patton-quoteWe all know famous inbound marketers, from David Meerman Scott to Seth Godin to Guy Kawasaki to our very own Mike Volpe.

But what you may not know is that Coco Chanel, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Didion, and Michael Jackson all have indispensable advice to inform your inbound marketing strategies and tactics.

We thought it'd be fun to outline what the most unlikely experts -- folks like Coco and Bruce and Joan -- can teach us about marketing. Their quotes have helped inspire, engage, and revitalize our inbound marketing from time to time, and there's no time like the present for a little pick-me-up.

Take a look at the quotes in the SlideShare below, and keep reading to see what some of these pearls of wisdom can teach us about being better inbound marketers.

A Few of My Favorites, and Why ... 

People are inspired in different ways, but these were a few of my favorite quotes from the collection, and how I think about them in the context of inbound marketing.

1) “Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14 per cent of people know that." - Homer Simpson

Data serves an invaluable role in marketing and sales, and plays an increasingly important role in how people consume information on a daily basis. Fact and figures can be used to generate leads, to increase your conversion rates, and to create urgency in a sale. Statistics help contextualize trends, and make your prospects and leads more comfortable to drive purchase intent.

However, every single industry and line of business leverages statistics to try to sell their business (even people like Homer -- d’oh!). So inbound marketers need to make data a competitive advantage. Here are three specific things you can learn from Homer’s insight:

  1. Ensure that your data hierarchy matches your customers’ needs. There is no shortage of data available, so make sure you prioritize the data that moves the needle most for your prospects, leads, and customers, and helps solve their problems in a meaningful way. Put your customers at the center of your data publication strategy; if the facts, figures, and reports you publish don’t help them do their jobs more easily or make the case for your product, move on.
  2. Paint a picture with your data (literally). Anyone can read data reports in Excel, but it’s certainly not going to drive action or inspiration -- so how you present your data is as important as what you present. Consider infographics, pie charts, video representations of your data, and other mediums to bring data to life and show people why your facts and figures matter. Creative presentations break through the clutter. (Bonus: Need some inspiration? Check out what one office did to represent their snack preferences or this periodic table of potential visuals.)
  3. Source and qualify appropriately. Homer’s quote perfectly illustrates one of the pitfalls of data: it’s everywhere. When using data in your marketing, ensure that you have high quality sources that you can verify and link back to. If you’re doing primary research to publish on your own, make it as easy as possible for people to find your data and cite you -- we tried to take our own medicine on this one with the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report.

2) “If you’re not failing now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative.” - Woody Allen

Each and every one of us has been in a marketing rut; it happens to the best of us. Woody Allen’s quote is a nice reminder for filmmakers and marketers alike to push the envelope with greater frequency, and variety. Failing on occasion doesn’t mean that you’re a terrible marketer; it means you’re brave enough to try things that other people aren’t.

Not sure if you’re in a marketing rut? Ask yourself the questions below:

  1. Quickly scan your Facebook and Twitter pages. Have all the posts been similar recently? If so, commit to doing something totally different for a week -- change up the visuals, change up the message, find a co-marketing partner to mix it up, or set an extremely aggressive social media goal for a short campaign. Each of these tactics can help you take more risks and bring new ideas to the table that'll result in more engaged, and brand new, fans and followers.
  2. Conduct a one week blog experiment. Spend one week in which you force your team to blog outside the box. No long-form posts, perhaps -- only visuals. Or start throwing in 1:1 interviews, short expert guest posts, or SlideShares.
  3. A/B test to your advantage. Start using A/B testing in email to try out a new email format, copy, or call-to-action. If you don’t have HubSpot’s awesome middle-of-the-funnel tools, try a small email send to a small group of your customers and get their feedback before sending it to a broader group. Emails don’t have to be boring and static -- mix it up and measure your success!

3) “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” - Dr. Seuss

It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by long days of to-do lists and busy calendars, but at the heart of your marketing efforts are some really wonderful people who love your product or service, and care about your success. In all the chaos of our marketing efforts, it’s very easy to forget the human beings on the receiving ends of our emails, tweets, and campaigns -- and we do so at our peril.

This week, make it a priority to take an hour to talk to your customers. Don’t interview them or pepper them with questions; instead, focus on understanding what their day is like, what challenges they face, and some ideas and messages they’ve seen from others that they really like. Making the human beings on the other side of your marketing messages feel that you understand and care about their needs and interests can be incredibly humbling, and help inform your marketing efforts for months to come. It’s definitely time well spent.

Regardless of whether you’re a Barbra Streisand fan, a Coco Chanel devotee, or a lover of all things Martha Stewart, I hope the quotes have helped motivate, inspire, and inform your marketing efforts -- even in the worst of marketing ruts. Plus, it’s always nice to know you’re in good company as an inbound marketer. And being in the company of Bruce Springsteen and Jerry Garcia is good enough for me.

What are your favorite inbound marketing quotes that aren't from inbound marketers -- or even about our discipline? Share some inspiration with us!

marketing data charts

Originally published Aug 2, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Inbound Marketing