Inbound Marketing Won’t Work for Your Business If…

Chris Hawkins

Written by Chris Hawkins on Fri, Oct 30, 2015

Inbound Marketing Won't Work for Your Business IfBefore jumping into inbound marketing, there are a few things you should know. First, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Second, if you find yourself in any of these scenarios, there’s a good chance that inbound success will elude you.  

You Don’t Have Full Buy-In from the Top

One of the most strategic ways you can derail your inbound marketing plan is to leave your CEO/owner out of the conversation. The top is probably not where you’ll start, but it’s where you’ll need to get your plan stamped with lots of exclamation points and clarity.

Getting buy-in from the top doesn’t just mean getting a signature or an “OK, run with it.” It’s getting all the time you need to show your leader the what, why, how and when—and how it fits with the company’s strategic, long-term objectives. Get them excited and set realistic expectations.

The last thing you want is for your CEO to say, “It’s been 2 months already, why aren’t we seeing the leads pour in?!” If this happens, either expectations weren’t set properly or he has a short memory. Either way, you don’t want the plug pulled prematurely.

This Is Your Company’s Last Resort

A company who approaches inbound as their Hail Mary is playing a game they can’t win. Inbound marketing is not a magic pill or special brownie. It won’t suddenly make your product the new Jan Brady, nor will it sell your $33K solution for you.

If your company has been caught in the doldrums for a year or two, that’s one thing. But if you’ve been going backwards for years, your problems are likely greater than any inbound program can solve.

However, like a drug commercial with a couple in two separate bathtubs, there is a bit of fine print for a range of scenarios. If you’re not sure about your business’ condition, you can always seek help with a professional evaluation.

You Stick all Your Eggs in One Basket

Close cousin to the “last resort” is putting all of your eggs in one basket. Inbound marketing is one way to help your company reach its goals, but it shouldn’t be the only way. Referrals, outbound calling, PPC, in-person appointments can all be effective tactics. Evaluate and continue to do what has been working. Here’s an example:

Say your company has a schedule of tradeshows they attend each year. Evaluate which ones bring the lowest cost per lead. If it’s a one-day show, you may fly in and out the same day, picking up 3-4 good leads. In that case, your cost per lead will probably be fairly low, not to mention the valuable face-time you get.

Additionally, inbound can easily take 6-12 months before yielding significant results so keeping up other productive marketing activities is a necessity. Once you start to see a steady pattern of growth, you may be able to reduce your PPC spend or scale back those tradeshows.

You Do It Halfway

Investing in HubSpot, writing a blog each month, and sporadically sending out a newsletter is not a recipe for inbound success. Can this concoction get results? Possibly (depending on how you define success), but why invest any time at all on something unless you’re after only a high probability of meaningful success. Play the odds.

The odds for success are on those companies who invest the right resources to do inbound all the way. You can read more about these successes in the State of Inbound 2015 Wrap-Up.

Here are some other signs you may be doing inbound halfway:

  • No buyer personas or saying “we have a pretty good idea of what these look like.”
  • The site has never been audited for inbound.
  • No SEO strategy.
  • Few or no lead gen opps (e.g. e-books).
  • No lead nurturing.
  • No social media strategy and sporadic activity.

If none of this describes you, you can conquer inbound, and we'd love to give you a helping hand.

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