’ll lose market share. One other critical layer is understanding the different segments of customers: even if you’re selling just one thing, the process of what’s important to the buyer and why may be different – so there is a need to refine inbound messaging/processes in particular to have a greater likelihood of closing a sale. (I’ve over-simplified things because of time, but I hope you’ll agree with the general point.)

Jennifer Beever January 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Thanks, Caryn, for your comment. And you’re exactly right about customer segments. Fail to understand who their “marketing personae” are (can you tell I studied Latin?) and B2B marketers may miss out!

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