When you've got a bag of nails, a hammer and a picture to hang, it's tempting to knock to the nail into the wall because those are the tools that you have.
It's more difficult to drive to the hardware store, buy a drill, some wall plugs and the right size screw for the picture. Even if it is quite heavy and you're not 100% convinced it's not going to just rip a chunk of plaster away!
My point is that everyone sees things from their own perspective which I guess is why Moz sees inbound marketing as a question of organic traffic generation.
Don't get me wrong, We all know that Moz has some of the best tools to manage and grow organic and social traffic. No doubt.
And that taking control of your organic traffic is an absolutely necessary activity to get highly qualified visitors on your website and if you've got no visitors you've got nowhere to start from.
And that's my point. It's somewhere to start from.
I'd argue that the process of Inbound Marketing is closer to Seth Godin's Permission Marketing than a top of funnel traffic generation exercise such as SEO.
Yes inbound marketing is kind of the opposite to outbound marketing, in that you are drawing in people who have a genuine interest and potential need.
But that's only part of the process, there's still a lot of work to do in building your relationship through managing a conversation and delivering high value content - educating and qualifying your new prospects.
After all, once you have a visitor you need to convert them into someone who is happy to share their details with you. To give you permission to talk to them.
Inbound needs to convert.
For that you need conversion forms to capture their details, and a CRM to keep their details up to date, that allows your new contacts to manage the level of permission they are giving you.
Once you have permission to stay in touch the conversation can begin, with campaigns to nurture your leads using really good content that is designed to encourage trading up to more targeted and higher engagement activities; like taking a free trial or scheduling a conversation.
Inbound needs a conversation.
The use of email marketing to create high value campaigns designed to deepen engagement over time is absolutely fundamental. Other wise you're spending all of your time advertising your store and then artfully ignoring all of the potential customers that arrive.
Inbound builds trust.
Generating content that your marketplace and your customers love will build traffic.
But you need to build trust to earn customers.
We go on dates. We get to know people before we trust them, it's how we're made. As marketers how we orchestrate building trust and permission will be what makes us successful.
Inbound is a process.
Calling 'SEO' 'Inbound Marketing' is an over simplification of a more complicated, more human process; the underlying goal of which is to create personalised conversations and journeys for customers.
I just have trouble seeing how Moz provides an Inbound Marketing process.
It might be that Moz are repeating the process they used for SEO and aiming to build their profile, then release tools that over time deliver the promise.
You could of course use Moz today to provide reporting to help you manage your organic traffic growth, add lead capture forms from Wufoo or Landing Pages from Unbounce, then send your leads into SugarCRM, use MailChimp to trigger auto responders and use Woopra to track activity and maybe get it to flag up particularly engaged activity from your known leads by using their API.
For a simpler solution, you could even use Jumplead quite comfortably along side Moz to manage your Inbound Marketing process.
At the end of the day Inbound is a process rather than a tactic. As Seth Godin put it.. "Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers."