B2B Inbound Marketing Really Does Involve Science
There are two things you should know about me: (1) I enjoyed biology and psychology in high school and college, and truly believed that would be all the science I would ever need to understand, and (2) beyond the simplest basics of math, my brain is completely unable to absorb the intricacies involved with complex calculations. Secret – I would be in serious trouble without a calculator! Okay, now that those confessions are out, I feel better about moving on to some serious stuff – like the that B2B inbound marketing really does involve science and (gulp) math. I am not sure whether all marketers find this to be surprising, but I know it took me a while to absorb this as fact. I would like to briefly share my ideas about how science plays a role in B2B inbound marketing with you.
In my mind, the scientific concepts involved in B2B inbound marketing do not necessarily fit into the same categories as hard sciences. Hard sciences include those that are seeking “hard” facts, such as biology, chemistry, or physics. My personal opinions tend to lean towards B2B inbound marketing, and social media marketing in general, as sharing the views and processes utilized by the soft sciences. Soft sciences, such as psychology and social sciences, have different perceptions than hard sciences, mainly in that they do not come up with exact results or outcomes. As a result, the soft sciences do not always get the recognition they deserve by the hard science communities. However, either scientist actually uses quite similar experimental techniques and arrive at their results in related ways. Both sciences require research, hypotheses, experiments to test those hypotheses, data collection, and data analysis. Does any of this sound familiar? Are you putting together a strategy for your B2B inbound marketing plan; already have one in place; or in the process of making modifications to your plan? Then yes, you have probably taken some – if not all – of these “scientific” steps.
As with any science, the variables involved in B2B inbound marketing are numerous. The process involved in even identifying them can be painstaking – but is definitely an important first step. After determining your variables, the rest of the process for your B2B inbound marketing should fall into place, as long as you realize that there may be no guarantees in an absolute outcome. The only absolute that I have come across in talking with other marketers is that what works in one scenario for a client most likely will not work for all clients. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. So, is there science involved in B2B inbound marketing? It appears there certainly is, even though it requires an open mind.
In July of 2012, I attended a webinar that was hosted by Hubspot’s social media scientist, Dan Zarella, along with Ben Watson, VP of Marketing, at Hootsuite, on the Science of Inbound Marketing. One of the webinar’s primary goals was to break the Guinness World record for largest webinar. Although this didn’t happen, there were still a lot of attendees. I personally think some science must have been involved behind the marketing of this webinar – to see how many people could be enticed by the idea of breaking a world record! Hypothesis – experiment – data collection…see what I mean? Although the questions and topics covered did not specifically pertain to B2B inbound marketing within the webinar, there were statistics and percentages that could be helpful, such as the best times to blog, share content on Facebook and Twitter, and the percentage of people perceiving your website’s trustworthiness based on its organic rankings. My most important takeaway was that once more – there are no absolutes in B2B inbound marketing and that the variables will always be changing.
What are your thoughts about science being a basic part of your B2B inbound marketing strategy? I would be glad to hear your opinions.
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This entry was posted on Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 7:18 AM
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