How The Inbound Marketing Philosophy Moved Marketing Away from the Dark Side

inbound philosophy

The Inbound Marketing Philosophy has grown along with the internet equipped, educated buyer of today.


Inbound marketing is a philosophy based on the truth that consumers buy differently today than they did 10 years ago. The internet has changed for ever the way people buy products and services, but without Inbound, all marketing has done has switched mediums from offline to digital. The nature of the tactics remains the same; interrupt people as they go about their day.

The trouble is, no one wants interupting, and it’s getting easier to avoid, and zone out marketing as time goes on. Traditional marketers whether offline or digital get louder and louder, but the tactics work less and less.


  • Buyer: Relatively uninformed.
  • Buyers Journey: Linear and predictable.
  • Marketing Playbook: Interrupt the buyer as they go about their daily lives, (cold calls and advertising).


  • Buyer: Well informed.
  • Buyers Journey: Fluid and random. Starts with Google.
  • Marketing Playbook: Thought leadership through content creation. Leading, educating and enlightening.

There are three major reasons why consumers are sceptical about brands, and why interuptive advertising and cold calling aren’t nearly as effective as they once were …

Why interruption doesn’t work: reason one.

The Proliferation of Media: The media landscape has become insanely cluttered. There’s a magazine, TV channel, radio station, and a million websites for every conceivable interest.The media landscape grew to include more channels over time, and each channel eventually became its own advertising medium.

Not only has the media landscape grown by type; each type has grown exponentially by volume.

  • In 1920, there was 1 radio station. In 2011, there were 14,700.
  • In 1946, America had 12 broadcasting TV stations. In 2011, there were over 1,700.
  • In 1998 (over 15 years ago!), the average consumer saw or heard 1 million marketing messages – almost 3,000 per day.
  • In 2014, there are 1,500 stories competing to show up in your personal Facebook News Feed at any given moment.

Advertising was proliferating faster than laws were implemented to regulate it, which leads us to …

Why interruption doesn’t work: reason two.

A History of Deceptive Advertising: Consumers are accustomed to false claims and deceit in advertising, so even when clever ads are seen by consumers, they’re thought to be dishonest.

According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they’ll actually believe them!

Interruption. False claims. Over-promising. Under-delivering.Increased regulation.Brand ego-centrism. Exploitation and not forgetting, Lawsuits.

Why interruption doesn’t work: reason three.

Technology Empowered the Consumer: Consumers gained access to tools and information that enabled them to dodge interruptive brand messages and instead seek out information when they’re ready.

VCRs. Caller ID. DVRs. The Do Not Call list. Spam software. Broadband internet. Smartphones. Social media.

That’s why permission became more effective than interruption.

By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you can earn permission to market to prospects that you can convert into leads, close into customers, and delight to the point they come promoters of your brand.

Inbound marketing in summary

Building trust, not scepticism among your prospects. Being loved, not ignored by your customers. Outsmarting, not outspending your competitors.

The Inbound Methodology is seen here, visualised as a graphic.

Full Steam Inbound Methodology

 Check out this post to read more about the Inbound Methodology. For a brief introduction see –

What is Inbound marketing?



 Check out this ebook to help get your Inbound Marketing Campaign off to a flying start.








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