Inbound Marketing. Attracting customers without advertising

Scientific Essay, 2015

10 Pages, Grade: 2,0


Table of Contents

1 Definition of Inbound Marketing & Differences Between Inbound- & Traditional Marketing

2 Example

3 The Influence of Inbound Marketing on the Relationship Between a Company and It’s Customer

4 Advantages and Disadvantages
4.1 Advantages
4.2 Disadvantages

5 ibliography

1 Definition of Inbound Marketing & Differences Between Inbound- & Traditional Marketing

The goal of marketing is to capitalize on the brand as well as products and services of a company with the result of a better selling and even further more turnover or profit.

Among the number of Internet users, which has risen sharply over the past years[1], people spend more time using the Internet and are more wiling to make purchases online.[2] As a result, companies need to adapt to their customers behaviour and have to focus on the Internet.

Traditional marketing, otherwise known as outbound marketing is the most common way of marketing people are confronted with every day. It is often presented on advertisement boardings, in TV commercials, even on a banner advert on the Internet.

The problem is that outbound marketing focuses on the company’s product or service, which means that the target group of the company is not purposefully being attracted.

This leads to the fact that the addressee may not be in need of the product or service, therefore they will not be interested in buying the product.

On top, the consumer usually gets interrupted by advertising. For example when driving the car, when reading the newspaper or when playing games on a smartphone.

As a result people are annoyed by advertisement and subconsciously learn to ignore them. According to official statistics, „82% of Americans ignore online ads." [3]

This leads to the company’s problem of not reaching their customers anymore by traditional marketing.

Brian Halligan discovered the transparency and comparability the Internet has to offer and found out that it is possible to track how a purchaser makes their buying decision.

Based on the information, he established the term inbound marketing, in which people are getting more and more interested.[4]

“Inbound marketing focuses on creating educational content that pulls people toward your website where they can learn more about what you sell on their own accord.” [5]

The idea is to reach people in the Internet right where they are looking for information.

In opposition to outbound marketing, the consumer should not get interrupted in his action, instead he should get support and answers to his questions. This may lead to satisfied prospective customers who could buy the product of the company that provided free content to different problems a customer is dealing with.

So the consumer isn’t getting in contact with the company by annoying ads trying to sell something, but instead because he was looking for information on his own interest and found answers by the companies help.

Halligan divides the methodology of inbound marketing into four successive steps from strangers to promoters of a company’s brand:

Attract Visitors:

By creating “targeted content that answers your customer’s basic questions and needs”[6] and sharing on Channels, such as Google, blogs and social media, which are supposed to pick up the unknown visitor from his need, the unknown will be converted into a visitor of the companies website.

Convert into Leads:

Through offering useful material, for example e-books or webinars, the visitor gets more information of what he was searching for, beyond that he may become more interested in what the company is doing. As a result, he may become a potential customer, also known as a lead.

Win as customers:

At this point you know a bit more about the person and his needs, because you can track what information he was looking at and you know what sort of material he has accessed.

Now you can use automated marketing tools, like specially adapted emails, which are meant to transform leads in paying customers.

Convert into promoters:

You have reached the goal to get customers that way, but the process should not end at this point.

Instead a company should aim to maintain the positive experience the customers have made, because it may result in recommendations the customers may express to their friends and family. This could lead to new unknown visitors.

Special events and smart content could be used to maintain the positive image.[7]

2 Example

It’s much easier to understand the idea of inbound marketing on the basis of an example.

To understand how inbound marketing is working, you need to understand how buying decisions are made. Therefore, the inbound marketing methodology divides the purchaser up into three stages:

The first one is the Awareness Stage in which a potential customer (lead) has a need that must be fulfilled.

The Consideration Stage is the second one. Granted that leads found out about your company and it’s products or services due to valuable content, they will now try to choose whether your product could fulfil the need best.

The last step is the Decision Stage where the lead has enough information to make a decision, and finally, a purchase.[8]

Assuming that a potential customer of a TV-selling-company is looking for a flat screen TV in the Internet, the following keywords could be relevant:

Flat screen TV (Awareness Stage)

Compare flat screen TV (Consideration Stage)

Sony 42” LCD (Decision Stage)

Usually the different keywords refer to the stage in which the potential customer is in. That shows the importance of understanding the intention behind the request. Only if the company does, it can provide useful content and even further derive benefit from it.

If the lead is searching for a flat screen TV, trying to immediately sell a specific product won’t make sense. Instead the visitor needs to get supported in finding the right flat screen TV for them self. The company could provide the following contents to support its potential customers when they consider buying a flat screen:

10 Things you should know before you buy a flat screen TV (Awareness Stage)

LCD vs. PLASMA - Which flat screen TV is the right one for you? (Consideration Stage)

During the Decision Stage the company needs to convince the purchaser of the flat screen TV he is inclining towards. Contents like this could be crucial:

Technical data Sony 42” LCD

Field report Sony 42” LCD

How much does a Sony 42” LCD cost?

If the consumer has read several pages about TVs the company has been providing, and if he felt well advised, the probability is high that the consumer will buy his TV from the company, because they have been supportive during his decision making process.

This is the strategy of inbound marketing. It’s an indirect way of advertising by only reaching potential customers who are currently tackling with a product or service being offered. Furthermore consumers do not feel this marketing strategy as advertisement.

3 The Influence of Inbound Marketing on the Relationship Between a Company and It’s Customer

The most important thing is the consumer needs to be the centre of attention. It is all about supporting the potential customer when he is searching for information.

The product or service of a company is not directly advertised.

Due to this strategy, the consumer recognizes that the content and vicarious the company is there to help him making a decision. This leads to confidence and gratitude, rather than scepticism and feeling ignored towards the company, even before the consumer has paid attention to the brand and the products or services of the company. As a result a potential customer often approaches the company of one’s accord to make a purchase.

In contrast to traditional marketing, the customer gets in contact with the company due to his own intention. Because of the provided content that has helped him dealing with his matter he has already a positive attitude towards the company. This helps the sales assistant to finally sell a product or service and a high probability the customer will feel very well advised and well kept. This may result in a good reputation.


[1] Cf.

[2] Cf.

[3] ignore-online-ads.html

[4] Cf.



[7] Cf.

[8] Cf.

Excerpt out of 10 pages


Inbound Marketing. Attracting customers without advertising
University of Applied Sciences Essen
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inbound, marketing, attracting
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Anna Rüttger (Author), 2015, Inbound Marketing. Attracting customers without advertising, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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