What is Inbound Marketing Anyway?

Rob Quincy

By Rob Quincy on April 30, 2014

The term inbound marketing, originally coined by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan in 2005, and long employed by savvy brands and in-the-know marketing geeks, has more recently reached a tipping point toward mass adoption. 

More and more small business owners and employees today, even those who don’t seem to have the time to do much of anything with their websites, now understand that they need to embrace the inbound marketing game in order to succeed in attracting more customers. It’s often one of the first things our prospects mention in new business meetings, “we need to do more inbound marketing.” Unfortunately, they sometimes follow that statement up with, “so what exactly is inbound marketing anyway?” 

It’s on the tip of the tongue and part of popular conversation, but many small business owners and marketing managers still don’t truly understand what inbound marketing is or how to use it to their advantage.

Thus, we’re going to be producing a series of blog posts that focus on effective inbound marketing. Think of this series as a prime example of inbound marketing content on, well, the topic of inbound marketing.

In this first post we’ll start with a simple definition: 

INBOUND MARKETING uses quality content (blogs, videos, info graphics) and digital syndication tactics (search marketing, email marketing, social media) to attract prospects to a brand at their moment of need.

Inbound Marketing

This allows companies to appear precisely when a user is searching for the product or services that they provide.

Contrast that with:

OUTBOUND MARKETING attempts to get messages in front of potential customers (via TV, radio and print ads, coupons, and cold calls) without them having expressed a desire or interest.


These forms of traditional advertising literally bombard us over and over again, hoping that the message will either convince us to buy something we didn’t know we needed or sink into our brains enough that we recall their brand when we do need it.

Sure enough, outbound marketing is still a powerful tool for larger brands to reach a mass audience. But these days, even the most well known brands engage heavily in inbound marketing. And for those businesses that don’t have big media budgets, inbound marketing is hands down the most cost effective way to reach their target audience. 

We’re Here to Help

If you have questions about how to go about effective inbound marketing to drive qualified leads to your business, or if you’re looking for an full service advertising agency to help get it all done, please contact us. And remember to check back for more posts on how to win at inbound marketing.


About Ridge Marketing

Ridge Marketing is an agency that specializes in crafting creative digital assets and using websites, search, advertising and email to ensure that the right prospects interact with your brand and become loyal customers.