Wayne Gretzky was an Inbound Marketer

Wayne Gretzky was an Inbound MarketerA few years ago in every presentation I made I had a slide at the front of each presentation that featured Wayne Gretzky. It was affectionately called the “Wayne Gretzky School of Marketing” slide and it was basically a photo and a single quote that said “Skate to where the puck is going not to where the puck has been”.

The inference of this slide years ago was to remind my teams, my peers and my clients that we need to create forward thinking content. Content that would attract the type of audience that we wanted and develop the SEO that we needed on the major topics we wanted to be known for.

Years later we have terms like Content Marketing (created by Junta 42) and Inbound Marketing (created by HubSpot) that advocate the same type of approach. The idea being rather than do outbound marketing to the masses of people who are trying to block you out, why not do inbound marketing where you help yourself “get found” by people already exploring and learning more about your industry.

But there is a subtle difference with my hockey analogy that isn’t covered in the definition above and that is … creating content on a topic that is forward thinking. Nobody wants to read the 1,000th post on a topic that everyone has heard about before. For example who cares about CRM these days so writing about the benefits of CRM wont help your cause but writing about whatever is the next big thing in CRM will help distinguish you from the masses and attract those potential customers who are looking to learn about the absolute latest in CRM.

In reality Wayne Gretzky wasn’t a marketer but he was a very intuitive and successful hockey player. And in business if you want to stand out from the crowd and the very best way these days to distinguish yourself is to create content that is differentiated and that people want to read by applying what I am now calling the Wayne Gretzky School of Inbound Marketing!

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