You're a marketer who has leapt enthusiastically on board the inbound train and are ready to ride it out of the station. You have a fountain of ideas for content, an outline for your important buyer personas, and the dream of warm, quality leads dancing in your head like sugarplums. But before the train pulls out of the station, you're going to need something else, aren't you? You're going to need to go ahead from your boss, who's running the whole show. The good news is that whether she's a little bit old school or he's completely stuck in his ways, it is possible to convince your boss that inbound is worth the investment of the time and company resources required to get a campaign going. Here's five things that might help.
Do Your Research. For Real.
We wouldn't want to lump every boss into the same basket, but chances are no matter what your industry, your boss thrives on facts, figures, and plans. If you're going to bring change to your company, you need to have a compelling reason to do it so you should be prepared to explain just how inbound works and why it works better than traditional marketing tactics, particularly for today's savvy consumer. You want to be well armed with facts and statistics before you go broaching this topic. We recommend reviewing HubSpot's 23 Reasons Inbound Marketing Trumps Outbound Marketing for some good ideas.
That brings us to our next item. Want vs. need.
Do You Want Inbound Buy-In? Or Do You Need It?
Your company needs to explore inbound marketing. You know it. I know it. HubSpot knows it.
But your boss doesn't. He sees the traditional methods of outbound marketing as working well enough, which means he sees no reason to throw a wrench into things. As Patsy Wiggins, President and COO of The HR Group, Inc. says, "until and unless upper managements realizes something is broken, they are certainly not going to listen to anyone's ideas for changing it."
Your job is to show him that you need inbound because traditional tactics are broken. Tell him that 84% of consumers in the 25 to 34 age brackets have actually left a website because the ads displayed weren't relevant to them, and 86% of people skip television commercials. Your company may be doing their very best and utilizing top marketing talent (like you!) but those same old shouting tactics just aren't going to get the results they used to.
Appeal to Her Competitive Nature
If you're a business, you've got competitors, and your boss wants to crush them, basically without exception.
Do you think she'll be able to do it by sticking with traditional outbound marketing? Well, considering the fact that 67% of B2C companies have a acquired a customer through Facebook (an essential inbound marketing platform) and 57% of business have acquired a customer through the company blog (another critical piece of inbound marketing content) I'd say no. Even if your boss isn't so sure about the whole inbound thing, if you can find evidence that one of your competitors is using it to their advantage - or that they will be soon - you've done a key part of winning her over.
Have a Customer Service Conversation
Yes, inbound is about attracting more leads and earning more customers. But the way that a great inbound plan does that is by communicating with customers and providing them with helpful, useful content. A good boss knows that his company wouldn't be anywhere without its customers - whether those customers are soccer moms or CEOs. Show him that inbound is about taking care of customers and establishing your brand as one that cares and has a lot of relevant info to offer. Happy customers are worth the extra effort, right?
Let Her Process
I know, you are eager to rally the troops (I couldn't think of a way to extend the train metaphor from earlier, sorry) and hit the ground running, but your boss probably isn't ready just yet. It can be difficult, but try to have a little patience.
Change in the organization at any level is a process, and you should allow your boss to process the change. Take all that research you did and have it at the ready when she comes to you with questions. Pull up case studies of the successes of inbound marketing. Figure out who you would want on your team and what your first action item would be. If you really believe inbound can make a difference for your team, it will be worth the wait.