Inbound marketing has come a long way since early thought leaders like Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shaw began touting it as the way to fix interruption or outbound-based marketing last decade. Since then, social media has gained mass acceptance and media in general is increasingly being delivered by non-traditional means like computers, tablets and smart phones.
More and more traditional forms of media and their delivery counterparts are competing for the attention of consumers in a social, mobile and online world – and losing. This is due to a recent fundamental shift in consumer behavior. Technological advancements, Internet accessibility and consumer protections have given people the ability to opt-out of phone calls, decline or throw away phone books, fast forward commercials and generally obfuscate or avoid brazen interruption-based advertising.
Enterprise brands to mom and pop boutique shops are shifting their marketing budgets to reflect this new reality. As a result, some traditional outbound marketers, marketing departments and agencies that aren’t pivoting fast enough are experiencing poor campaign results, layoffs, declines in profit and, in some cases, looming bankruptcy.
Why the Golden Age?
The Greek poet Hesiod identified The Golden Age as the time man lived among the gods and mingled freely with them. Harmony and peace were used to describe this time and people did not have to work to feed themselves because of the abundance of food the earth provided.
Today brands and people mingle freely with each other on social networks, the blogosphere and online communities. These interactions are generally free of the brazen, interruption-based sales messages of traditional bottom of the funnel marketing. For the consumer this must represent a new-found peace and harmony.
The Internet also provides consumers the ability to find solutions to their problems quickly because of the abundance of information it offers. Answers to their questions are just a Google search away.
As more and more consumers experience the interruption-free peace and harmony delivered by inbound marketing they are likely to have an increasingly negative attitude towards traditional forms of outbound marketing. A revolt and backlash has already begun and its tipping point is near.
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