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Zen and the Art of Inbound Marketing: 3 Truths and How to Apply Them

Posted by Suzy De Line on Jul 23, 2015 7:31:00 PM

In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the author Robert M. Pirsig's thesis is that to truly experience a fulfilling life, one must embrace the reality and requirements of the situation as it is, not as you wish it to be.


According to the author, such an approach would avoid a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction common to modern life.  

He obviously touched a deep spot as his book has sold over 5 million copies (after being rejected by a world record 121 publishers) and is considered an American Cultural icon. (Souce: Wikipedia)

In today's dizzying corporate environments, there are many truths we must face, and I've found the discipline of Inbound Marketing to be an amazingly apt guide.  (I also adhere to some truth's from Zen Master Marie Kondo, though that's a blog post from a different day...)

Unfamiliar with the philosophy and principals of Inbound?  Read on!


Truth 1: We must recognize what is past and no longer working.

Audiences can and do tune out traditional marketing. They can skip ads, choose to ignore emails and click on your social media posts by random or be offline when you've posted.  If you want them to notice you, you need to become relevant to what they need.  Can you make your marketing something they love?  Something that speaks to them in an authentic, insightful and intrinsically appealing way?

Inbound Principal:  Create content and campaigns that provide value - this will attract your ideal customer to you.  If you have, in the past, talked mostly about yourself and your products, try a new way.... read truth 2.

Truth 2:  It is your audiences' gestalts that matters.

Your audience probably doesn't care what you're up to. (Seriously, they really don't.)  They care about their lives, their goals, their problems.  It may sound very obvious, but if you're not attuned to what need you can solve for them, you are spitting into the wind.  It is not enough that your creative brief asks 'what is your target audience's beliefs about me' - do you know what your target markets' beliefs are about themselves?  The situations they find themselves in?  Do they even know they have a problem (that you could help them with?)

Inbound Principal:  Everything starts and ends with the needs of your target persona and where they are in their buyer's journey (their awareness of their needs and how best to address them.)

Truth 3:  You must have Pure Truths

Many campaigns run in a "romantic" notion - doing what feels right and hoping for the best in terms of outcomes. But if you strive for knowledge, you will want a process that speaks truth back to you. You must provide content that addresses all stages of an audience's journey, you must provide information that meets them where they are in terms of media and timing, and you must have a system that provides real-time information.

Inbound Principal: All campaigns consist of a well thought out mixture of content, and all customer interactions are tracked in real time and nurtured towards a mutually satisfying outcome.    Track everything and reflect daily and weekly.  Share with all who care.

In Conclusion

Doing our jobs as marketers is difficult when we cling to past models that worked, when we focus on ourselves, our products, our goodness, and when we don't have a clear way to see the reality of the moment.

Following the Inbound way, the quality of rationality and Zen-like "being in the moment" can harmoniously coexist; in fact this combination of rationality and romanticism can potentially bring a higher quality of marketing. You can find a host of statistics that back up this rational - for more along this vein, please view our agency's partner Hubspot's facts on the matter.

If you'd like to learn more about the specifics of how Inbound Marketing could apply to a campaign you may be envisioning, please download our free Checklist.


 Free Checklist: How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign



Topics: Intro to Inbound