Smell is a time machine.
After flying into my hometown of Seattle late at night, I woke up in the morning and smelled the Springtime air. The scent of Rhododendrons and Callery Pear trees takes me instantly back to high school. I am suddenly an awkward half-man wanting desperately to connect with pretty girls. And failing at every turn.
Human connection is what we all want. To be seen. To be heard. To feel truly known by someone else. I am easily charmed by all the myriad ways that we try and fail to connect with one another.
The same quirks and interests that repel some people will be the reasons that someone else falls in love with you.
So the question is: How do we meet more of those people?
Your business is like a person in this way. You desire to connect with people. But mostly you desire to connect with the people who need your service.
Your AdWords campaigns, your Facebook promotions, your radio ads and TV spots are all aimed roughly at the right people. But not really. Outbound marketing fundamentally tends to be more of a carpet bomb than an olive branch.
The ideal type of prospective client who needs your service is not waiting around for someone to bonk them over the head with a solution. They are engaged, they want to talk with an expert. They are proactively trying to educate themselves on the best solution, the players in the field, the pitfalls, the benefits, the ease of onboarding, and the ways that they can sell a solution to their boss or their board.
In the past, only the largest businesses could access an audience sample size large enough to find the active and engaged prospects. You needed full market awareness before you would think about investing in that pool of inside sales team members eagerly waiting with their hands on the phone. But the search engines have changed everything (take a look at this history of search engines back to Archie of 1990). Sharing your expertise digitally (with good strategy) means that every business of every size can connect.
In order to connect you have to be present exactly when (all the time) and where (Google) they want you to be. This is why committing to your inbound channel should not be thought of as marketing, it should be thought of as an offering. If you give away enough wisdom, the content you create will be found by the right people. The best wisdom will inform them and arm them with the ammunition needed to do two things:
1. Decide which product, service, or path is right for them (your offering may not be best for them… and that’s ok).
2. IF your offering is the best for their situation, they can use your wisdom to advocate internally for you as the vendor of choice.
This is what I hope marketers mean when they say that the future of marketing is Human 2 Human and not just B2B or B2C. Inbound marketing should be truthful and direct. Luckily, the pool of people you have access to (by virtue of the power of the modern search engine) is so large, that you no longer have to “hard sell.” Instead, just focus on being the expert in your field. When you share your knowledge you will attract the people for whom your service is the solution they need.
Participating in that future means that you need to start sharing your wisdom in the digital space and this is synonymous with optimizing your inbound channel. The content you create will appreciate in value over time, just like having an excellent reputation in your local community. And if you really know your stuff and know how to share it well, it will be appreciated by the companies seeking to connect with someone like you.
If human connection comes first the amazing byproduct will be a healthy business.
If you found any of our thoughts and opinions in this post to be particularly perplexing or particularly interesting please do not hesitate to reach out. We are shameless marketing nerds and we like to help companies solve marketing problems. (We can also probably recommend the best coffee spot or explain any strange behavior your cat is displaying.)