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Evolution of Inbound Marketing After The Web 2.0 Era

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In the early Internet days, say till late 90’s, the major source of finding some info about a brand was the About Us page in their website. That used to give a decent info regarding their services or the new updates, but it was majorly a ‘one-way’ communication from the company’s side. That was the only source during that period of time. To draw traffic on to their website, companies used to print specific the web address on different outbound marketing channels like newspapers, magazines, other print media, hoardings, TVCs, trade shows, etc. But the expected results were not that satisfactory when compared to the investments done in these marketing channels.

Post the dot-com bubble in 2001, things changed drastically. It was observed that customers are spending more time on search engines and social media sites in researching about the product, reviewing them, exchanging information before taking a buying decision. The shift was enviable towards inbound marketing through quality content and search engine optimization through social media sites.

inbound vs outbound

These changes laid foundation for the rise of Inbound Marketing after the Web 2.0 – where the entire business communication shifted from read-only to read-write-share. This is more of a ‘two-way’ communication between the brands and the customers by being in constant touch. Content, in the form of blogs, videos, podcasts, feeds, etc. is published in different social media channels, which the customer wants to read or see or share in his social circle.


There is a clear demarcation in the above slide – Web 1.0 is a ‘one-way’ communication but, web 2.0 is ‘multi-way’ communication through various channels.

This forced the brands to make their presence felt in reaching out to the far more audience. This is more economical, efficient and measurable, where the visitors are turning into Inbound Marketers for the brand and at a fraction of the cost when compared to outbound marketing. The scope here is unlimited by using the marketing channels in the best way to ‘engage’ the customer with tight budgets. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) also got more importance in the phase.

Above study by Hubspot on Dow Jones clearly shows the shift in the usage of the internet for advertising to build brands over a period of time. Inbound marketing was ruling the charts now.

There are many small and medium players who take the advantage of Web 2.0 in running their business.

Ex: Yummyies, a new opened food joint from Bhubaneswar, Odisha is actively using Facebook to engage with their customers to get more business and get “connected”. In a span of hardly 3 months, they have 2650 likes on their FB page which is a clear indicator that they are getting the best of social media. They are using the right content in communicating through this FB channel to generate more traffic and quality leads. 

  • inbound-marketing

  • There is 1 comment

    • 5 years ago

      Tarun   /   Reply

      Very effectively explained. With customers becoming less loyal to a brand, the way out to win customers is to attract them, keep them engaged and build long term relationship through customized services. And this is what Inbound marketing is best at. The websites of all the companies have underwent a major overhaul between Web 1.0 and 2.0 era with a strong integration with social media platforms and keep updating and upgrading frequently. Inbound marketing specifically can have big impact for small businesses like Yummyies as mentioned above by the author, who don’t have big marketing budget to support their marketing activities.

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