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Are You In or Out?

“Well Mrs. Jones, the problem is simple. A combination of your air filter and A-coil is causing a higher than average total external static pressure and your ECM is incapable of moving the required CFM.”


You probably covered this in TECH-101, do not use technical terms with the customers.

So, who exactly covers this point with the folks who sell you products and services? Do your business partners explain their industry’s technical jargon? For that matter, are they explaining the programs, processes and things that the jargon represents?

Let’s give your marketing folks a hand today and breakdown the term Inbound Marketing. For some reason early on, I struggled differentiating between the terms Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing. Maybe you have too.

arrows-1668914_640.jpgInbound Marketing - Marketing activities that focus on getting found by prospective and regular customers.


  • Webinars
  • Blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook
  • Videos and articles
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Outbound Marketing - Marketing activities that are pushed “out” to the masses. They interrupt attention in their attempt to amass potential customers.


  • TV
  • Print ads
  • E-mail blasts
  • Cold calling

Do you ensnare prospective customers? Or do you work to be interesting and make it easy for people to find you?

In regards to marketers, Seth Godin says,

The big mistake is thinking that their job is to spend money to get attention. If they think that that is what their job is, they will never ever succeed in marketing.

They make something the market wants to talk about. Companies should let the market decide what they make, not the other way around. They need to figure out how to plate what the market is interested in, as opposed to saying, "We made this, how do we get people's attention?"

Hubspot on its Inbound Methodology.

Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be.

Matt Michel recently tweeted a 2010 Joe Pulizzi article in Contracting Business that hits home. While Joe has moved onto interesting and cool things, his words are still piercingly relevant.

Simply put – your customers don’t care about you. They don’t care about your family. They don’t care about your product lines. They certainly don’t care about the stock photo on your home page of the Brady Bunch.

Marc Freund, dESCO’s director of marketing, says,

The success of any inbound marketing effort, regardless of channel, is tied to one core pillar – how well you understand your customer. The more specific you can address your customer’s problem the more he or she will trust your future recommendations.

So how does this look in real life you ask?

Inbound marketing is finding out what your customer’s informational needs are and what they care about. The perceptive marketer then finds / creates, publishes and shares content to meet those needs.

Blending community, workplace cohesion, coworker recognition, education, contests, offers and an overall sense of family, it’s neon-sign obvious that while the following companies publish interesting and informational content, they care about their coworkers and customers.

AirNow Heating & Cooling in Millbrook, Alabama

Hunter Heat & Air in Ardmore, Oklahoma

Western Heating & Air Conditioning in Orem, Utah

Freedom Heating & Cooling in Bessemer, Alabama

In the words of Hubspot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah:

People don’t want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople. They want to be helped.

What would ‘focusing on being found and helping’ as opposed to interrupting people look like at your company?

Join the Conversation

Topics: Marketing

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Dec 18, 2016 4:20:00 AM

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