I started learning about Inbound marketing and content marketing back in 2012. Then in late 2014 I was fortunate enough to become a HubSpot customer. My perspective about how I approach marketing and attracting my prospective customer has changed drastically. As I began thinking about my personal and corporate approach to managing and creating great marketing, I realized my perspective changed virtually overnight. How in the world could this happen so quickly? My entire body of work in my career was being challenged by a new paradigm. Pretty much everything I learned in my career that was associated with marketing and content was now strategically and tactically different. Here’s what I mean.
- Personas: Yes, I knew what they were and how to create them. However, I did not think about how each persona trait was critically tied to content, a buyer’s journey, data and attraction – yep, it’s true.
- The Buyer’s Journey: HubSpot also helped me to see the buyer’s journey in a new way. I was already used to defining what I called the customer path and touch points along the way. However, it’s not just a “connect the dots” game to play with content mixed in along the way. It’s part science, art and business logic all in one. Believe it or not, the journey is real and if you pay attention to it, it works.
- Data: Personas and the journey are both critical pieces, but if you don’t capture data along the way, you don’t really have a persona profile and you also don’t really know who your prospective customer is. Determine what data you need and use today’s technology and best practices to capture that data. It’s not as hard as you might think.
- Content: I am a content junkie and I have been for 25 years. If you take a look at HubSpot and start reading some of the content they publish, you will see that their DNA may be technology, but their mission is to make a dent in the way the world performs marketing. Your marketing content will never be as effective as you want it to be unless you align it with your personas, the buyer’s journey, and data. This all helps to create a symbiotic relationship between content and the prospective customer.
In closing, I want to make sure you know that I do not work for HubSpot. Nor is HubSpot compensating me for drafting this blog. The purpose of this rant is to explain that it is possible to challenge your every marketing fiber and belief and make it even better. 2014 was a time for me when that happened. I owe it to HubSpot, other inbound marketers who have already crossed this chasm before me and also a marketing team that supported my belief in changing directions. Thank you everyone for an amazing marketing gift I like to call Inbound knowledge! 2015 is going to be a fantastic year! If you’re unsure about your own marketing direction or even about the credibility of Inbound marketing and content marketing, here are 56 reasons that should convince you that it’s time to make a change.
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-macfarland/
Photo Credit: HubSpot
Graphic Credit: Canva