1967 is to music as 2010 is to marketing.
– Brian Halligan, CEO, HubSpot

That 40-character tweet by @bhalligan has stuck with me. It’s resulted in this music/marketing mashup.

Maybe it’s because my guitar is a 1966 Gibson ES-330 with a Starburst finish, the one on which its first owner played the hits of 1967. And it’s still cool: Apple chose the Gibson ES Starburst as the inspiration for the GarageBand icon – it doesn’t get much cooler than that.

It’s true: 1967 ushered in a new era of music. Those that didn’t embrace the change didn’t get to produce the music that influenced generations. (The Crystals, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, The Tornados, The Trashmen – ever hear of them? They’re the bands that disbanded in 1967.) Maybe they didn’t get it. Maybe they didn’t want to change.

Now marketing is going through a transformation that will influence the experience of new generations of customers: Inbound Marketing. The Times They Are A-Changing. Yes, Bob, they are.

The sledgehammer of interruption-based outbound marketing, a veritable Chain of Fools, is being replaced by inbound marketing and the magnetic pull when you Try a Little Tenderness. Otis was right.

So was Aretha. It’s time to show Respect for the customer’s intelligence and provide them with the information they seek. Just Tell It Like It Is. Did you know that Aaron Neville recorded that and it was number one on the U.S. R&B chart in early 1967?

By providing information that is remarkable, customers will be drawn to you like a moth to flame. You “Light My Fire”, they’ll say, and your content will be forwarded and commented on.

What you’ll find with inbound marketing is that you will receive higher quality leads through referrals that have Heard It Through the Grapevine. The leads will have been vetted by the information and offers on your web site so that by the time the leads are turned over to sales, they already realize You’re My Everything.

The beauty of the web is that the very specific information your prospect seeks – A Whiter Shade of Pale – is only a click away, and we are all getting better at putting together the exact information phrase – Nights In White Satin – that will yield results on the first try, not just a simple search for “white.”

Inbound marketing software from HubSpot guides your team to publish information in a way that is optimized for search engines, not a natural talent for team members.

Every time your team puts something on the web, they think How Can I Be Sure that this will be found by the search engines? Is it optimized properly? Search is a world that is constantly changing.

Doing it right makes your information more findable. When they say Baby Now That I’ve Found You, your customers won’t let you go.

If your web site lead traffic is low and you are feeling like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, I would encourage a serious look at inbound marketing. It is the foundation for marketing in this decade and beyond.

HubSpot is now the leading inbound marketing software because thousands of small and medium size businesses are using it. I bought it. I use it. I’m a Believer. It’s a strategy that works in 2010 and will for the foreseeable future.

1967 is to music as 2010 is to marketing. Brian, I Second That Emotion.


Sidenote: Music Miscellanea on Bands That Disbanded in 1967

The Trashmen’s song Surfin’ Bird, which you may know as “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” was featured prominently in the 2008 Family Guy episode “I Dream of Jesus“, in which Peter becomes obsessed with the song, singing and dancing along to it at the slightest provocation. (Wikipedia)

The Crystals recorded Da Doo Ron Ron.

Both songs repeat nonsense that is catchy but not engaging, similar to bombastic marketing on the edge of extinction.