Marketing for Aerospace & Defense Manufacturers



All Posts

Inbound Marketing: The New Marketing "Air War" for Defense Contractors

Defense contractors who adopt inbound marketing tactics can outsmart their competition while increasing brand awareness, brand preference and leads.

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by prospects. This sense is related to relationship marketing and Seth Godin's idea of permission marketing. David Meerman Scott recommends that marketers "earn their way in" (via publishing helpful information on a blog etc.) in contrast to outbound marketing where they used to have to "buy, beg, or bug their way in" (via paid advertisements, issuing press releases in the hope they get picked up by the trade press, or paying commissioned sales people, respectively).  WIKIPEDIA

In “The CMO Guide to Inbound Marketing,” Marketo CEO Jon Miller compares and contrasts inbound and outbound marketing with the military analogies of air war and ground war:

...inbound marketing is like an “air war” – it allows you to be very efficient by carpet-bombing broad areas, but it makes it hard to hit specific targets. In contrast, you need “ground war” tactics (think marines and snipers) to target specific objectives and hold territory.

Not long ago, information about companies and their solutions was not readily available (online or offline). As a result, prospective buyers were forced to engage with a sales person early in the buying cycle.

Miller refers to that time as the "information scarcity" era of traditional marketing tactics (e.g. cold calls, direct mail, trade publication advertising, trade shows, etc).  However, in today's "information abundance" era, prospects can forgo contact with sales people and obtain nearly all of their buying information on their own. And, the prospective customer can tune out unwanted, "interruptive" marketing messages.

Consequently, traditional outbound marketing tactics are less effective. Therefore, defense contractors are beginning to adopt methods that don't rely on interrupting prospects with unwanted marketing messages. Instead, marketers are attempting to connect with buyers when they are most open and engaged. This is the basis of inbound marketing.

Marketo's Miller defines inbound marketing this way:

The process of helping potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turning that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.

Inbound marketing tactics are based largely on a content marketing strategy of providing extremely useful (or entertaining) information (i.e. content) that your prospective buyers will find valuable.  Content marketing examples include non-promotional materials such as blogs, newsletters, whitepapers, podcasts and infographics (like the one below).

Click here to download "The CMO Guide to Inbound Marketing."

 Here is an Infographic of the differences between Inbound and Outbound Marketing.



The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

Related Posts

Top 100 Aerospace Companies (2019)

Profits continue to increase for the Top 100 Aerospace Companies in the world in 2019.
Continue Reading

Defense News Top 100 Global Defense Companies (2019)

Overall defense revenues for the Top 100 defense companies in the world increased in 2019.
Continue Reading

Fortune 500 Aerospace and Defense Companies (2019)

The 2019 Fortune 500 has 13 aerospace and defense companies on it, with Boeing, United Technologies, and ...
Continue Reading