Teaching Nana to Market Car Seats for Cats

Regardless of one’s interests or field, it is extraordinarily challenging these days to stay on top of the onslaught of information and change that is the result of today’s hyper-connectivity.

But, as I was recently reminded by a very smart colleague, we are moving from an Industrial Age based on the principles of physics (cause and effect, linear thinking, etc) to a Connect Age based on biological principles (use of complexity theory, and/both thinking, emergence and evolution, etc.).

As a result, everyone of us will need to ensure we have trusted relationships and networks if we want help in filtering and curating the vast amount of data coming at us.

By way of example, a trusted colleague recently shared a funny YouTube video called Car Seats for Cats which showed a young man trying to teach his nana how to market.

Ironically, its arrival was timely as I was preparing to deliver a webinar about marketing and was looking for resources that would describe and differentiate between inbound and outbound marketing.

While it has yet to be fully embraced by many, inbound versus outbound marketing should be transforming how we approach marketing and sales.

Outbound marketing is how we’ve traditionally approached marketing. We use vehicles such as print media, television, radio, tradeshows, cold calling, and listservs to push out information to the masses. In a sense, it means we’ve been interrupting potential prospects in an effort to get them onboard with our product, service, or message.

Inbound marketing takes the opposite approach by making it simpler to get found by those who are already using the internet to look for our product, service, expertise, or message.

In essence it is about earning someone’s attention versus paying for it, or as some would say, the difference between using marketing as a sledge hammer or a magnet.

An inbound marketing approach requires setting up one’s website as a hub that will attract visitors via search engines and SEO (search engine optimization), blogs, videos, webinars, and other forms of social media. It also explains why it is essential to have a website where content can be added and updated on a moment’s notice without being dependent on outside technical support.

Experts suggest most marketers today spend 90% of their efforts on outbound marketing and 10% on inbound marketing. They suggest those ratios should actually be flipped.

While it is true inbound marketing comes with a learning curve, the exciting news is that it is well worth the effort.

Inbound marketing costs less because it is about creating content and then talking about it via free options like blogs, twitter, pinterest, and facebook.

The marketing is also more effective because efforts are only being targeted to those who have already identified their interest and are looking for what you have to offer. 

It’s also an efficient investment in terms of time and money because content can often be repurposed. For example content can be used on a website, blogged, tweeted, or made available as a downloadable resource.

Perhaps former Apple marketer, Guy Kawasaki put it best when he said, “If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”

Posted on 05-18-13


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