Late one night, according to the internet, a group of traditionalists apprehended an allegedly "dangerous" criminal element: one "Inbound Marketing." Committed to truth in commerce, they leveled some serious charges against their foe. What follows is the gripping tale of a courtroom drama, the outcome of which has far-reaching consequences to those of us who sell products or services.
The Prosecution begins.
"Your honor, I present the defendant, identified by the spurious moniker of 'Inbound Marketing.' We, the prosecution, intend to show beyond the merest shade of doubt that there the accused is nothing more than a few fancy mirrors reflecting the most odious of smoke clouds.
"The entire enterprise of commerce lies under threat from this upstart, this mere fad, this whippersnapping scandal. Why, your honor, I'd even go as far as to say that inbound Marketing puts the 'Con' in CONcept."
A dramatic pause, as all eyes turn to gaze upon the poor defendant. The Judge clears his throat and croaks, "you may proceed."
Prosecution: "Allow me to review the charges against this scalawag:”
“Inbound Marketing is a mere ephemera, a evanescent fancy, in fact nothing more than a FAD. And yet a dangerous one, more so than pet rocks or saggy pants, because Mr. Marketing has duped a large segment of the selling public into believing that selling no longer requires the tried, true and honest labor of the outbound salesperson.”
“Inbound Marketing has sapped the economic strength of countless entities with the useless blogging of original content. It's common knowledge that customers don't buy because of a 600 word article. The internet is for cat videos, not content!”
“There are certain mysteries to selling that this Inbound menace portends to tell us that there is a way to know when a potential buyer is ready to close the deal! Hogwash from a particularly filthy Hog.”
“May I prevail upon the court to find the defendant completely guilty of all charges!”
The Judge's hawk-like stare takes in the courtroom. The hush is cracked open by his growl, "Defense, you may present your case."
The attorney rises and takes his place at the bar, wishing it were a real bar with actual beer. "Your honor and the court," he begins softly but clearly, "I will now prove that my client is not only innocent of all charges, but the author of a great social good. I will show that Inbound Marketing is not only a substantial benefit, but a veritable George Washington among state-of-the-art marketing techniques."
Gaining confidence, and proud of dropping the name of a Founding Father, the Defense clears his throat and continues.
"As to the first of the charges, Inbound Marketing has been and is now an established method of selling. Companies employ Inbound without realizing it! And salespeople are just as busy as ever. It's simply that the channels of communication have moved from intrusive to inclusive. From interruptive to integrated. Today's electronic media have opened up a vast new territory of affection between buyer and seller!"
Aware that he was getting carried away, the Defense Attorney paused. He forgot to say that Inbound Marketing was a simple tactic among many. No plans to take over the world or anything remotely like that.
"What I mean is, give Inbound Marketing a chance. Any salesperson would give her left big toe to interact with already interested clients every day. Inbound Marketing can do that by creating conversations on Twitter, by placing Calls to Action in articles, by carefully targeted, personalized emails… and so much more!"
"As to the second charge, I'd like to call to the stand my first witness, Mr. Porter Bock."
Porter Bock schlumps to the witness stand after taking the standard oath to pour an unadulterated glass of testimony.
"Mr. Bock," the Defense began, "What have you noticed about blogging for Porter Bock's Pilsner Emporium?"
Bock: "The more I blog, ya see, the more customers I get.”
Defense: "What have your fellow entrepreneurs told you?"
"Forty three percent of them have gained at least one customer from their blog. The guys who blog all the time - at least once a month - fifty six percent of them got new customers from it. The daily guys - geez, I dunno how they got the time, but over eighty percent of them got new buyers from their blogs.”*
Judge: "Prosecution, your witness."
Prosecutor: "Sorry Judge, no questions."
Porter Bock schlumps back to his seat.
Our loyal and steam-gaining Defense Attorney once again takes his place at the podium.
"As to the third charge regarding the mysteries of buyer readiness, I would like to call my next witness, Miss Betsy Kraft."
Betsy flows up to the witness stand in a homemade peasant dress, her straw-colored hair festooned with a wreath of dried herbs and flowers.
Her testimony is brief, but instructive. The court is duly impressed with her marketing savvy, and her success selling homemade goods online.
"I'm a detail person," she chirps, "I like to look over my analytics every day to see if there's anything I should pay attention to. For example. I saw one lead download a copy of my catalog, then two days later she was looking at pricing on my site - comparison shopping, I believe. The next day at exactly 10:38 AM she opened a targeted email. I just knew she was ready to buy that jar of farm-fresh honeycomb! And she did!"
At this, the prosecuting attorney leaps up, his wooden chair clattering backward. "OBJECTION, YOUR HONOR!!!"
Prosecutor: " I will indeed. There is no way one person can know all of that information. I contend that the witness is foisting a falsehood upon this unwitting court!"
Judge: "What have you to say, Miss Kraft?"
Betsy giggles, "Gee, Judge, everyone knows there are easy to use analytic tools like Customer Service Management software all over the place. I use one called 'InforMashing' that tells me all that stuff."
Judge: "You may step down.”
The Defense Attorney, with a sweeping gesture that was half theatrical bow, half shooing away a pesky bee that emerged from Betsy Kraft's flower-studded headpiece, says, "I rest my case."
Inbound Marketing, cleared of all charges, continues to flourish and grow businesses everywhere gaining converts who blog, analyze traffic, post, converse, revamp websites, and take SEO seriously.
Are you already considering to revamp your internet marketing strategies? Check out our blog article on 8 Indispensable MUST DO's for a Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign.
*2013 Hubspot survey