"Inbound marketing? Huh??"
That is the response I received when speaking with my friend Ed, a very sharp investment banker from Seattle, about his desire to increase his company's brand awareness. I had discussed inbound marketing as one approach to doing this.
Many concise descriptions and definitions of inbound marketing are available. Keith Parnell breaks it down here. Rick Burns, of HubSpot, gives an inbound marketing tour de force here. We offer the ABC's here. And, of course, there is always Wikipedia.
In speaking with executives like Ed, however, I found the need for an inbound marketing "elevator speech." Most executives aren't interested in details like inbound links and long tail keywords - they want to know what's in it for them, and more importantly, how the companies they lead will benefit. The elevator speech is the classic executive summary that can crystallize a concept for someone in a few minutes.
And that's not easy to do, mind you.
For me, the inbound marketing elevator speech goes a little bit like this - inbound marketing is simply about having a conversation with your customer or potential customer. It's an incredibly open and honest conversation that may take place through blogs, emails, Facebook, Twitter and webinars. There is nothing about this conversation that is interruptive or unidirectional.
Perhaps Chris Brogan captured it best when, during his visit to Cleveland, he identified Vanilla Ice as the world's first social media/inbound marketing expert - Stop, Collaborate, and Listen - Mr. Ice opined. It's certainly legit - customers (and humans) have an incredible desire to be heard.
What's your inbound marketing elevator speech?