It was a real privilege to be at Inbound15 in Boston – Hubspot’s sponsored mega bash celebrating all things inbound marketing related. One of the great opportunities was to hear about some incredible case studies from businesses around the world – showing some amazing transformational results.
But, it was clear, that for every businesses doubling in size due to inbound marketing, there were plenty yet struggling to make the leap.
So what’s the problem?
Well, it was articulated brilliantly by Marcus Sheridan, the legendary ‘Sales Lion’ who for me was the highlight of the show. Please do visit his site, watch him on YouTube and of course if you’re Stateside please give him a shout. His customers will tell you what a good job he does.
He positioned the problem upfront as being one of mindset. Inbound marketing is a culture change, not a marketing programme. But getting practical, here’s a mightily shortened version of Marcus’ top 9 things to do to get buy-in to inbound
No.1: define inbound well. In Marcus’ words, “words matter”. People need something to hang on and yet more jargon on top of jargon doesn’t make inbound a sellable property. So here’s one you can borrow.
“We need to drive more traffic to our site, and then nurture these visitors through to closed sales. To do this, we need to be the most helpful brand in our category, so that prospects find us, find our content, trust us because we’ve helped them, and engage with us when they’re ready to buy.”
No.2: define ‘why’. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But, most organisations never agree and write down why they are going to do inbound marketing.
No. 3. Do an inbound workshop, every year. A workshop gets everyone on the same page: marketing, sales, customer service and so on. This workshop needs to answer: Why; What; How; Who; What’s the impact on the organisation; What’s the impact on the individual.
No.4: Someone HAS to own it. He went as far as to say that this person needed a discrete job title..
No.5: Use engaged employees. I think this is one of the toughest ones for most businesses. They have some great content people in-house, who don’t (yet) have the mandate or direction to create content. Marcus talked about making it easy for people. Which for anyone outsourcing this to an Agency like woO, is all about getting the Agency really tuned into the business and then adept at extracting the content from the company’s employees.
No.6: Position Hubspot as a sales tool, NOT just a marketing tool. Interestingly, this for me is why ‘inbound marketing’ has its naysayers – if it was positioned inbound sales I think everyone would think “what’s not to like?”.
No. 7 Make it required (treat it like payroll…). In Marcus’ words, “It should be a religion not a pastime.”
No. 8: Use what you’ve bought. The Average Hubspot user is using only 20% of the tool. In other words, if you’re making the commitment to Hubspot (or any platform), spend the money and time to do the training.
No.9: The CEO has to really care. Inbound marketing needs that top level buy-in. Marcus added that if we’re serious, we should be then bringing the sales team to next year’s Inbound conference! (our blog on sales and marketing alignment)
So there we have it. A huge thanks to The Sales Lion for an inspiring talk, and I hope these summary points help you move forward with inbound marketing.