The #1 Inbound Marketing Mistake

I just read an article about 50 inbound marketing services that your agency should offer. Normally, I’d link to the article, but I’m not because it’s a bad article. It’s mythical and I’m not gonna be a party to it.

I have a friend and former colleague that used to say, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
When I was much younger, my father saw me hit a nail with a pair of pliers. He asked, “What are you? An electrician?”
I, like some of you, have a tool box. I’ve got a set of sockets and ratchets, a variety of screwdrivers and wrenches, a few files, saws, hammers, etc. and I know how to use them. Occasionally, I do it myself, but more often than not, I hire somebody to do it for me. Why? Two reasons….
  1. I may not have the right tool, so I’d either have to make do with what I do have or go out and buy the right tool.
  2. The person that I hire will have the tool, know how to use it and probably do a better job than I would have.
So, back to the inbound marketing article. The article talked about relevant content, editorial calendar, social media sites, optimization, tags, links and more. No where in the article did the author suggest that sales should be involved other than reporting their activity and results.
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! (Is my frustration showing.) This isn’t part of the problem. This IS the problem. Inbound marketing generates a different kind of lead. Downloading your white paper, attending a webinar or completing your form does not mean that a person is ready to be pitched, much less buy and many that have tried inbound marketing have given up or are struggling. Don’t believe me? Sign up for this survey of salespeople and social media.
Bottom line is that if your salespeople can’t sell to inbound leads or if your marketing is attracting leads that can’t be sold, it’s the same result. No sales. No ROI. Waste of time.
I suggest that BEFORE you start an inbound marketing program, you do a professional evaluation of your salespeople, your sales process, as well as you marketing people and marketing processes to determine whether they are capable of executing the strategies of your company.
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