Confused about Inbound Marketing? Never heard of it? View this hilarious and entertaining video from HubSpot and it will tell you everything you ought to know about inbound marketing.
In the past I’ve written about manufacturers such as Indium Corporation and Miller Electric Manufacturing Co. and their success stories of inbound marketing with content. However, overall adoption rate of Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation (MA) is still low among smaller manufacturers and industrial companies. This is slowly changing and I am finding many of these companies are now more willing to listen to me talk about it.
There is still quite a bit of confusion out there. Inbound Marketing articles that I’ve published here may help to clear up some of those issues. One thing is for sure, the mindset about Inbound Marketing must change. It is not a one-off campaign or a project; it is a process!
Resources (time, money and people) need to be allocated correctly for Inbound Marketing to succeed and generate measurable results. Depending on your situation, you may be able to do it all yourself (DiY), outsource it completely or use an optimal mix of DiY and outsourced content marketing services. You can automate some of the steps so you don′t have to babysit it constantly but it is definitely not a case of “set it and forget about it.”
Marketing Automation is still a ways away from seeing widespread use among small and mid-sized manufacturers. Based on what I’ve heard, other than integration with SalesForce CRM and email marketing, MA is underutilized by the few industrial companies that have taken the plunge.
IMO, for effective “pull” marketing, you need both Inbound Marketing and MA to maximize the top and the middle of your sales funnel. See my post “Marketing Automation vs. Inbound Marketing.” At the end of that article, I have said “It is not an either–or proposition. I recommend starting with inbound or content marketing and then moving on to marketing automation to make the entire lead generation process smooth and efficient.”
Eric Goldman, President and CEO of Gossamar Inc. made a comment on my post about his idea of combining Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation. He called it “Inbound Marketing Automation (IMA).” He has written a very detailed article about IMA and its combined power.
Eric makes an excellent point where he wrote, “…software tools in the hands of inexperienced users produce less than desirable results.” You can read his full article here.
It is not all about buying marketing software. There is a lot more to fixing your lead generation problems and nurturing those that are not yet “sales ready” before handing them off to sales. See my earlier post, “Don’t Count on Marketing Automation to Solve All Your Lead Generation Problems.”
Jeff Ogden, aka the Fearless Competitor and the founder of Find New Customers has written a very good blog post about the steps one must take before subscribing to any SaaS marketing software. His weight loss analogy is perfect for describing the problem. I found his article, “Buying software is easy. Fixing Lead Generation is hard” very realistic and rises above all the hype.
Let me know what you think about inbound marketing and marketing automation.