After working at HubSpot for almost three years, I have talked with thousands of people about the concept of inbound marketing -- how to drive more qualified buyers to their website ( get found ), convert them into sales leads and then to customers ( convert ) and then measure and optimize the website to repeat and beat their competition.
In an average day, our sales organization will talk with dozens of people and sign up between 10 and 20 customers.
The industry has come a long way. In the early days, people would squinch up their noses and say "What is inbound marketing?" In August of 2009, people say, "I need help with inbound marketing. Tell me how the HubSpot product works to do that?"
That makes our sales job a lot easier.
After we explain the HubSpot inbound marketing system, nearly everyone is super excited. We are gratified that inbound marketing appears to have universal appeal. No one ever says "This is a stupid idea. We have no interest in turning our website into a giant magnet to attract more qualified buyers and leads."
But some of our prospects do say "This is great. We love HubSpot and we are going to start in October." This is disconcerting to me. It means they don't really get it.
Here are five reasons these companies -- and your company -- can't wait until October:
1. You want to drive leads in the short term and the long term. Realistically, it takes some time to ramp up, drive qualified buyers and then harvest leads. If you start this week, you are going to need a 30-90 day ramp to get results.
It can work more quickly if you put in more work up front, but if you start the last week in August, your lead stream is going to start in earnest sometime in November.
If you have a 90-day sales cycle, that means that if you wait a week, you are essentially missing out on 2009.
2. Inbound Marketing is a zero-sum game. In traditional marketing, if you wait two months to do a mass mailing, it has no specific impact to you or your prospect. With inbound marketing, if you wait two months, you give your competition (who may be ahead of you today) 60 more days to optimize their site so it will be more difficult and potentially more expensive to get higher rankings.
3. Inbound Marketing is growing like crazy. Lots of people are waking up to the fact that utilizing 21st century web techniques, you can drive more leads.
It moves like a bullet train out of Tokyo. Waiting 60 days means you are competing with 100,000 more blogs and 500,000 more blog articles. Waiting a few months means you compete with more people.
4. Your customers are back from vacation next week and they are ready to buy. They need the information now, not when you are ready to publish it
5. Social media is moving like a fast dog after a meat truck. Only 1% of companies in North America are using social media for driving leads. Start today and get first mover advantage. Start in October and you run the risk of being the fourth company in your industry to try to compete for the same eyeballs.
You can always find an excuse for delaying the start but remember that you ignore inbound marketing at your own peril. The floodgates are opening and the process is going mainstream.
There's a reason they call it Internet time!
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