At first, I thought I misheard my friend, Mark.
"I need to tell you why inbound marketing sucks," he said.
We were having dinner at one of our regular Cleveland haunts - Great Lakes Brewing Company. It was loud, so I pulled my chair closer to make sure he actually said what I thought he said.
"I need to tell you why inbound marketing sucks," Mark repeated.
"Inbound marketing rocks! We have seen incredible results with our own consistent use of inbound marketing," I shot back.
Sensing a need to dig deeper, I quickly ordered another round of Conway's Irish Ale for us.
"Mark, I need data. Help me out here. Throw me a bone, bro."
Mark slumped a bit.
"I've been doing inbound marketing for months now and have not seen any increase in leads or sales or additional profit..."
Serious stuff, I thought. Mark ran a small manufacturing firm he wanted to expand and he saw the online B2B market as his future. He knew the way to expand his reach was through inbound marketing.
"So, you're blogging regularly, right?" I asked.
"What keywords are you targeting?"
"I haven't figured that out yet."
"Do you have calls to action on your homepage?"
"No, and why would I need them?"
"Where does most of your organic search traffic come from?"
"Hmmm, I'm not really sure."
"Are you on HubSpot?"
"I'm thinking about it."
I stopped for a moment to let this all sink in. I took a sip of beer, grabbed a pen and napkin, and wrote the following equation out:
HubSpot + Strategy + Design + Inbound Marketing + Time = Profit
When I slid the napkin over to Mark I saw his eyes focus. I had gotten his attention.
I went on to explain that HubSpot is incredibly powerful software that should serve as the foundation of Mark's inbound marketing efforts. What Mark was missing was a strategy - an approach - to letting his potential customers know how he can solve their problems or address their pain points. He needed a well designed, easy to navigate website with clear calls to action. Most importantly, Mark needed time and consistent inbound marketing to see the results he initially envisioned.
"Does all this makes sense, bro?" I asked after my somewhat detailed explanation of my 'back of the napkin' equation.
"It does, Roman. It really does. Thanks."
"Anytime, Mark. Now, how about you get going on a blog post for tomorrow and get that free trial of HubSpot," I teased.
"Ok, Ok - how about one more round of brews - just to get the creative juices flowing..."
Naturally, I couldn't argue with that suggestion.
pic: bloody marty mix
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 1PM EST, 10AM PST
Join our guest Jeremy Dearringer, Chief Research Officer for Slingshot SEO, and the Kuno Creative Inbound Marketing team to learn how to build leads using SEO during this free webinar. We will be presenting some of the tactical aspects of SEO that can positively impact your Inbound Marketing.