Inbound Marketing: From “Like Flies To Honey” To “Bees and Flowers”

I apologize for the title of this, but the symbiotic relationship bees and flowers was pretty much the only one that would work (the rest either involved bacteria, or some creature that most people would not want to be associated with).

While I have yet to actually read something along the lines of marketers attracting clients “like flies to honey”, I am fully aware that many people (not in marketing) view this portion of business as drawing people in with something sweet, only to have them trapped in their grasp. It’s time to move past that. I want to see the new relationship between marketers and clients be seen similar to the relationship between bees and flowers. A relationship where both of the parties are mutually benefited (and one isn’t compared to an insect that carries disease). From this point on, just think of clients as bees and marketers as flowers.

This will make sense, I promise.

The role of marketers is to attract clients to do business with them. This is something that most people can agree upon. As marketers, how do we stand out from the rest? By being the brightest, biggest, and flashiest could certainly help. If we are able to create something that caters towards what the client is looking for however, something that changes based on our relationship with them, wouldn’t that be one of the most important assets?

Not Bad

The main purpose of inbound marketing is to “create content that will attract your dream customers”. The people over at Hubspot are on the forefront of creating tools that help their clients attract customers, through the use of personalized, evolving, multi-channeled content. As Dharmesh Shah said in his keynote address, inbound marketing is only part of the entire inbound experience. It is now essential that clients are impressed (and delighted) throughout the entire process, from the initial contact to the selling, to the post-sale relationship. If the customer is happy, they will spread the news about how happy they are with their relationship with your company (Like a bee spreading a flowers pollen). So long as the content being created is what the client needs, and it is being done well (it still needs to be good work), you will give them the tools to succeed in their endeavors (create honey), which will then bring people in to their business (like flies to honey?).

Okay, so the idiom might not be rewritten.

Hopefully my point is coming across though. In order to provide exceptional service, you must take what the customer needs and through that, provide personalized content that will help them succeed.

Mktg Pic

Above: Hostile Inbound Marketing?

Frankly, the picture shown above is a bit crude. For one, I’m fairly certain that the window would have much more damage than just the hole from the brick. Secondly, messages have not been delivered via brick for at least 20 years, mainly because we now have the internet. The internet has opened an entire new frontier for businesses, especially if they implement some of the services that come from Hubspot.

The first new app presented during the keynote address was called Social Inbox. Essentially, it is able to analyze social media, and when linked to the companies database, can discern who is a customer, who is a lead, and who is new to contacting the business. If, for example, a lead has a question, the potential client’s information is given, such as who their primary contact within the company is, so that the message can directly be forwarded to them. This allows for a more personal experience for the customer. It also allows for the consolidation of all of the information on the client into an easy to use interface. To me, it’s surprising that something like Social Inbox was not already out there for businesses to use. http://tinyurl.com/nx9j7k6

The next product that was shown off during the keynote was the Content Optimization System (COS). This is a really cool idea. This is a way to lay out a companies website so that it changes based on their relationship with their customers. Also, it allows for the seamless use of mobile devices, such as phones or tablets. All of the content shows up in a “mobile friendly” way. This is a fantastic innovation. This will further the personalized feel for customers. Once they become a customer, information on the company’s site will change for them, showing things that are only relevant since they are already in business together. As one review said, the COS is perfect if “You wish to both track and nurture your leads with a simple tool that’s really top notch” http://tinyurl.com/lwg9k7b

Signals was the last product shown during the conference. It might be because I am not a computer science major, but I have no idea how this works. To sum up what this program does, it sends notifications to the user when an email that was sent has been opened. It also sends notifications when links within that email have been opened. That is the part that is confusing me. Are you sending an email that says it’s from your email account, but it is really linked to a Signals account, and is sending a “Signals-Mail” message, so that there can be information being sent back to the original sender that this message has been sent? How this program works is going over my head. It seems like a fairly interesting idea, but in my opinion, not entirely necessary. As Mr. Halligan stated, it is mainly for salespeople. I suppose, it could help the salesperson in the sense that they could potentially know what the client has looked at, as far as links and documents contained within their email. The issue I could see with this is, the client could open a link, the salesperson sees that they opened said link, but the client gets distracted, and then doesn’t get to really look over that file. The salesperson assumes that they have looked it over, however, and therefore is going into a conversation thinking the client is on a different level of knowledge. To me, it seems as if there is too much room for error in that product.

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