Many of you are probably in some sort of marketing role at your job, which is why you're taking the time to read this article. In many cases you may be the go to marketing person, but still not be the ultimate decision maker. This can be a frustrating situation, because you realize the importance of good design, fresh/unique/valuable content, social media, email marketing, etc., but it's an uphill battle of actually convincing the decision maker to move forward with these things. You may have even gotten them to the point where they realize 'we need a new website'. OK, that's a start...but these days, it's not enough. A new website without traffic, conversions, leads, and sales is only better than your old website in regards to how it looks and (maybe) functions, it doesn't really improve your business. This is where you must focus your efforts to convince your boss that you need inbound marketing, IMPROVING YOUR BUSINESS. That means revenue and profitability.
Convince Your Boss That Inbound Marketing = Revenue and Profitability
The absolute first thing you must do, even before explaining what inbound marketing is, is to get them to think like the buyer. Start asking them simple questions about how they make a buying decision, not for the business, but as a consumer. Start with simple things like a pair of sneakers. Get that person to understand (without just telling them, through asking questions) that 5-10 years ago you would have gone to a shoe store, explained to the sales person what you needed the shoes for, explained what was important to you about a shoe, colors, etc. Finally the salesperson would have walked you over to their recommendation. They're probably recommending that shoe because others have bought it and liked it and overall they are familiar with the brand and type of shoe.
How often does that happen now?
Nowadays a consumer researches the shoes online, reads reviews, educates themselves about the shoe and then either purchases online or goes to the shoe store to try it on. They are 90% of the way to the buying decision before even stepping inside the store.
Now Move on to a Bigger Decision
Ask them how they would go about going on vacation to someplace new. Get them to tell you that their first step probably wouldn't be to call a travel agent and ask them where they'd recommend they stay for a week. The first step would likely be go to Google and research on their own. Again, they will be 90% to a purchasing decision before contacting anyone else.
Now Even Bigger...
A car. Again, get them to tell you how they would go about making the buying decision. The first step won't be walking onto the lot to be harassed by a salesperson. After they explain to you their process, ask them if they enjoy that purchasing process more than being stalked by a car salesperson for 3 months. I think you know what they'll say.
Now Drop the Bombshell
Ask them why your business continues to market the old fashioned way, yet buyers are making buying decisions through different means. They are educating themselves first, regardless of how small or how big that buying decision might be. The role of inbound marketing is for your business to be the source of that education. You are helping people at every stage if there buying process and you'll be there for the buying decision. This works for purchases that happen quickly or ones that might take months or years to finalize. If implemented correctly, you should generate more revenue from your leads and lead nurturing and more profitability because you better utilize sales people and marketing dollars. If that doesn't convince them that they should seriously consider an inbound marketing strategy,
I don't know what will continue to educate them until they can't say no!