Inbound Marketing is a methodology that is unapologetically customer-centric. The approach favors relationship-building over cold calling; publishing the right content in the right place at the right time instead of pitching; and, perhaps most importantly, making marketing relevant and helpful to customers instead of interruptive.
To say inbound marketing is a far cry from the “always be closing” philosophy of yesteryear is an understatement. It’s an entirely new way of thinking – which can leave some feeling a bit unsettled. Why? Overlaying a new mindset on old thinking doesn’t work. Some corporate culture shock may be in order.
Yes, your corporate culture may have to fundamentally change to support inbound. It can be a little scary, but it can also be done. At Weidert Group, we learned a few things about culture shifting on our journey to embracing Inbound Marketing that may also help you if and when you choose to make the transition.
Walk the Talk
Have a look at your current company best practices, training materials and onboarding procedures. These standards are the core of your value system and, not surprisingly, will most likely need some realignment to reflect inbound Marketing.
The thought is daunting, and we’re not dismissing the fact that a substantial amount of work is involved. But, evolving your company core is an investment in your new Inbound Marketing culture. It sets expectations for existing employees and sends a message to new hires that they’re part of an organization that weaves Inbound Marketing into everything it does, regardless of job title or C-level.
Unroll the Roles
With Inbound Marketing, delighting the customer is everyone’s job. There are no “org chart” silos wherein certain people or departments are solely responsible for specific tasks, like “social media is Marketing’s job” or “Phil in Sales should nurture those leads.”
That’s old thinking. While it’s human nature to want to complete tasks, Inbound Marketing challenges the notion that the “I only do this ” mentality is productive. In fact, it’s confining and can breed resentment. Be brave! When your team focuses on the customer instead of job titles, growth follows.
Even with all of the good things Inbound Marketing brings, change is scary. Resistance will ensue. Instead of working around employees who cling to a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, acknowledge their fears and diffuse them with education and enthusiasm.
Fully explain the Inbound Marketing philosophy and concepts, and demonstrate the importance of content production and relationship building for Inbound Marketing success. Detail how the whole team contributes to moving the strategy forward.
Having authentic discussions about the positive impact Inbound Marketing has on your company and individual employee roles will bolster team buy-in. Sharing your knowledge, vision and passion will dispel any misperceptions that Inbound Marketing is motivational rhetoric and allay the fears of the change-averse.