If you were clever enough to bag yourself a ticket to Inbound Marketing UK 2013, you may have noticed that amongst the 450 or so guests there were a significant portion of fresh-faced young professionals. Having evolved from the grandfather of permission marketing, inbound marketing is now being developed by pioneering individuals who frankly, look like they’ve only just graduated. Fantastic speakers with tons of talent at IMUK13 included the charming and entrepreneurial Shaun McDougall and Kieran Flanagan, Hubspot’s rising star.
At the event I attended two weeks ago, many companies were armed with a diverse crew, and the Deeply Digital team is no different! So, you might wonder, why are there so many recent graduates finding success in inbound marketing careers?
1. They have not been poisoned by traditional outbound marketing
For decades, marketing has been on the scale of one-to-many. This paradigm resulted in a discipline that taught aspiring marketers that the best way to do things was to buy as much ad space and air-time as possible, send promotional content to bought email lists, and get sales to cold call every person in the phonebook.
However, the competitive landscape has changed and modern thinking, even in traditional business schools has accepted that marketing is increasingly about having a two-way conversation between brands and individuals. Inbound related topics, ranging from viral marketing campaigns to online communities, are now found on the syllabus of any modern marketing class.
It’s thanks to their youth that these grads are open-minded, if not already bought into the philosophy of inbound marketing. They don’t need convincing of the power that Twitter has over a motorway billboard, and that makes them a valuable inbound marketing champion in your organisation.
2. They are tech savvy
Having spent their teenage years receiving ipods, smartphones and tablets for Christmas and birthdays this generation is excellent at adapting to the latest technology to be released. Having transitioned from texting, to MySpace, to Whatsapp to Instagram in the space of a few years, these people seem naturally great at learning new things fast.
It’s these kinds of skills that make them fantastic at grasping the basics of inbound marketing automation software and other digital goodness that comes with the territory. These are the type of employees who won’t be stumped by the latest Hotmail interface makeover and they’ll be raring to use the latest Hubspot features. In fact, they will probably be giving the less tech savvy staff a ton of tips to make life easier.
3. They are less financially presumptuous
Because they haven’t been in the world of work so long to have managed a million-pound marketing budget, they won’t be expecting huge amounts of investment into their activities. This suits inbound marketing perfectly, as we don’t believe that a potential customer’s attention can be bought.
As a result of this, they are happy to work at earning their audience’s attention and interest, without the flashy gimmicks, in inbound marketing ways that you can derive a very clear ROI from. In fact, these nifty graduates are so fast and hardworking your company is probably getting a killer return on investment from them considering they are on a lower salary than senior marketers.
4. They have extensive social reach
Social networking sites are a major means of communication for young graduates and so almost every one of their friends (and even people they don’t know) will be on their contacts list or following them online. Having accidentally published an embarrassing status update that was seen by their parents has also taught these people a thing or two about the importance of segmenting the contacts within their social media reach.
Whether it’s grouping contacts or fiddling with publishing and privacy setting, these people are adept at changing their online profile from party animal to LinkedIn professional. These cameleon-like strengths mean they are probably going to be great at adopting the different tones of voice and content for a range of clients and personas.
5. They generate new ideas
As individuals relatively new to the world of work, they haven’t been broken down by years of organisational bureaucracy and so they are less inhibited to drive innovation in the company. Ambitious and eager to impress, as opposed to the keep-your-head down mentality that might affect longer-serving employees, they will want to make their mark in their marketing campaigns.
What they lack in corporate etiquette, they more than make up for in enthusiasm and thinking outside the box of company policy, which can sometimes yield great ideas. For instance, my own creative spirit can sometimes lead me to write blogs that are too funny, rude or honest. After a little bit of censoring though, my original take on issues are finally published and add more personable dimension to the inbound marketing content we produce.
The moral of the story is that inbound marketers come in all shapes and sizes. And whilst this blog post is heavily biased towards the qualities of young marketers, you can achieve great results with inbound marketing at any age, as long as you put your marketing personas at the heart of everything you do.
If you want to see my personal highlights from IMUK13, check out my other article:
- REVIEW: Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott