Defining Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a pull methodology, as opposed to a push approach such as cold calling, advertisements and email that interrupt a customer's time. Instead, inbound marketing focuses on a pull approach, using content tailored to your ideal customer when they are engaged and proactively seeking information.
Pre-Internet - Internet Age
The internet and the pervasive use of mobile technology make information accessible at any given moment. The digital age provides the fundamental reason to move from a push to a pull marketing approach. The pre-internet age was characterised with a relatively uninformed customer with a linear buyer journey and interruption marketing where companies were fighting for the customer's attention.
In today's business environment, the internet has changed the business landscape, resulting in an informed customer. The customer's buying process requires content specifically designed for the target audience during different stages of a very dynamic customer journey.
Inbound Marketing and the Buyer's Journey
It's no secret that the buyer's journey is not linear. Content designed for each stage used to drive the customer through the sales funnel is mission-critical, and a blog is essential. Inbound marketing is focused on building trust and providing content that is psychologically and socially significant to the targeted audience. Inbound marketing provides valuable content, giving the customer a reason to seek your content and trust your brand. The art and science of communicating without selling is a good synopsis of inbound marketing.
I like this quote from Joshua Gill that sums up the effectiveness and reason to use inbound marketing:
"Inbound Marketing is so powerful because you have the power to give the searcher/consumer exactly what answers they are looking for at the precise point that they need it. That builds trust, reputation, and authority in whatever niche you are practicing this form of marketing in." - Joshua Gill, Inbound Authority
Traditional marketing tactics that interrupt the buyer's process have become less effective. Customers no longer want to be sold. Modern customers want educational information that meets their needs or solves a problem so that they can make an informed decision.