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Inbound Marketing University: a Great Resource for Small Business Owners

inbound-marketing university-banner

You may think that marketing is something only marketers should worry about, but that’s a pretty narrow view. After all, how will you know that the new wiz-kid you just hired out of college or the freelance consultant you brought in at no small risk to your wallet is steering you in the right direction?

Anyone can brand themselves as anything in today’s changing marketing world, but you’ll be the one ultimately paying for their service (or disservice). That’s why, tempting as it may be to just hand off control to an ‘Expert’, it’s important that you at least have a grasp of the fundamental principles involved to properly evaluate their advice.

Luckily, there’s a great resource that can quickly bring you up to speed. Most importantly, it won’t set you back a dime!

What’s Inbound Marketing University?

IMU (or Inbound Marketing University) styles itself as “a community website for marketers” and “a place where marketers can learn, share knowledge and build relationships.” It’s essentially an archive of useful workshops and educational material available to anyone with interest.

Who’s behind it?

The community and program are powered by Hubspot, a fast growing inbound marketing firm that has recently secured 32 million in VC funding. Hubspot offers a paid service consisting of customized SEO tools to help businesses manage their marketing campaigns, as well as free tools and other marketing resources.

Does this mean the program is biased?

While the community has evidently been set up as a promotional vehicle for Hubspot, this fact by itself by no means represents a conflict of interests. IMU’s website features a wealth of quality material that can be of real value to potential prospects, casual readers, and even possible competitors. If anything, it reinforces the fact that self-promotion and value should naturally go hand-in-hand rather than head-in-head—and at the very least, shows that the folks at Hubspot put their money where their mouth is.

As further points of validation, IMU’s program has been adopted by major colleges and MBA programs including Harvard Business School, Northeastern University and UMass Dartmouth. The crop of ‘professors’ consists of accomplished marketing professionals in their own right, which indicates a further effort at diversification and objectivity.

Having reviewed a good handful of their webinars, there was nothing that seemed ‘salesy’ or otherwise disingenuous; to the contrary, the workshops were very well thought out and evidently concerned with communicating relevant information.

What will I learn?

The Inbound Marketing program consists of 18 one-hour classes in the form of interactive webinars and 10 reading assignments (here’s a complete breakdown), with optional homework and a final certification exam. While the last two are evidently geared more towards marketers, the educational material can be of great asset to business owners—running the gamut of inbound marketing, basic and advanced SEO, social media, lead capturing, lead nurturing, and conversion to complete a well-rounded view.

The material is exhaustive enough to lend a good grasp of fundamentals, but not so exhaustive as to start losing the forest for the trees. The presentations are clear and engaging—combining audio with visual slideshows—and you can even get them as podcasts on iTunes (especially useful for individuals whose time is already stretched to the limit and may want to listen on the go).

Best of all, the classes and material are always there when you need them, so you can truly take things at your own pace.


Inbound marketing is the perfect solution for small businesses, where creativity and dedication count more than deep pockets—and small business owners tend to have plenty of both. With Google alone processing 1,000,000,000 search queries every day and 97% of consumers doing product research online, there’s really no question that the web has become a dominant marketing platform. Now, with free education, there’s also no reason you should stay behind the times.

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posted by Anonymous @ 10:29 AM