Inbound Marketing – Why Is A Name So Important?
There’s a huge debate in the online marketing industry at the moment about nomenclature. The convergence of SEO, PR and social media marketing is big news, and competition is heating up out there with many historically SEO or PR or social businesses jumping on new terms to describe what they’re doing, and differentiate themselves temporarily from their competition.
There is a race going on for thought leadership amongst supplier businesses, agencies and consultants. Think about it this way, if you were able to create a new definition for what your business does, get it trending globally and be recognised as the source of this definition, what impact do you think that would have on your business? Think of the competitive advantage that you would gain!
It’s time to tip your hat to HubSpot, because this is exactly what they’ve done with the term inbound marketing. These guys are in the increasingly competitive marketing automation software business and have produced a huge amount of free content that all supports their conceptual marketing platform of inbound marketing. The fact that their content is so prolific and actually very good has meant that it has quickly spread through downloads and sharing.
The reason that they deserve their success from what they’ve managed to do by creating and owning a new definition is that they’ve completely followed their own precepts, demonstrating that there is depth to what they’re promoting… basically that the ideas behind inbound marketing are real. They have created high quality content, distributed it effectively and promoted it incredibly well. They’ve done this using all the tactics that their product assists with such as email marketing, social, SEO and PR.
The chart below, from a recent post by Rand Fishkin, shows the success of the marketing techniques that HubSpot evangelises. This data was provided by HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah, and represents the traffic to their blog broken down by tactic.
So HubSpot has done all the hard work in recognising a opportunity, creating a strategy to take advantage of it, and then implemented a marketing plan so successful that it’s got the world using their name in tandem with a new definition. For competitors to HubSpot, like Marketo and Eloqua it puts them at a serious disadvantage as they either have to join as second voice thus assisting HubSpot’s position as market leader or try and create their own trending definition of their business, which isn’t easy.
So what does this mean for the rest of us?
The disruptive opportunities that allow for the very definitions of what we do to change don’t come along very often, so when they do, the rest of us need to know which are the definitions that the C-level professionals, who make purchasing and recruitment decisions, are responding to in order to be on their radar.
As inbound marketing moves into the mainstream, it will be something that CMOs will be looking for when they’re assessing CVs and agency pitches. Understanding the concepts and being able to show relevant experience will become more important in winning marketing business and getting jobs in the industry.
Fortunately, as marketers, recognising and adapting to the changing requirements of our audiences is something that we’re experts at.