Mark Modoski

I’ve been doing “outbound” sales for the last 3+ years. It’s exhausting.

It became increasingly more difficult to sell traditional advertising when businesses were completely changing their thinking about marketing. How could I tell someone to take a half-page ad out in the Yellow Pages when I had just thrown mine out the week before? How could I expect someone to set-up an expensive print ad campaign when I knew that so many businesses and consumers were looking for products and services online?

The answer: I couldn’t. I needed a switch.

I started getting the message a few years ago when every business figured out that they needed to be “online.” I’d say that I was slower than others in piecing that together, but the number of businesses that still lacked a website at the time was astounding. I learned a little about SEO, SEM and social media, but it still felt much easier to try to sell simple outbound marketing solutions like print advertising and online display ads. And that is exactly what I did for another two years.

Then, one day, I was pitching an expensive print campaign when I started to get the notion that customer was only concerned with his web presence.

I needed a change.

I knew I wanted to sell something, but what? Then I had a conversation with someone that brought it all together. This person had started a business based on the philosophy of “Inbound Marketing.” That is, building a great web presence and having your customers find you through the great content you publish online.

It all made sense, and lucky for me, he offered me a job.

Almost overnight, I went from feeling unsure about what I was selling to having a product that I can only describe as a “no-brainer.” I do a lot of online shopping. I research tons of companies, articles, products, services, vacations, etc. etc. etc. And, all my searches start in the same exact place.

Google.

I had mentioned that I had picked-up a few things about SEO, SEM and social media, but I now knew why more than ever, it was vitally important for every business to be findable online and to have content to draw people in. People have become “deaf” to traditional marketing such as cold-calling, radio commercials, television commercials and print ads. Furthermore, ad and marketing mediums themselves have changed. Phone calls don’t get answered because everyone has caller identification and doesn’t pick up for marketers. Satellite radio, TIVO and DVR are cutting down radio television commercial visibility and more and more people are turning to electronic reading or simply blocking out print ads. Marketing has shifted to the internet and if you want to be found, that is where you have to be.

My first sales call at my new job, I was suggesting a website redesign, an SEO package and a social media campaign.

It just felt right.

And for the first time in 3 years I asked myself not, “why would someone buy into this,” but instead, “how can they possibly afford not to?”