This past Thursday, I attend the 2013 kickoff event for the Boston Product Management Association (BPMA). I've been involved in product management roles in the Boston area for the past decade, but it's always useful to get exposed to new approaches and do some networking with your peers. The speaker on Thursday was Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot. Hubspot develops software and is a strong proponent of a different way to reach the market via Inbound Marketing. The traditional approach to marketing is outbound, but it tends to be expensive and is getting less return than it once did, as potential customers ignore incoming emails and cold calls, and their companies are less willing to send people to trade shows.
By contrast, inbound marketing is content driven, where companies share their expertise via approaches such as blogs, white papers and social media, and the customer self selects their areas of interest. Volpe noted that this approach is much less costly than the outbound approach and is more likely to offer access to the younger members of the target market. As an example of the challenge marketers face, he showed pictures of Jack Welch, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg and asked all of us to imagine how we would reach people of those different generations and radically different working styles.
I fell in love with social media a number of years ago, starting on the personal side in pursuing my hobbies -- such as writing -- and then later applying similar approaches in business. So I'm a receptive audience to the message that creating high quality content and sharing it is a viable marketing strategy in itself. As part of our admission fee, we got a copy of the book Inbound Marketing by the co-founders of HubSpot, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. I look forward to reading the book and putting their ideas to work.
My usual audience for this blog is writers and the lessons of inbound marketing are also playing out in the publication industry as writers are being strongly encouraged to build a social media platform and connect directly with potential readers. Check out the HubSpot website for a number of articles on lessons that this company has learned as they've executed on these concepts.
Do you apply social media and inbound marketing in the work you do? Do you attend conferences to network with your peers and learn about the latest techniques in your industry? If you are a writer, do you invest much of your time in social media?