For the uninitiated, the inbound marketing methodology can require a bit of an attitude and perspective change...especially on part of a company's leadership.
Inbound represents a shift from the old ways of shameless promotion and brand-dominated messaging to a more educational and nurturing set of strategies (Tweet this) -- ultimately impacting a company's culture.
And, just like any other cultural changes throughout history, there are always those who dig in their heels and refuse to make a change for the better. This is often due to fear, complacency or even ego.
Regardless of the cause, one thing remains certain: you cannot separate a company's culture from the performance of their inbound marketing efforts.
How a Conservative Culture Kills Inbound Marketing Performance
There are three ways that a conservative company culture can stifle the success or even adoption of inbound marketing...
- It extinguishes the potential for a progressive and agile approach to marketing -- an absolute necessity in the fast-paced, buyer-centric world of digital marketing.
- It restricts the budgets needed for content, technology implementation, design, etc.
- It suffocates any positive vibes or enthusiasm among marketing and sales staff.
The most experienced companies and agencies in the world will tell you that company-wide adoption of the inbound methodology (from the top down) is an absolute prerequisite for marketing performance.
Recognizing Signs of a Conservative Company Culture
A conservative culture is not always easy to spot. This is especially true for those employees who've been a part of the organization for some time, thus lacking an outsiders perspective and objectivity.
One of the easiest ways for anyone to spot a conservative culture is by listening to what others (especially leadership) say around the office. Here are some easy ones to spot...
- "That's just the way we've always done it."
- "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
- "You do what you want, but I'm sticking to [insert outdated activity here]."
You can also identify a conservative culture by taking a look at the company's methods for lead generation. Is it still heavily centered around offline activities like cold calling, networking and referrals? While these more traditional methods still represent a viable means for business growth, relying on them exclusively without a digital strategy will inevitably stifle future growth, let alone inbound marketing performance.
Achieving Sustainable Growth with an Inbound Culture
Inbound marketing, with it's heavy reliance on persona-centric content, has an incredibly positive impact on common key performance indicators (KPIs) like customer acquisition cost. In fact, inbound has the capacity to deliver the lowest cost-per-lead out of any form of marketing, period. But why?
When companies seek to empower and engage their buyers where they live online, a digital relationship develops. A relationship in which buyers place an increasing amount of trust in that company because they are being nurtured, not interrupted. Nurturing is a fundamental facet of our most positive human emotions and makes for one hell of a progressive inbound culture. It also reduces the need to spend money on expensive outbound marketing tactics, lowering the costs associated with gaining new leads and customers.
So focus on this nurturing, both among employees and customers alike, and it will become the lifeblood of your company's growth and inbound marketing performance for years to come.