Inbound Marketing – A Book Review

I just finished reading Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.

The primary emphasis of this book is to demonstrate how traditional “outbound” marketing methods no longer achieve the results that they once did (if they ever did).  Marketing your business in today’s “digital economy” should focus on “inbound” methods – something that I agree with completely.

It is organised into four primary sections:

  1. Inbound Marketing – this section makes the case for Inbound over Outbound techniques with some solid case studies.
  2. Get Found by Prospects – in this section the book covers all areas of “inbound marketing” from search engine marketing and email marketing to social media marketing.  Its a nice overview of each method with some real world examples of how companies have successfully implemented them.
  3. Converting Customers – it was nice to see this section as so many similar books tend to focus purely on “attraction” and leave out conversion.  It is far more effective (in terms of ROI) to improve the conversion of your existing traffic levels than to increase traffic without improving conversion.
  4. Make Better Decisions – this section seemed to take a backwards step for me.  It tries to provide more strategic advice on topics such as recruiting/engaging with marketing employees or agencies but came across as an after thought.

If you are starting a business and are new to online marketing, then this will be a great book for you.  It provides a nice overview with enough detail to demonstrate benefit without getting too technical.

If you are a marketing professional and on top of current trends, then this book will be too light for you.  There’s probably a few take-away gems in it for you, but you could probably get this information elsewhere.

For me, however, I felt like I just paid for a white paper from the author’s company (HubSpot) that I could have gotten for free.  It has many, many plugs for HubSpot and I was left feeling a bit cheated.

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