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How to Explain Inbound Marketing to a Five-Year-Old


As life becomes more and more digital, marketers are having to get increasingly creative and insightful in the ways they reach their target audiences.

With just a few taps on their smartphones, buyers can find out anything about products they’re interested in buying. As a result, broad-based advertising tactics are becoming less effective, and marketing professionals are relying on inbound marketing to connect with their ideal buyers.

But since HubSpot created the term “inbound marketing” in 2006, the concept has represented something so different from traditional methods that it can be tricky to grasp at first. In this post, we’ll break it down and share how to explain inbound marketing to virtually anyone, including a five-year-old. 

We’ll start with an example. If your parents needed to buy a new video game system for you, what would they do? Today, most people who want to buy something start by searching online.

When they search, they get a lot of results. However, they’ll probably click on the first few links that come up to see which companies are selling video game systems and how much they are.

This is called search engine marketing (SEM) and is one of the most important inbound marketing tactics. It draws people’s attention at the exact moment that they’re searching for something. This is much different from radio or TV advertisements, which usually aren’t shown to people at the specific time they’re looking to buy a particular product.

When your parents are on a company’s website, they’ll see pictures, descriptions, and prices of different PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo models. The website is important because even if your parents aren’t ready to buy a system right now, they can come back and look at the information again as many times as they like.

They might also look at videos on YouTube to see different systems and how they work, or they might look on Facebook to see if stores near you are having any sales. Social media is another important part of inbound marketing, because most people already use YouTube, Facebook, and other social platforms, so businesses can provide them information on those sites.

After all of this, your parents are able to learn about their options for buying a video game system and can make up their mind. Instead of the business showing them ads they might ignore, they were able to look up information and make their decision when they were ready. 

Chances are, you won’t have to explain inbound marketing to a five-year-old, but it can be helpful to think about the concepts in a simplified way. Today, inbound marketing is the new standard when it comes to modern marketing. Click here to learn more about developing and implementing a full-service inbound marketing strategy.

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