Mo Books, Mo Products: An Alternative View on Inbound Marketing
So here’s an alternative view on inbound marketing, knitted together by my own views and the many conversations I’ve seen, heard or been involved with in the SEO industry. I hope everyone doesn’t take it too seriously, particularly those involved in the graphic. If you’d like to comment, I’d appreciate it if you took the time to read the author’s note at the bottom.
Slides 13-14, Everything’s Better With Fans, Rand Fishkin. Search Love 2011
Available to purchase at the Distilled Store.
Image available at http://minus.com/mxZ5HpLwm/1f
See also: http://yfrog.com/g0slip. A long post on SEO rebranding is available at: The Brand of SEO and the Trend of Inbound Marketing. I actually think SEO has an image problem, and Rand does a great job explaining that, but that’s neither here nor there as to whether we need to replace the term.
Author’s Note: I hope people can see that this is just a bit of fun; I have a lot of respect for Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah, Rand Fishkin and Seth Godin. Perhaps the first and last parts of the graphic seem cynical, and trivializes the thought put into the concept – I doubt Dharmesh and Brian ever did literally think like that – but I do want to entertain people as well as inform.
I was mainly considering new ways of presenting content, and was particularly drawn to the comics at The Oatmeal. But I didn’t really have a topic to do it justice, until I thought of my earlier post around rejecting Inbound Marketing. Here was a topic I’ve read a lot about and I new a range of points of view. Most of all, I thought I’d be able to do it in a humorous way. I was also slightly amazed by the reaction to infographics such as Hubspot’s History of Marketing, which is really rather biased. I like design, and haven’t done a graphic on this scale before, but thought I could do it justice.
I have read all the books mentioned in the post and watched many of Rand’s presentations (which while I don’t think are always correct, I have always found inspiring). I think inbound marketing is a useful book, but I’m not sure it’s a useful addition to the marketing lexicon. The big issue is explained in the graphic – it’s divisive, and its adoption will create a divide. I’ve had a few defensive reactions to earlier posts from Hub Spotters… (unfortunately in some cases it was patently obvious they didn’t read or understand the message of the post before leaving comments – just see this Google+ thread) but what they seem to want to do is talk about the apparent ‘proof’ that ‘inbound is clearly the better buy and its kicking the crap out of Outbound..’ I think this is a misinformed point of view.
I’m also very keen for people not just to believe whatever thought leaders say – while they are often convincing, there are always other ways of looking at it. Steve Harrison’s book is particularly interesting in this context.
Finally, I’ll also say that I’ve been working in SEO, social media and online content since my career started. These are entirely ‘inbound’ disciplines. I like it. But just because I like it doesn’t mean it’s better than something else. We have an obsession in the web to throw out the old and bring in the new. Like with all marketing, this way of thinking doesn’t add up to common sense.