We know our readers come from many different places in their professional journeys. Some are marketing or journalism students, trying to figure out their first career steps and concerned that they'll mis-read the changing dynamics in our industry. Others are marketing professionals on the client side, working to make sense of a marketing world that's changing so fast it feels like you can't ever be completely current or confident in your recommendations. Still others are our professional peers on the agency side, struggling to identify new value propositions that will attract and grow loyalty with a new legion of clients.
As a HubSpot partner agency we're just over 2 years into what's been an exciting transformational experience for our team. We've gone from being a traditional small full service advertising agency that included social media and web design capabilities, to a full service Inbound Marketing agency focused on content marketing, website development, SEO, and complete utilization of social media as a distribution and promotion platform. In the process we've changed how we promote ourselves, and more importantly changed what we're able to do for clients to grow their businesses.
In the process we've also attracted some attention from HubSpot, most recently as one of 6 subjects in their latest e-book (above right) about agencies who have transformed their businesses around Inbound Marketing. While all of the subject firms came at it from different places, with different motivations and requirements, and took different steps to get where we each are today, we have far more in common than we have different.
First, each of us realized that traditional marketing was quickly becoming obsolete because of a shift in control from sellers to buyers. Buyer (consumer) behavior was changing rapidly because of the exploding influence of search and social media, and the way businesses marketed themselves needed to reflect that buyer behavior evolution.
Second, we all had epiphany moments when we saw that online technology was converging in a way that made new, better approaches possible. New tools were emerging, cost was plummeting, innovation was exploding.
Finally, we all discovered HubSpot, or had it thrust on us by someone who felt our pain. Some got there sooner than others, but we've all felt the significance of the platform and mindset that allows us to re-invent our businesses to re-position for the world of today and tomorrow with a promise that is relevant, compelling, and quantifiable.
Our Message to Others
The message in this book to other agencies is simple: heed the examples offered and consider how you could re-invent your business with an Inbound-centric value proposition. And even though client businesses may not feel their business models turned upside down by changes in buyer behavior, there's no doubt they're experiencing a drop-off in traditional marketing effectiveness. I often ask client companies to consider 2 competing possibilities: being first in their industry to do Inbound Marketing well, or being the last one in. I can tell by their expressions that the implications are obvious about which camp they want to be in.
Are you ready to be transformed? It doesn't matter if you're a student of marketing or a professional earning a living on either side of the desk, the process to start your transformation can be as easy as accepting what's happening and committing to some initial steps. Start by learning what Inbound Marketing means at 40,000 feet. Download our Step-by-Step Guide to Inbound Marketing for a logical first step. And by all means read the HubSpot eBook to be inspired by our stories.
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, Greg has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. He leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.