Over the last few years, HubSpot has become less known for their CRM platform, and more known for cranking out ridiculous amounts of B2B marketing content (almost like a machine!) in an effort to practice what they preach.
The 10-year-old tech company, and recent subject of a former employee's tell-all book, coined the term "inbound marketing" in 2006 to best describe their "revolutionary" software, but it may be worth worth noting that inbound marketing isn't an entirely new concept, and it also might be worth questioning whether or not inbound marketing is fancy, digital-age pretense for old-school PR and communications.
"Marketing has always been the creation of a message, the insertion of that message into a piece of content and the transmission of that content over a channel to an audience in an effort to build brands, increase demand and move people down sales funnels." –– TechCrunch contributor Samuel Scott.
Marketing "gurus" (another cringe-worthy buzzword) began using the term: "Content is King!" within the last five years, as if it’s an entirely new type of marketing strategy. The problems with this overused statement are: 1. It refers to mostly digital content, and 2. The phrase itself implies that content creation hasn’t been a fundamental part of every marketing strategy in all of history.
Tech startups have popularized nonsensical marketing buzzwords and terms like "growth hacking," "snackable content," and "account-based marketing," which are somehow completely new and different from the tried-and-true marketing tactics that have worked well for years.
Here's a quick breakdown of why this happens:
- Marketing is a rapidly evolving industry
- Marketers fear stagnation (for many reasons, one of which is CMO volatility)
- Marketing technology companies can sell more product if they repackage the solution
For your edutainment, here's a list of just a few of today's marketing buzzwords and phrases, and their true definitions:
Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Then: A strategy that was once the bread-and-butter of a few big companies to target a few big accounts. Now: An attractive new tool for B2B companies that supposedly better aligns their sales team, closes bigger deals with targeted accounts, and increases pipeline velocity.
Growth Hacking: A new hybrid of product and marketing strategy intended to recruit new users and boost engagement. This involves rapid experimentation, A/B testing, and incorporates data analytics, design, UX, and behavioral psychology to identify the most effective ways to grow a business or product.
Inbound Marketing: Then: PR and communications. Now: Subtly attracting new customers via blogging, SEO, white papers, photos, videos, social media posts, podcasts, newsletters, and other forms of content marketing. No hard sales or cold calling necessary with this strategy –– your ideal prospects come to you!
Influencer Marketing: Then: Blogger relations. Now: Leveraging anyone with a large, attentive audience (or fan-base) to endorse a company’s product or service. A typically digital strategy that combats “banner blindness,” a.k.a. consumers unconsciously tuning out paid digital ads in favor of making educated purchases based on recommendations.
Interruption Marketing: Attention-grabbing communications that interrupt a customer’s typical flow of daily digital activity: cold calls, clickbait, banner/display, pre-roll, native, and spam of all types, including: web, social, email, and search.
Pipeline Marketing: Encourages marketers to tweak strategies so they attract better prospects at various stages of the sales funnel, thus removing the burden on sales to nurture a lead from cold to closed. Marketing team’s job is to increase quality, not quantity, of new business leads.
Snackable Content: Photos, one-pagers, “explainer” illustrations, infographics, short videos, quotes, or anything creative and fun that provides useful information and is easy to share, easy to digest, and quick to elicit a reaction from prospective customers.