The world of marketing in general is changing at such a rapid pace that many feel that success is defined as being able to just keep pace. Innovation and change are part of life but the real life application of innovations and changes are not always the result.
The concept of inbound marketing has been one of the seminal changes that have hit marketers right between the eyes in recent years. As marketers, we historically live in a push advertising world, which is content with putting advertising messages in places that are thought to be where prospects and customers congregate thus hopefully catching them at the right moment so they can make a decision for a product or service. Essentially marketing that is pushed upon the consumer is just as reliant on luck and chance as it is skill. Not much to bank ROI arguments on, huh?
Now the world is moving to a pull marketing paradigm which is inbound marketing. The basic concept being that rather than throw bait out where we think the fish might be, we are to create bait that lures the right fish to it. The idea is that those who come to you and your message are already further along the buy cycle path than those who are simply reminded that they may need your product or service. By acknowledging that they are interested in your ‘bait’ they imply that they are interested in your offering.
Along with the fundamental shift that is taking place comes a fundamental change in the attributes of the new world marketer. Marketing has always been about numbers. Even that focus has shifted a bit in that the numbers to be focused on are not the traditional demographics that give us some comfort that the target market might be there. Instead the numbers that define success are centered on a more targeted prospect.
So this new approach to marketing is all about action. It takes a different kind of marketer to get this fundamental shift. Here are a few attributes that define the new inbound marketing mindset that focuses on A.C.T.I.O.N.
Attitude – Inbound marketing takes some guts to say the least. Often companies have to be turned from a traditional marketing point of view to the inbound marketer’s take on how to get people to desire a product or service. The inbound marketer’s attitude may have everything to do with helping this shift occur. Inbound marketers are not shy but rather carry an attitude of “Of course, people want to buy from me because I know what I am doing”. You’d be surprised at how few people have this attitude. That will change as inbound marketing gathers more momentum.
Curiosity – An inbound marketer is a curious sort. Not confined by tradition, an inbound marketer must have an insatiable curiosity that helps them figure out just what their market needs to make a buying decision for them. A by-product of curiosity is the willingness to experiment. Of course, environment can hinder the ability to experiment, which brings us to the next quality of an action focused inbound marketer.
Tenacity – Since many traditional marketers view inbound marketing as a sea change, the inbound marketing mindset has to be a tenacious one. Getting past a traditional “This is the way we have always done it” approach requires a high level of determination and an incredibly thick skin. Ask inbound marketing success stories what it took to get their marketing efforts to change from “This is what we have always done” to “This is how we will do it to be truly successful” and most will say that they just wouldn’t give up. Sounds like fun, huh?
Intuition – In a marketing world that is dominated by numbers (most times for good reason) inbound marketers have to rely on intuition. This is not something that can be taught. It can, however, be acquired. How? By being around a company and their products/services long enough smart marketers develop a gut feeling about things. Don’t ignore this marketer’s “sixth sense”. Many of the greatest innovations and successes have relied more on intuition and gut feel than cold hard numbers analysis. Room must be made for people to utilize these innate sensors that tell when something should work.
Outside the box – An overused term for sure but by its very nature inbound marketing is outside of the box for many since it is not what they are used to. Remember that as an inbound marketer you will be viewed as a bit of a renegade by more traditional measures. That’s good. People often don’t step outside the box unless they are invited. It’s up to the inbound marketer to lead the charge to do something different that will have a greater likelihood of success in the rapidly evolving modern marketing world.
Nimble – Inbound marketing is like a fast paced chess match. You know the ones where there are timers sitting next to the contestants and their ability to think quickly is just as important as their ability to think strategically. The same goes for inbound marketing. While you are making one move you need to be nimble enough to be several steps ahead while maintaining your ability to change the course of action in moment’s notice. It not easy and often it’s an acquired skill but it’s essential for inbound marketing success.
So we’ve outlined just a few of these action oriented attributes that are the earmark of a good inbound marketer. We suspect you have some more as well.
Take action and share your thoughts with us in the comments.