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High-Performing Inbound Marketing Starts with a Culture Shift Inside Your Organization

Introduction
High-Performing Inbound Marketing Starts with a Culture Shift Inside Your Organization
Intro

Watch Marcus Sheridan deliver the introduction to this playbook.

Let me introduce you to a few friends of mine.

Steve Sheinkopf is the CEO of Yale Appliance, a B2C kitchen and home appliance retailer, based out of Boston, Massachusetts, since 1923.

Steve turned to inbound marketing to establish his company as the No. 1 thought leader in the home appliance industry; to drive traffic, leads, and sales. But even though he was creating content and “doing inbound,” he didn’t get the results he was looking for. 

Then there’s Krista Kotrla. 

Krista was the CMO of Block Imaging, a B2B company that provides refurbished medical equipment to healthcare organizations.

Like Steve, Krista was excited about the principles and potential of inbound marketing.  There was just one small problem – she wasn’t a subject matter expert and thus couldn’t create the content her company needed on her own. 

Not giving up, she turned to her sales and leadership teams and staff engineers and asked: “Can you help me produce the content we need to make inbound successful for Block Imaging?”

But, at every turn, she received the same answer: “Sorry, I can’t help. I don’t have the time.”

We’ve all heard or said this before, but what we all are afraid to admit is that usually when someone says that in life, time is rarely (if ever) the issue. 

When someone says, “Sorry, I can’t help. I don’t have the time,” what they’re really saying is, This is not important to me.”

Initially, Krista felt completely unsupported and unable to get what she needed to be successful as a marketer from sales, leadership, and others. She knew the answers, but she was the only one invested in the strategy. So, she briefly considered leaving the company entirely.

Lastly, there is husband and wife Andrew and Debbie Kirkley of OSV. They founded the B2B and B2C vehicle leasing company in 1997 and a few years ago, they said, “We want to be great with inbound. We believe in it, but we don’t really know what to do. We don’t have our ducks in a row yet.”

They saw the potential of inbound marketing to grow their business, and they wanted to get on that train. They were at the beginning of their journey with inbound, but had no idea how to get started. 

Have you ever felt like these friends of mine?

Right now, you may feel like Steve. You’ve already begun your journey with inbound, but still … something isn’t right. The results aren’t where they should be, if they’re manifesting at all.

Perhaps you feel like Krista. You know what you must do as a marketer to get results with inbound, but you’re not getting the support you need from others in your company.

Or maybe you’re like Andrew and Debbie. You’re ready to begin your journey with inbound, and you’ve caught the vision of what’s possible – but you don’t know how or where to start.

If any of their situations resonate with you, you’re in the right place. 

Steve, Krista, Andrew, and Debbie (along with their companies) have gone on to experience a remarkable transformation – and revenue growth – as a direct result of inbound marketing. 

For instance, Steve and the Yale Appliance team have generated more than $117 million in revenue from their renewed inbound marketing efforts and increased their website traffic by more than 2,500% to almost 1 million visitors per month. 

But how did they do it?

The companies that have seen remarkable success with inbound marketing all have one thing in common:

They created a culture in which everyone was unified around the singular vision of establishing themselves as the No. 1 teacher in their space.

They created a culture that put the customer first and focused on education to help customers make the best decisions for themselves and their future. These cultures include an understanding that trust is the ultimate trigger for any purchase and educating customers by sharing honest, unbiased information is the best way to build that trust.

Only after they had created such a culture could inbound marketing help them meet and exceed their most aggressive traffic, lead, and sales goals.

But a cultural shift of that magnitude, where you’re able to ignite genuine excitement and alignment across all your teams, doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen with a single company-wide email or an announcement at an all-hands meeting. 

Steve, Krista, Andrew, and Debbie succeeded because they embraced seven key principles of inbound marketing. You can do this too, and this playbook will get you there. 

This playbook will help you deeply understand those principles to overcome the same challenges and implement a successful inbound marketing strategy for your company.

We’ll dive into why they are essential and give you actionable steps on how to teach them to your team. But remember, these principles are like links on a chain. If one link is weak, it doesn’t matter how strong the others are — the entire chain will inevitably fall apart. So, you need to be ready to embrace them holistically. You can’t pick and choose.

Sound like a plan? Let’s get to it.

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