Outbound Marketing is defined as traditional marketing such as advertising, tradeshows, online banner ads, etc. — essentially purchased exposure.  Inbound Marketing by contrast is ‘earned exposure’ where prospects value content and find you.  Examples of Inbound Marketing include; content marketing, search engines (SEO and PPC), social media, and blogs. 


Top benefits of Inbound Marketing:


  • Lower Cost of Acquisition
  • Strong Alignment to Buying Process
  • Establish Thought Leadership
  • Transition to Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)


Success with Inbound Marketing – Shifting Dollars

B2B and B2C success with Inbound Marketing has resulted in shifting marketing spend. This Infographic provides powerful insight into the transition: 


inbound marketing spending


Shift to Inbound Marketing – Increased Efficiency & Effectiveness

Not only is Inbound Marketing more effective in generating leads, it’s also a more efficient.  According to eMarketer, the acquisition cost is significantly lower. 


eMarketer Cost per Lead Inbound vs. Outbound


Making the Transition

Enhanced Writing Capabilities – Marketing teams can write brochure content in their sleep.  But ask them to write a blog or white paper and they act like you asked them to launch a rocket to Mars.  Why?  Partly because legal obstacles have neutered them.  Mainly because their habitual writing style is entrenched in a distant 3rd person manner.  Strong points of view are not common among feature/benefit company information.  Thought leadership on a topic is not considered.  Marketing teams strain to write white papers, blogs and awareness-level content because they’ve largely never done it. 




  • New skill acquisition — marketing teams have to pedal faster to keep up.  Evolve or become irrelevant.  Your team should become students of Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing thought leadership content.
  • Invest in your writing staff – Don’t add a new writer without subject expertise and expect results.  New writers require painful paint-by-number direction.  Be prepared to invest long-term and the investment will pay off.
  • Leverage subject matter experts – Product Marketing is capable of authoring high value content.  However, they are almost always understaffed.   Add product marketing manager(s) with job descriptions allocating a percentage of their time for writing.  This is a short-cut to remarkable content.


Team Augmentation – Marketing teams may not have key roles and experience to execute inbound marketing.  Consultants fill the gap.  Select a consultant with a proven track record of success implementing Inbound Marketing and Lead Generation. 




  • Invest in Lead Generation – Inbound Marketing will generate an infusion of leads.  Best-in-class practices are required to successfully transition inquiries into sales ready leads.  A sound lead management process is a requirement for successful Inbound Marketing.   Leveraging nurturing and 1-to-1 nurturing through Lead Development Reps will provide you with world class lead conversion capabilities.
  • Inbound Marketing Specialists – Experts or consultants are required to provide technical expertise in marketing automation configuration, nurture campaign set-up, search engine optimization, search pay-per-click, social media and blog configuration.


Marketing Org Structure – Marketing objectives have evolved significantly from soft to hard metrics in the past five years.  But has your structure evolved to support your new objectives?  The answer is almost always NO.   Don’t burden yourself with out of date structures that struggle to perform.  Structure your team to perform.




  • Align to Objectives – Conduct an assessment of team capabilities by function.  Perform a gap analysis on how the functions align to objectives.  Map success metrics to those responsible in the organization implementing.  For each objective, does it map to a single person responsible with a supporting team, or a hodge-podge of individuals in different sub-departments?  Does it map to a person prioritized to achieve the objective?  Is your team focused on what your CEO/President cares about most?
  • Restructure by Strategic Objectives – Modernize your marketing organization by identifying the functional requirements of your team needed to achieve your objectives.  Develop departments based on priority areas of focus.  The end result is a shift from a traditional structure (Marcom, Program, Web, Advertising, PR, Tradeshow and Events, etc.) with a tactical focus to a strategic structure with clear priorities inherent in the structure (Demand Generation, Lead Management, Field Marketing, Thought Leadership, etc.).


In summary – The key take-away for ‘A’ Player marketing leaders is that Inbound Marketing requires considerable re-invention.  It’s an exciting transition that requires new capability acquisition, structural changes and embracing experts who have been there before. 


This article skims the surface of Inbound Marketing. Ready to be world class in Inbound Marketing? 



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