Inbound marketing From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Components of Inbound Marketing

Components of Inbound Marketing (Photo credit: Gavin Llewellyn)

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Data Matrix, encoding the text: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Inbound marketing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the synonymous term coined by Seth Godin, see Permission marketing. For the product management sense of Inbound Marketing, see Product management.

Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogspodcastsvideoeBooksenewsletterswhitepapersSEOsocial media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand, where they want to be.[1][2][3] In contrast, buying attention,[1] cold-calling, direct paper mailradio, TV advertisements,[2] sales flyers, spamtelemarketing[3] and traditional advertising[4] are considered “outbound marketing”. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers,[1] makes the company easy to be found[2] and draws customers to the website[4] by producing interesting content.[3]

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).[5] The term is synonymous with the concept of permission marketing, which is the title of a book by Seth Godin.[3] The inbound marketing term was coined by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan,[2][3][6] in 2005.[7][8] According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is especially effective for small businesses[9] 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.[10]

In one case inbound marketing was defined by three phases: Get found, Convert and Analyze.[1] A newer model from Business2Community illustrates the concept in five stages:[7]

  1. Attract traffic
  2. Convert visitors to leads
  3. Convert leads to sales
  4. Turn customers into repeat higher margin customers
  5. Analyze for continuous improvement

Complex inbound marketing practices target potential customers at various different levels of product/brand awareness. The most scaled tactics attempt to funnel customers from semantically related market segments, who have no product awareness or intention to purchase. This is usually achieved by taking the customer through a structured informational path, that builds awareness and increases interest over time.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up to:a b c d Leary, Brent (January 27, 2012). “Jeanne Hopkins of HubSpot: All Leads Are Not Created Equal”. Small Business Trends. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d Basu, Dev (June 29, 2011). “Inbound marketing: The customer finds you”The Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d e Prescott, Bill (February 5, 2012). “Business Sense: Inbound marketing”. Times-Standard. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  4. Jump up to:a b Benner, Michael (January 19, 2012). “Get Found: 7 Steps to Fire Up Your Inbound Marketing”. Business2Community. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  5. Jump up^ 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.
  6. Jump up^ Gilbert, Alison (February 4, 2012). “INBOUND MARKETING: How to Get Customers Without Really Trying”. Digital Brand. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  7. Jump up to:a b Pollitt, Chad (October 21, 2011). “The New 5 Step Inbound Marketing Methodology”. Business2Community. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  8. Jump up^ Halligan, Brian; Shah, Dharmesh (2009). Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN 0-470-49931-1.
  9. Jump up^ “Disruptor of the Day: Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah & HubSpot – Taking The Hassle Out of Marketing”. Daily Disruption. February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  10. Jump up^ “What is Inbound Marketing with Brian Whalley”. Internet Marketing Podcast. February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
You’ll hear phrases like inbound marketing, digital marketing and Internet marketing used somewhat interchangeably.  What is all this newfangled stuff?  Prospects commonly take themselves through 60% or more of the sales journey (see related post titled “Prospects Take Themselves Through 60% of the Sales Journey“) and this “newfangled stuff” is what helps them find you and learn as much as needed about you.

The attached infographic from The Whole Brain Group does a nice job of explaining it all to the layman.

Check out my other blog posts related to marketing here.


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