When Thanksgiving comes around, there are some questions we don’t expect to hear exactly: “When are you getting married?” “When am I going to have grandchildren?” “Have you been hydrating?” And yet none of those polite questions even come close to the complexity of explaining what, as an inbound marketer, you really do for a living. It’s not that inbound marketing requires a long, endless answer; after all, it can be easily described in 44 words. But explaining it requires a fundamental understanding of how technology, marketing, and the Internet work. You know, the things your grandparents might not fully understand in one go.
Good news: all you really need is some storytelling strategies. We found five ways you can explain inbound marketing to your family. And sure, some of these are helpful and some are just plain sarcastic. But hey, family is family, right? They will still love you.
5 ways to explain Inbound Marketing to your family this Thanksgiving
1. The food analogy
In the US, Thanksgiving usually consists of a few staples: turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, to name a few. And while it may sound strange, you can use that knowledge to your advantage by using food preparation as an analogy for different aspects of inbound marketing. To explain lead breeding, you can use the pumpkin pie. Sending unnourished leads to sales is like gifting no-bake pumpkin pie to your guests. I guess pumpkin pie can be eaten raw, but … gross. Instead, you need to bake the pumpkin pie, which ultimately makes it richer and tastier. Feeding leads before sales contact them works the same way. You warm them up with your brand and start rating them with better information on what they might need. Leads “hot” like baked pie are already familiar with your business and will close at a much higher rate than those that are “cold.” Use whatever analogy you want to describe inbound marketing – clear up confusing issues by comparing them to something that’s literally right in front of everyone.
2. The real life setting
When asked about inbound marketing, I like to use real-life interruption examples that you will probably recognize and explain how inbound methodology is related. It sounds something like this: Amanda: Hi, Dad. Do you know how much you hate when telemarketers call you in the middle of dinner? Dad: Yes. I hate it. Why? Is that what you do for work? Amanda: No, actually. Inbound marketing is the exact opposite. That is interrupted marketing. They literally interrupt you. So annoying, right? Dad: Yes. I’m surprised they don’t interrupt us right now. Amanda: Well, at my job, I believe marketing that doesn’t interrupt what people are doing. In fact, I create content that people are actively looking for, because it is useful, entertaining, or informative. Instead of a telemarketer calling to sell you spoons, I create things that someone looking for spoons information might be looking for on the internet. Dad: So I would find you, instead of you calling me to bother me? Amanda: Yes! I provide him with real value of my company, which makes him more interested in what my company sells. The keys here: 1) Identify which means of interruption the dinner guests are familiar with and 2) influence their pain points when dealing with those means. Inbound marketing makes much more sense when you explain it that way, even if your family doesn’t work in marketing or communications.
3. The theater
If you’re feeling especially creative, and you have at least one Thanksgiving guest who is willing to participate, you can organize a role play. There are many scenarios you can play out, but a classic one would be the telemarketer / dinner guest scenario. Let’s use the telemarketing example above, and keep in mind that it may take a few minutes of planning before everyone sits down for dinner. You play the role of the telemarketer and your dinner guest can be, well, the dinner guest. First, set your phone’s ringer as loud as possible. Then as soon as someone asks you about your work, apologize and go out to a quiet area with your own phone. Next, call the guest to dinner and ask him to answer the call on the speaker while you pretend to be a telemarketer selling something completely unnecessary at the time: Halloween costumes. Make sure your dinner guest uses key phrases like “You’re interrupting me in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner with this irrelevant call” or “Don’t you think it’s a little late to call me for Halloween?” Or, if you really want to go crazy, “I wish you had sent me a personalized and directed email in October about those costumes, I would have bought them.” Then ask them to hang up the phone on the table. You can come back from your “bathroom break” and say, “See? Telemarketing, or any kind of interrupted marketing like that, is deeply annoying. In my work, I believe marketing that helps people, doesn’t annoy them.” . Final scene. Depending on the talent of your guest, you may be able to improvise everything. If not, you may want to write a script and email it to the guest beforehand. And if you really want to overdo it, stick with character throughout dinner. Seeing you disguised as a telemarketer with a headset will be too intense to forget … that is, at least until your mother asks, “Please take the headset off the table.”
4. The pieces of the puzzle
This technique boils down to an age-old philosophical question: is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Aristotle I thought so, but when you’re describing inbound marketing to an unfamiliar audience, it’s probably okay to explain the three ways you could apply inbound marketing specifically: attract, engage, and delight. Try to explain inbound marketing by dividing it into those three aspects and explaining each one individually. For example, you might say to Grandma, “Engaging means attracting the right people with valuable content and conversations that establish you as a trusted advisor they want to engage with. Engaging means presenting ideas and solutions that align with your pain points and goals. so they are more likely to buy from you. And delighting means providing help and support so your customers are successful with their purchase. ” Of course, this is easier said than done. And I am willing to bet to delve into how the inbound methodology serves as a solid foundation for the steering wheel, which creates momentum and eliminates friction in your organization, is another feat entirely.
5. The “I write articles on the Internet”
If the previous four have failed, you can always say, “I write articles on the Internet for a living.” I mean, it’s accurate: you get real business results with inbound marketing and not only do you throw nonsensical blogs about your feelings to get paid, but it can alienate you from your family, especially if you’re not sure. they would be interested in hearing the whole thing. If you choose this path, be prepared to hear how easy it is to blog and how many of your family members would like to get paid to do so. Then quickly try to change the topic to something everyone can relate to. “Hey Uncle Eddie, I’d love to get your awesome stuffing recipe.” Trust us … It always works.
We are thankful for you
Good luck out there. And remember: so many people want to know what you do, which is undoubtedly the reason we love to write about it every day. We always give thanks for you, our amazing readers. And to express our gratitude, we put together what we hope is a fun video of what our families think we do. Happy Thanksgiving Day! Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2013 and has been updated to be more current, accurate, and complete.