Inbound Marketing: Building a Bridge to the 20th Century

Inbound Marketing: Building a Bridge to the 20th Century

By John McTigueJan 21 /2011

Yeah, I know. We're in the 21st Century now. That's my point. The "new marketing" is actually old. We're going backwards in our marketing strategy these days, and that's a really good thing.


We're starting to rely less on automation and more on one-to-one relationships. Yes, we're using social networks to find customers, but that's the modern equivalent of the Yellow Pages. We're having conversations on Twitter, but that's just the new way of going down to the corner drugstore to hang out.

inbound marketing is a return to the 20th century

So why is this important?

Simply put, we marketers are finally listening to consumers rather than dictating terms.

  • Consumers want to know us before they buy
  • Consumers want to trust us before they buy
  • Consumers want to see that other consumers buy from us and are loyal advocates.

How is this any different from the 1900's through the 1950's?

It ain't. What's old is new again. We have different tools for carrying on conversations, and we have more reach than people back then could have ever imagined, but so what? What builds relationships is the same old same old:

  • Genuine concern for someone else's issues
  • Willingness to listen and attempt to understand
  • Ability to formulate and communicate possible solutions
  • Patience to allow the relationship to develop

Today's successful salesperson/marketer puts out an "Open for Business" sign on social networks, participates in community events, and does what he/she can to help others in the community. I'm visualizing parades and bake-offs in the town square. These things are happening all over Facebook as we speak.

What can we learn from last-century marketing?

Stick to the basics. Be a human being in social media and blogs. It's not that hard. Strike up a conversation, and if no one acknowledges you, don't be discouraged. Just be the person that everyone knows and trusts because you're always there with good advice or a helping hand. If nothing else, you will enjoy the experience, but more likely, you will build lasting relationships that can lead to business.

Guess what? No call-to-action in this blog post. I'm not asking for anything. Glad you could stop by for a quick read. If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you. 

Photo credit: Bunky's Pickle

The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn and Twitter.