5 Problems with Inbound Marketing You Need to Know

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problems-inbound-marketingAre you thinking of trying an inbound approach for your business?

Inbound marketing has plenty of champions out there – me included – but that doesn’t mean it’s completely hassle-free. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Many of my potential customers expect me to only sing inbound’s praises, but the truth is:

If you’re thinking of starting an inbound marketing campaign for your business, you have to be aware of some of the problems and pitfalls that come with it, as well as the potential benefits.

Having helped so many businesses overcome some of these problems over the years, I pretty much know them inside-out – as well as ways to overcome them.

That’s why I thought I’d put together the following blog post, highlighting 5 problems with inbound marketing:

1. It takes time to work

This is one of the biggest downfalls many experience with inbound marketing. If you’re looking for an instant fix, this probably isn’t the route for you. In reality, it can take several months until you start seeing promising results from inbound marketing – and not every company can tough it out for that long.

Of course, there are other ‘quick wins’ you can do in the meantime while you wait for your inbound efforts to take effect, such as Google ads and adding clever CTAs to the content you already have, but in essence, you need to be in it for the long game.

2. It can cost money

This is probably the most obvious one. If you’re going all-in with inbound marketing, you’ll probably have to fork out the budget for a marketing automation platform and an agency to guide the way – potentially costing you tens of thousands per year.

This isn’t necessarily the best idea for smaller businesses or those on a very tight budget, as you simply might not have the money to spend – and putting a limit on your marketing efforts will also limit your success. The truth is that if you want to see tangible results, you have to realistically spend a good amount of money to get there.

The cost is always relative to the results yu will recieve. A £30,000 invest to generate £500,000 is a good deal indead.

3. It can soak up your time

Not everyone realises how involved inbound marketing can be – for instance, you can’t simply leave all of the content creation to your chosen inbound marketing agency or marketing team, as they aren’t the experts in your industry; you are.

You will be expected to give up at least an hour or two every week to help come up with ideas for content, and to best answer the questions your customers (or potential customers) are asking.

And if you decide to write all the content yourself (instead of having an agency or freelance writer do it for you), you could suddenly find yourself with very little free time at all.

4. It needs plenty of co-ordination

In order to experience the best possible success from inbound marketing, you need a carefully thought-out strategy, which includes a full content calendar for all the content you plan to put out months in advance.

You need to co-ordinate with your chosen agency, the writer, and even the graphic designer to make sure everything stays on track – it’s not always easy, especially if you also have clients to deal with and a business to run.

5. It requires a culture change

Last but not least, inbound marketing doesn’t work if it’s seen as just another quick marketing fix or trick that you can adopt for a few months and then abandon. It requires an entire culture change, and has to filter through to all levels of your business – including sales.

Changing a company’s culture in this way can lead to a lot of resistance at first, so you need to be clear on why you’re making the change and ensure it’s followed through – which can take time and in some cases, re-training.

Want to learn more about inbound marketing? Read my Beginners’ Guide, here.


Inbound marketing has many great potential benefits – and if you’ve been doing your research, I’m sure you probably read about them every single day. But before you try it for yourself, it’s important to know about the common problems with inbound, so you can weigh up the pros and cons.

  1. It takes time to work
  2. It can cost a lot of money
  3. It can soak up your time
  4. It needs plenty of co-ordination
  5. It requires a culture change

Would any of these problems stop you doing inbound?

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