Book Review: Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing by Halligan and Shah is as practical as you can get about SEO and Social Media without actually describing the installation of blogging software, HTML code and HTTP server configuration files. The book starts by explaining what is inbound marketing and how it is different from outbound marketing (the current interruption based advertising model). Inbound marketing is all about driving leads towards your business, when they are seeking information or reading on a topic relevant to your business. The authors then build a case for why inbound marketing is important in today’s world and why it’s much more effective than outbound marketing.

The book is divided among four sections:


The structure is quite logical having first explained you the basic concepts, it then moves on to increasing your reach within Google and Social Media, converting prospects into customers and eventually measure how well your inbound marketing efforts are doing.

The interesting thing about the book is that most of the advice is common sense and probably not new to anyone who has been following last 6-7 years of Web 2.0 and Social Networking boom (yes, I used the dreaded word). After convincing you, that inbound marketing is the most effective lead generation tool you have online, the authors then explain how to use modern social networking sites and Google to get found and build a following. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon – it’s all covered. There is some practical advice on SEO, but this is not an SEO primer. The book contains basic and most important (and legit) SEO advice and doesn’t go overboard in telling you tricks to exploit current bugs and loopholes in search engine algorithms. The whole promise is to build long term assets which would keep on giving after you have long stopped attending to them (however, if you want to keep maintaining and growing your leads quantity/quality you are never really done with SEO and content creation).

The last few chapters contain good pointers on how to effectively measure everything you do online from lead quantity/quality to internal staff efficiency. This is good enough for a start, but I believe every company would like to build their own matrices and measures. As Jack Welch said in his famous “Straight from the Gut“ book: what you measure is what you get.

I try to keep up to date on online trends and read most new books on the subject. Some of my recent good reads include The Long Tail, Everything is Miscellenous, Groundswell and Free along with whatever Gladwell and Godin write :-). This is a different sort of book and a comparison is not Apples to Apples, but this book stands tall even in such distinguished company. And that’s saying something about the first book by the authors.

Having said all that, there is one caveat, the era of outbound marketing is not over yet. You have to explore both inbound and outbound marketing approaches to make sure you attract the right segment for your product/services. The authors say this much even in the book that outbound marketing can be useful especially in the beginning when you are just starting to build your inbound assets.

Grab it at, it will enrich you in every sense of the word.

  1. Thanks for reading “Inbound Marketing”. Glad you enjoyed it.

    And indeed, for those that have been around the web marketing arena for a while, much of the book will be familiar.

    Dharmesh Shah
    Co-author, “Inbound Marketing”

  2. Abhishek Balaria says:

    Thanks for stopping by Dharmesh.

    Yes, I really enjoyed the book and have had good results while using the advice in the book.


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