By Jessica Vionas-Singer

Stormtroopers-aim-at-the-camera

There are a lot of terms in inbound marketing that may be foreign to newbies just started on the path to becoming a Jedi. Below we offer definitions for the top 25 inbound marketing terms using the Star Wars universe to illustrate. (Because, well, why not.)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Buyer’s Journey – the purchasing process Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke went through when they hired Han Solo in A New Hope:

Awareness – when Obi-Wan realized he needed to get to Alderaan and didn’t have the means to get there on his own (recognition of a problem)
Consideration – the different options Obi-Wan considered to solve his problem (perhaps rob a bank and buy a ship; get arrested and fly there with stormtroopers; hire a smuggler to take them there; etc.)
Decision – the final option Obi-Wan researched in order to choose a solution (the meeting with Han Solo at the cantina) 

Calls-to-action – a specific request to take a desired action that guides a person to the next step in their journey such as Leia’s recording on R2-D2

Conversion path – when Luke lands on Dagobah he’s a visitor and upon meeting Yoda and speaking with him, Luke becomes a Jedi student lead for Yoda (prior to signing on as his pupil)

HubSpot – a lightsaber

Inbound Marketing – drawing prospects to you like the Death Star pulled in the Millennium Falcon

Inbound Marketing Methodology – the process for implementing inbound marketing:

Attract – Obi-Wan telling stories of being a Jedi Knight and educating Luke on the Force 
Convert – when Luke agrees to join Obi-Wan on his trip to Alderaan and learn more about being a Jedi 
Close – when Luke becomes a Jedi 
Delight – the big party at the end of Return of the Jedi

Landing pages – the swamp where Luke crashed his X-wing fighter in The Empire Strikes Back that housed an educational resource (Yoda) that Luke wanted to obtain

Leads/Prospects – people who are open to joining the rebellion, but haven’t yet signed up

Marketing qualified leads – individuals who have shown an interest in joining the rebellion (such as attending a rally) and/or have criteria that indicates a propensity to join (such as a family member dying at the hand of stormtroopers)
Sales qualified leads – people who have talked to Princess Leia or Obi-Wan Kenobi about joining the rebellion and seem committed to the cause 

Lead nurturing – a series of contact points over time designed to help guide Luke from being an outsider to becoming a student to becoming a Jedi (through the Buyer’s Journey)

Organic search – information obtained from a reputable source without paying, such as when Yoda tells Luke there is another Skywalker

Personas – a fictionalized representation that outlines the motives, pain points, demographics, psychographics, and other identifying characteristics of a target audience; in Star Wars, the best example I have is the holographic pieces of the Dejarik game Chewbacca and R2-D2 play:

Progressive profiling – throughout the Star Wars 4-6 trilogy, we learn a little bit more about Luke; for example, in A New Hope, we meet Luke and we learn about his personality; in the Empire Strikes Back, we discover that Darth Vader is Luke’s father; and in the Return of the Jedi, we uncover that Leia is Luke’s sister

SMART goals – acronym for goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely; in Star Wars it could have been something like “decrease the size of the Death Star from 160 kilometers in diameter to 0 kilometers by the end of today”

Social media – places where people hang out, such as the cantina, used to cultivate relationships

Sources – in the example of Luke and Obi-Wan hiring Han Solo, sources for Han Solo’s business could be referrals from his other satisfied customers, finding him using the force, or traffic from his local spacecraft parts dealer

Visitors – people who visit a planet (both for the first time and repeat visits apply)

May the force be with you.

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Jessica Vionas-Singer

About the author

Jessica Vionas-Singer is a Marketing Strategist at SmartBug Media where she leads the strategy behind inbound and content marketing activities to help a portfolio of clients exceed their sales and marketing goals. She fell in love with marketing at her first job at a technology company specializing in credit evaluation software. Prior to joining SmartBug, Jessica was the Director of Marketing at a B2B company that built software for analyzing genetics. Her background includes more than 17 years of marketing experience in content creation and lead-driving tactics, online presence and blog creation, social media engagement, budgeting and project plans, webinar and trade show event management, public relations, comprehensive promotional campaigns, and analytics. Jessica has a BS in Sociology from Montana State University – Bozeman. Read more articles by Jessica Vionas-Singer.