Over the weekend, my Warcraft guild managed to down 4 bosses (really big bad guys) in Ulduar. Two of the bosses posed two separate challenges for healers. One boss, a giant robot named XT-002, hands out lots of damage over a relatively long time to your entire team. Your healers must continuously refill the team's health throughout the fight in a fairly aggressive manner.
The second boss, Kologarn, hits only a couple of members of your team, but he hits them very, very hard and very fast. Your healers must protect those team members and shield them from as much harm as possible while healing them.
In the first fight, there's a class of healer known as a druid who can dispense lots of healing to lots of people over time. Druid healers really are ideal for addressing XT-002's damage method. In the second fight, there's a class of healer known as a discipline priest who can put up shields on a few people - but not the entire team and still stay focused on key members - and protect them from harm. Discipline priests are ideal for mitigating Kologarn's intense damage.
As you can probably imagine, discipline priests who excel and shielding and protecting a few targets have a difficult time healing an entire team on XT-002. Druid healers who excel at healing over a period of time get overwhelmed very quickly when Kologarn dispenses near-instant smackdown, and fall behind quickly.
So what does this have to do with marketing? It comes down to knowing which members of your team have which abilities, and knowing how to properly allocate those abilities for the "fights" you face in marketing.
To make a comparison, if you need to generate lead flow over a period of time, you want to look to your inbound marketing team for search engine optimization, for brand and awareness building, for affiliate and referral marketing programs - things that keep the leads flowing.
Likewise, if you need to apply intense, high lead volume over a very short period of time, you want to look to your outbound marketing team for techniques like press releases, blogger outreach, high volume email marketing - things that are not sustainable for long periods of time but can throw some big numbers up very briefly for a specific campaign.
Asking the inbound team to generate outbound results is exactly the wrong thing to do. They can't put those numbers up any more than a druid healer can heal through Kologarn's spike damage. Asking the outbound team to generate inbound results will end equally badly - they'll burn up all their resources, generate intense fatigue in their channels, and likely piss off a lot of otherwise loyal customers and prospective customers if they have to maintain pace over an inbound team's normal operating period, just as a discipline priest will not be able to sustain focus and effectiveness over an entire team versus focusing on mitigating damage on just a few players.
Inbound and outbound marketing are complementary and equally effective if you're competent at the methods and you know what you should be using when, just as druid healers and discipline priests are both excellent healing classes, as long as you know what they are and are not capable of. The wise raid leader brings the right class to each fight to maximize success, and the wise marketing and business leader brings the right teams to each marketing challenge.
May your raids and marketing equally never hear a Tympanic Tantrum!
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