If you have any experience with inbound marketing, you’ll recognize the name Dharmesh Shah. As the founder and chief technology officer of HubSpot — the undisputed king of the inbound marketing marketplace — Shah has introduced numerous nuggets of wisdom to the marketing community and helped guide countless businesses down the path to success.

Dharmesh Shah

It’s easy to see how business leaders and entrepreneurs can benefit from Shah’s experience and widsom.

Let’s take a look at some of this inbound marketing guru’s most sage advice:

“Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just marketing or sales or service. To really win in the modern age, you must solve for humans. Every process should be optimized for what is best for the customer – not your organization.”

When he speaks to or about business leaders, Dharmesh Shah often stresses the importance of creating products, services, and experiences for the consumer and not for the business. When it comes to inbound marketing, the product is the website, the email, the social media post, the blog article, or anything else that you create as a magnet for potential consumers.

According to Shah, businesses must remember that “they sell to actual people.” It’s easy to focus on technology and shiny bells and whistles, but your customers’ smartphones and other connected devices don’t make the decisions. The consumers do.

In other words, just because a new script on your website or a new ad campaign looks slick or innovative doesn’t mean it will appeal to your audience. Instead of investing in technology just because it’s the new hit thing, dig into your customers’ lives and figure out what makes them tick.

“If you can take insecurity out of a team, amazing things happen.”


Put some wind in your team’s sails.

According to Shah, insecurity can prove toxic to teams, especially when you expect that team to exercise creativity. If your team feels uncertain about the direction of a project or loses its confidence in your marketing strategy, your business starts to drown in a sea of second guesses and missed opportunities.

However, when you encourage your team to express themselves no matter what springs to mind, and prove to them that you reward that openness, “amazing things happen.” In inbound marketing, you sometimes have to push the envelope, using creative language and inventive imagery to get your point across. Siphon the insecurity from your team and encourage them to not just think outside the box, but to leave the box behind entirely.

“Instead of investing massive amounts of money in pay-per-click advertising, invest the time and effort to develop remarkable content around a few select keywords that are really important to the company’s audience.”

Dharmesh Shah often speaks out against old-school forms of advertising and marketing. He cautions that consumers are tuning out from billboards, banner ads, television commercials, and radio spots. They’re far more likely to engage with a brand that avoids those channels.

He recommends “remarkable content” as an excellent place to start. You’ll spend far less money on well-written blog or social media content than you would on a PPC campaign. Plus, you can use content marketing to make your brand more visible and to establish your corporate identity.

“The worst outcome for a startup is not failure – it’s mediocrity.”

He’s talking about entrepreneurship in general here, but Shah’s words about mediocrity hold water for inbound marketing, as well. If you do it poorly, you might not fail, but you certainly won’t achieve greatness. Many businesses just copy the competition or phone in their email messages, but it’s the brands that make their companies unique and distinctive that earn spots on the Fortunate 1,000 list.

Why? Because people forget mediocrity. If you have a bland meal at a restaurant, chances are you won’t recall the eatery’s name by next week. The same goes for a lackluster blog post, a dull social media update, or a forgettable email.

Dharmesh Shah offers plenty of excellent advice for inbound marketers. Are you heeding it? Consider following in Shah’s content marketing footsteps by supercharging your next round of content. We’re offering a free trial to showcase just how much you can benefit from our stable of experienced writers and editors.