Funny: B2B inbound marketing is essentially akin to stalking

KoMarketing Associates — they have a pretty good presence on LinkedIn, as an aside — did a little recap of InBound 2014 (the Hubspot conference) on their site. They tried to focus on six major themes that emerged from it, and as I was reading it over, this jumped out as the most hysterical thing I’ve read in a while about the failures of inbound (or really any) type of marketing. It’s from Matevz Klanjsek, who is the Chief Product Officer at Celtra:

Klanjsek compares this challenge to finding his dream girl and then not knowing what to say to her. Finding his dream girl is only half of the battle, but talking to her is another story. If all he has to say to her is, “Hi, I’m Matevz, Learn more,” she definitely wouldn’t like him! Unfortunately, this is how some B2B marketers approach their audience, in a very impersonal and robot-like manner.

For some reason, B2B marketers think that if they follow around their target audience enough, they will have a chance to work with them. So following the same example, if Matevz met his dream girl at the bar and said, “Hi, I’m Matevz, Learn more,” and she ignored him, repeatedly following her (to the park, to the store, etc), saying “Hi, I’m Matevz, Learn more,” she would probably call the police. Yet we still believe this type of communication strategy will work in B2B marketing.

So, the lesson here is, when you find your audience, you need to think carefully about presenting the brand in an engaging way.


But the thing is, she would probably call the police. 

And yet — that’s a lot of how we market to people (individuals and other businesses) these days!

Kinda funny, right?

I don’t know a ton about sales, although I do like writing about its nuances (here, here and here), but this other example struck me as pretty good too (also from InBound via KoMarketing, and this time from David Scott, a best-selling author):

When surfing the web for Antarctica traveling information to persuade his wife, David realized what a truly annoying experience this is. He visited several travel websites that were no help at all, requiring him to fill out a detailed information sheet for a sales lead before even being able to view the page.

He became extremely frustrated until finding a hidden gem, Quark Expeditions. This was not the most famous company or the cheapest method, but it was the one that was most willing to educate him and help him on his journey. This company had the best communication and delivered the right content, as Quark Expedition’s CEO assisted him via Twitter. He was then directed to a “Polar Advisor”, and the experience was turned to inbound sales.

In the end, David chose to do business (over $20,000 worth of business) with the company educating and informing him, rather than interrupting and selling to him.

In sum: stop chasing leads and start chasing real, honest relationships. 


Ted Bauer


  1. It seems so simple – provide me information that helps me make a decision rather than try to sell me something and you book a $20k order. Thanks for mentioning my story!

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