Marketing sometimes gets a bad rap, and it’s probably well-deserved considering its history. Growing up, all I really knew about marketing was that it was often behind the ugly flyers that plagued our mailbox and the annoying phone calls that always seemed to interrupt our family dinners every night. Uncool, Marketing. Uncool.
A New and Better Way
But we live in a different world now. A better world in many ways. Even though marketing will always be about the bottom line, the tools and strategies now available to us allow us the sort of connection with prospects and customers that simply wasn’t possible before. We no longer have to interrupt people with phone calls during dinner (unless they’ve asked us to call them), because we have better, more natural ways to communicate with them now…and even simpler ways for them to opt-out if it ever becomes too much.
Today, we don’t think in terms of business to consumer or business to business. We think in terms of people to people, and because of that, marketing has become a community-building endeavor, as much as anything else. From that perspective, it’s forced us to ditch the gimmicky garbage and provide real value–the kind of value we would expect of anyone we’ve decided to let into our inner circle.
What I love about inbound marketing the most is that every day, I get to think about how best to connect with real people.
Adding Value and Building Trust
For those who don’t know, I handle the inbound marketing strategy and execution for a hypergrowth company in the Seattle area. I work for Pushpay, and we build mobile giving and engagement solutions for churches. We have over 7,000 churches that use our products, and I regularly communicate to a list of 200,000+ church leaders who have opted into our email list over the last couple years.
Every single day, we get to think about what sort of content we can produce to add value to the lives of these church leaders. And while we ultimately would like to sit down and have a conversation with most of these folks about our products, we’re willing to take the time necessary to build that trust. And we do that by adding value into their lives over and over and over again through free guides, and ebooks, and checklists, and spreadsheets all around church growth and engagement tips.
What’s fun is we get to produce really simple-to-implement content that can help churches around the world better engage visitors, better plan for big events, better organize their leadership teams, and ultimately better serve their congregations and the surrounding community all while building and strengthening our credibility and trust, too.
Power to the People
Every now and then, I get a little worried about the sheer volume of content we produce, but then I remember the people are in control. They can decide how much or how little of our message they want to engage with or receive. And soon, we’ll be giving them even more control over the type of content they receive from us. By giving control back to the people, we allow them to control their own level of engagement with us. That puts the burden back on us to produce truly excellent content on a continual basis in order to keep them happy and engaged with our brand, because anytime they want, they can get up and walk away.
But when they do stick around of their own accord, that’s when you know you’ve tapped into something really good. It’s the sort of marketing you can feel satisfied with and even proud of because it doesn’t just sell products that add value, the marketing in and of itself adds value to thousands of lives around the globe on a regular basis, too.