Video Transcript

00:10 Brian Halligan: How's everybody doing? Everyone fired up? Alright. I'm gonna talk about my favorite topic today, a new type of marketing that I call "Inbound marketing". And to tell the story of inbound marketing, I'd like to start by telling a story about my dad. That's my dad there, Bob Halligan, dear old Bob. And I want to talk a little bit about the way dad kind of shopped and learned and lived.

00:33 Halligan: So, my dad was an executive at GE. And I think about the way he lived his life and the tools he used. He got a lot of mail, right? He read a lot of mail, he wrote a lot of letters. He watched a fair amount of television. We had seven, eight stations around Boston where we grew up. He got two newspapers, read the newspaper a lot, in the morning and the afternoon. And he talked on the phone a lot. He had a lot of phone conversations. And that's how sort of he lived his life and the tools he used, and how he shopped and learned. And if kinda compare and contrast the way my dad sort of lived and shopped and learned, with the way kind of all of you do it and the way I do it, it's radically different. I live in Twitter, in Gmail, on my iPhone. I live in Facebook and LinkedIn. There's this radical transformation in the way humans kind of shop and learn. There's this tear in the fabric of work in the society. And I think that's a fascinating change that's going on. And that's the first observation that led me to this idea of inbound marketing. It's this big, big shift in the way humans shop and learn. Okay.

01:32 Halligan: The second observation I had is that marketers today, maybe many of you, there is a tried and true marketing playbook. We've all grown up with this marketing playbook. It includes things like mailing stuff to people, emailing to people, cold calling them, advertising to them, there's this standard playbook. And that playbook that we're all still using today works really well to capture the attention of my dad, but it's fundamentally broken when it comes to attracting the attention of all of us. In my mind, the marketing playbook, it's just broken, it's busted. It's getting more broken everyday. And what's happening is all of us were sick and tired of being marketed to, [chuckle] and we're getting really good at blocking marketing out. So, let me give you a couple of kind of modern examples of that.

02:21 Halligan: Let's take email marketing. Who in the room does email marketing? Okay. A lot of people do email marketing. Email marketing worked incredibly well 10 years ago when my dad first started using email. But the first sort of problem with email marketing is there's something called "Spam protection" now, it's getting harder and harder to get through with email marketing. The second problem that's just starting today, is that tools like Gmail have something called Priority Inbox. And Priority Inbox is a really clever way to prioritize your emails. It makes it very, very hard to get through to people.

02:51 Halligan: Pop-up ads on the web. Ten years ago, my dad would be browsing the web, the pop-up ad would come up, then a pop-up blocker or stopper would come along, and that became really tricky. Now there's a new technology out that makes it even harder to advertise on the web. It's the ad-blocker software that blocks all the ads out in the side of the web. Think about cold calling. Ten years ago, if you cold called my old man at his office, he'd probably pick-up the phone. The first nail on the coffin for cold calling was caller ID. The second nail on the coffin is that young people today hate using the phone. My least favorite application on my iPhone is the green thing with the phone on it. It's a really irritating app, actually.

03:31 Halligan: So, first observation, humans are really changing the way they shop and learn. Second observation, is all of us are really getting good at blocking marketing out and getting increasingly sophisticated at doing it over time. And so, my thesis in what drives me in my life these days is what I want marketers to do is transform the way they market to match the way humans actually shop and learn today. Instead of interrupting people with cold calls and email blasts and advertisements, how do you pull them in from Google, blog, social media sites? How do you turn marketing on its head and turn your business into a magnet? And that's what I call "inbound marketing". I'm really excited about it.

04:08 Halligan: The first thing I really love about it is your success is more about the width of your brain than the width of your wallet. Okay, I'll say that again. Your success in this modern marketing is about the width of your brain, not the width of your wallet. In traditional marketing, if you had a lot of money, you could buy your way to success. You could hire a PR agency, you could buy advertisements, you could buy an ad on your local TV show, you could rent a list. There's a lots and lots of things you could do with money that would turn into customers and revenue. All of those things you used to able to do are becoming less and less effective over time.

04:41 Halligan: In this new marketing, your success is about "Can I create a brilliant blog article. Can I create a brilliant webinar? Can I create a brilliant ebook? And can I use that piece of content to pull people in?" So, instead of rubbing greenbacks together, it's about rubbing brain cells together. Inbound marketing is about the width of your brain, not the width of your wallet. And that's what I really like about all of you. You've got to the Inc 500, Inc 5000, because you're all very, very smart. And this inbound marketing works very well for people who have an opinion, who have something to say. And so, it's very good for you guys.

05:17 Halligan: Okay. Another thing I really like about this inbound marketing stuff is your success with it... It's really about creating your own assets versus renting space on someone else's assets, okay? So, let me give you an example. So, let's just say I'm the head of marketing at your company, and it's the beginning of the month, and over here, I've got a big pile of money that the CEO assigned to me, money right here. Over here, it is a giant furnace, okay? A big mouth in the furnace, and there's a label on the furnace, Google AdWords, okay? Well, here's the marketing manager... Here's the strategy. Beginning of the month, donk with a shovel and then turn around, your hands are on the Google AdWords, and then in the beginning of the next month, done with the shovel and bring an end to the AdWords.

06:06 Halligan: That's the way most marketing departments work. Now, if your head of marketing is a "PPC ninja", which are very hard to find these days, you can get that mouth to work. You can turn $1 into $1.10. Getting harder and harder. But the problem with it is it's very linear. What I like about inbound marketing is the mouth works in the exact opposite way. You start at the beginning of the month and you start creating content. You build blog articles, webinars, ebooks, applications, whatever it would be. Each piece of content you create is like a magnet that pulls in customers. Each piece of content you create is a permanent asset that lives forever on the Internet. So, maybe you wrote an article four years ago, it's still pulling customers in. So, little bit like interest in your 401k account.