The Basics of Inbound Marketing

By Scott Anderson Miller

Inbound marketing is both a science and an art. Inbound marketing involves the science of measuring connections and making data-driven decisions, and the art of dissecting, analyzing, applying, and testing initiatives that connect in a meaningful way. Specifically, inbound marketing measures:

  • Connections between companies and customers

  • Connections between sales and marketing

  • Connections between marketing investments and meaningful, measured financial results defined in terms of return-on-investment (ROI)

Inbound marketing causes actions and reactions. At its most basic level, inbound marketing consists of:

  • Attracting visitors to your website

  • Nurturing those visitors, on their terms, within a structurally planned dynamic environment (your website) that facilitates action

  • Converting those visitors into leads and, in turn, leads into customers through mutual exchange of valuable data (content for customer data) via a systematic process

  • Reconverting prior customers into loyal, lifelong customers

Some other assumptions under the inbound marketing philosophy:

  • Consumers engage with companies on their own terms and on their personal timeline.

  • Information empowers consumers to make smarter shopping and purchase decisions.

  • Online authenticity is rewarded with high customer satisfaction and positive online consumer reviews.

  • Openly sharing information and content creates trust.

  • Content connects products with people, the marketing department with the sales department, and marketing initiatives with measurable business results.

  • Data-driven decisions increase the odds of success.

  • Measuring what matters improves performance.

  • Customers’ needs dictate product features and service offerings.

  • Marketing automation facilitates efficient business practices.

  • Relationships between brands and consumers are possible in the digital world.