- For a related term see permission marketing. For the product management sense of inbound marketing, see product management.
Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel. In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered "outbound marketing". Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
David Meerman Scott recommends that marketers "earn their way in" (via publishing helpful information on a blog etc.) in contrast to outbound marketing, where they "buy, beg, or bug their way in" (via paid advertisements, issuing press releases, or paying commissioned sales people, respectively). The term is synonymous with the concept of permission marketing. The inbound marketing term was coined by Brian Halligan, in 2005. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is especially effective for small businesses that deal with high dollar values, long research cycles and knowledge-based products. In these areas prospects are more likely to get informed and hire someone who demonstrates expertise.
Marketing automation tools are the backbone of inbound marketing whether in SEO, or content production or publication, or in data gathering and analytics, Some of the commonly used tools are Hubspot, Marketo, Raven Tools, Buzz sumo, Sprout Social and Mail Chimp. Offcourse every days there are new and improvised tools which are emerging which can help businesses - big or small in leveraging inbound marketing.
The inbound marketing methodology follows the buyer's journey path which states that a user goes through three different phases:
- Awareness Stage
At this stage, the buyer has a problem and just started to do some research on that particular problem.
- Consideration Stage
At this stage, the buyer has defined the problem and starts looking for methods on how to fix this problem.
- Solution Stage
At this stage, the buyer is looking to compile all the solutions for the problem.
- Loyalty Stage
At this stage , the converted buyer is wowed by your product and service and evangelise your product (which also helps in retention and cross selling)
- Leary, Brent (January 27, 2012). "Jeanne Hopkins of HubSpot: All Leads Are Not Created Equal". Small Business Trends. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Basu, Dev (June 29, 2011). "Inbound marketing: The customer finds you". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Prescott, Bill (February 5, 2012). "Business Sense: Inbound marketing". Times-Standard. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Benner, Michael (January 19, 2012). "Get Found: 7 Steps to Fire Up Your Inbound Marketing". Business2Community. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- David Meerman Scott. (2010). The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly. (2 ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN 0-470-54781-2.
- Gilbert, Alison (February 4, 2012). "Inbound Marketing: How to Get Customers Without Really Trying". Digital Brand. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- Pollitt, Chad (October 21, 2011). "The New 5 Step Inbound Marketing Methodology". Business2Community. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Halligan, Brian; Shah, Dharmesh (2009). Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN 0-470-49931-1.
- "Disruptor of the Day: Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah & HubSpot – Taking The Hassle Out of Marketing". Daily Disruption. February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Disruptor of the Day: Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah & HubSpot – Taking The Hassle Out of Marketing (Wayback Machine)". Daily Disruption. February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.