Inbound Marketing - You have got to be Crazy.


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I work with companies and individuals to understand their market and where their product and services fit. Often I find myself doing a lot of research into market presence and positioning. This is how I discovered the power of Inbound Marketing Strategies - those companies that use these strategies always have higher traffic ranks and popularity scores - surprisingly when I would point this out to the companies and individuals I work for, I have always been met with a lot of push back. This is my take on why that happens. Most small businesses have never contemplated change management. I have applied what I know about why change is difficult for the case of adopting Inbound Marketing Strategies. You can say the same thing happens with more straight forward issues, such as moving to a relational database from Excel spreadsheets. When doing data collection or tracking with more than one person, the master spreadsheet gets permanently screwed up with erroneous errors or missed changes. A relational database can permanently solve the problem. I always encounter resistance on this as well. Strange but true, I see it all the time.

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Inbound Marketing - You have got to be Crazy.

  1. 1. You Have Got to be Crazy. How Small Businesses Successfully Adopt Inbound Marketing Strategies
  2. 2. The Concept of Inbound Marketing Causes Schizophrenia If you are struggling with adopting and changing to Inbound Marketing Strategies it is because you are schizophrenic. While your rational side wants: a lower cost per lead, a heightened sense of community, an ability to inspire, and offers of valued products and services to loyal followers, your emotional side thinks differently. It’s the elephant in the room looking for the quick payoff – “Buy the TV ad… it’s easy. We’ll talk about features and how great we are. We’ve done it before.” The Problem is the TV ad doesn’t work as well as it used to – Nor does traditional outbound messaging on features – You do what millions of us do each morning… you hit the snooze alarm even though the rational side of your brain knows the right thing to do is to get up at 6:00 AM. Then we panic to get out the door in time.Rorschachinkblottest
  3. 3. Your Will Power has been SappedSelf control and will power are not inexhaustible. Ever been on a diet?And [a diet] is usually the approach taken by small business leaderswhen they attempt to adopt Inbound Marketing Strategies. Theydecide to alter their consumption patterns but keep the temptation ofthe quick emotional payoff of TV and Radio and Print (whatever their“normal” is) within arm’s reach. Let’s say they take a differentapproach – Inbound Marketing as a diet pill. We look at diet pills as apanacea. Of course the rational side of our brain would say “read theinstructions,” which of course the elephant in the room (our emotionalside) replies, “if the pill is any good then just taking it should beenough.” We don’t combine the pill with diet and exercise. We hit thesnooze alarm again. We consume a piece of Inbound Marketing - wetry a thing or two (start a Twitter account – read SEO for Dummies)and then it is right back to the buffet of Radio, TV, and print orwhatever your “normal” is. Plus, the local Yellow Pages has a specialgoing on!!! Never mind you haven’t picked up a Yellow Pages in yearsother than to recycle it. Search engines are just too easy to accessnowadays – even from a phone, how ironic is that?
  4. 4. You are UnsupervisedAs they say, “It is lonely at the top.” You are unsupervised. Now youmay have a board or a group of advisors but their job is not tosupervise you, in fact they might be the ones advising you to try a dietof Inbound Marketing (maybe they think you won’t hit the snoozealarm). Inevitably you do. Disappointment is shared all the wayaround. How now will you get the cost per lead to drop? This changeyou are trying to create is hard because you are wearing yourself out.Your advisors may think you are lazy (maybe even incompetent) whilein fact you are exhausted since you are exercising tremendous effort toturn things around – after all you are not crazy, right? You are workingfeverishly to get the things that worked in the past to cost less orfunction more efficiently. What if I change the timeslots around? Whatif I change radio stations? What if I can negotiate a better rate? MaybeI could improve the TV commercial? What if I used someone with anAustralian accent for the voice over work? What if? What if? And if youbecome truly exhausted, then in some months it all begins to blur – itis the same thing that happens when you drive down a long openstretch of highway… you can’t remember the last few miles youtraveled. It’s far easier to say you are trying, offer some evidence andhope everyone is placated. Placating is the same thing as a snoozealarm – it buys you some time, but you just end up more panicked andjust as exhausted. Change is hard because people wear themselves out trying to swim to the other side.
  5. 5. The Problem: You don’t Think you are “Crazy!”We view the world through our own rose colored lenses – we thinkeveryone sees what we see. What we don’t realize is how fast theworld around us is changing. We change through adoption and therate at which we adopt is variable. You may be a “late majority”adopter (you have about a thirty percent chance). Worse you may be a“resister” (17% chance). If you are a resister type then go ahead andjump off the bridge because the rest of us are crazy… just not you…and you won’t be able to stand being around these crazy peoplealways tethered to their cell phones, using Skype, or Twitter, or Quora.And why don’t people ever send hand written notes via the postalservice anymore? The rest of us will reach an epiphany – we willrealize that we are CRAZY for not adopting Inbound Marketingstrategies, because we’ll see our competitors growing their businesses,being talked about, receiving positive press, and increasing their trafficrates all done with Inbound Marketing strategies. You will realize thatyou could be doing the same things and If you don’t you would thinkyourself CRAZY! Everyone before you has reached this point – If youwere Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan at Hubspot you would haverealized you were crazy early on and adopted Inbound Marketingbefore anyone else – that is because Halligan and Shah are “innovator”types (8% of us). We would have thought them crazy were it not for“leaders” (17% of us) like David Meerman Scott (innovative in his ownright) who evangelized and provided trusted advice and opinionswhich led to the “early majority” adopters (29% of us) adoptingInbound Marketing strategies. This is about where we are today. Theearly majority is still in its adoption phase – leaving a lot more that halfof us to yet realize we are CRAZY for not adopting Inbound Marketingstrategies… and a lot of exhausted small business owners with blurredmemories of long open highway stretches.
  6. 6. Inbound Marketing: Not an Analytical ChoiceThe emotional side of your brain trumps reason every single time. Ifyou think you are going to overcome emotion and adopt InboundMarketing based on marketing facts, figures, and presentations fromthe internet - you are just dead wrong (this presentation included).Instead you will have lots of meetings about Inbound Marketing. Youwill talk about Inbound Marketing ROI and whether the diet pills areworking. Mostly the meetings will end with scheduling the nextmeeting. The meetings will take place further and further apart sinceyou can never come to a clear conclusion, and you would rather seethe issue just go away. People go on diets because they see a skinnyperson. People move to Inbound Marketing strategies because theyrealize they are CRAZY not too. Thinking you’re crazy is a lot differentthan wishing you were skinny because it is not crazy to want to beskinny. It is crazy not to adopt Inbound Marketing strategies when acompetitor is successfully doing it – unless you are in the habit ofgiving your business or advantages away. Being crazy is a greatmotivator. Say it with me, “This is crazy… I am crazy. And I have got tomake sure this changes.” That is good. You just became the elephant.You can now emotionally champion the Inbound Marketing strategiesyou will seek out and adopt, thus avoiding the schizophrenia. You aregoing to feel that this is the right thing to do – you will have pushedthis from your Frontal Lobes down into your Limbic “Old” Brain – youwill now operate at the gut level of feeling, the most powerful of allfeelings right next to love. You will incorporate these feelings into yourpurpose, cause and beliefs about your business. You will invite peopleto listen to how you accomplish your beliefs, and you will share withthem the results of your efforts. Good Luck! Hope to see you at the funny farm.
  7. 7. Would You Like More Crazy Thoughts and Opinions?Michael YearsMarket Development ConsultingLēD GĕN 3.0561-819-8179http://ledgen30.commikeyears@ledgen30.comTwitter: @mikeyears