In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the original release of George Lucus' sci-fi epic Star Wars, here's a brief rundown of seven Inbound Marketing Lessons gleaned from the baddest warrior of them all, Jedi Master Yoda.
USE THE FORCE (Of the Internet)
"Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. You must feel the Force around you; A Jedi's strength flows from the Force."
The Jedi draw their power from the quasi-mystical Force that is present in all things. In our world, the Internet has become a similarly ubiquitous presence in our lives, increasingly becoming the font of all information and communication. Inbound marketers trained in the ways of the Internet (Force), learn how to effectively draw from and contribute to its energy by producing and disseminating content relevant to their target audience.
SIZE MATTERS NOT
"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."
Don't let Master Yoda's diminutive nature fool you- he was the head of the Jedi order and considered to be the most adept with the Force. Companies big and small that employ inbound marketing practices such as content creation, SEO, social media marketing, lead nurturing and analytical tracking can harness the power of the Internet to achieve exponential reach and growth.
MARKETING HAS CHANGED
"You must unlearn what you have learned."
Many traditional offline marketing techniques such as print, TV and Radio advertising, and mass mailings are proving to be less effective and more costly than online inbound marketing techniques like content marketing, social media management and email marketing. Companies willing to accept the new tenets of the online marketing evolution are well-positioned for future growth, whereas those stuck in the past may find themselves increasingly marginalized.
PULL, DON'T PUSH
"You will find only what you bring in."
Similar to the last lesson, companies that recognize the comparative ineffectiveness of the "push" approach to marketing, i.e. telling consumers what they want, is giving way to the more efficient "pull" marketing technique of listening to the wants and needs consumers, and providing information and content that is relevant and useful to a brand's target audience.
DON'T BE EVIL
"You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack."
There is a certain purity to inbound marketing. It takes a lot of time, hard work, and a real dedication to providing value to consumers. Inbound marketers believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, that creating and freely sharing content that informs and aids will bring its due reward. Inbound marketers, like Jedi, shun aggression, pushiness, shameless opportunism, and possessiveness. Such impulses lead to the dark side of the force (and crappy marketing practices).
"Already know you that which you need."
Inbound marketing is all about authenticity. Be yourself, and provide creative content and marketing services that you believe add value to prospects and customers alike. People have innumerable options in today's Internet; rather than trying to guess what you think they'll want to hear or see, start from within, reflect on the core values of your brand, and align your marketing practices accordingly. Practice what you preach, and preach what you believe. That's the Jedi/Inbound way.
JUST DO IT
"Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. Luke: I don't believe it. Yoda: That is why you fail."
Finally, above all, believe in yourself, believe in your brand, and then just do it. Create content, interact on social media, market your products and services with relish and zeal. Analyze results and learn; tweak things and make them better. Strive for perfection, but be satisfied with honest action, recognizing that shortcuts make for long delays. Do your best work, and you will be rewarded.
May The Force Be With You.