How does Hubspot define inbound marketing

What is inbound marketing anyway?

There is a very special methodology in inbound marketing. This is customer-centered and aims to build a basis of trust with your customers and potential customers and to continuously offer them added value. The three phases of the inbound methodology are: Attract (attract), Engage (interact) and Delight (inspire). The inbound marketing methodology is visualized as a flywheel and not as a funnel, like conventional sales funnels:

(c) Inbound methodology according to HubSpot

In the HubSpot Academy course on inbound methodology, the flywheel approach is explained in more detail. Accordingly, the use of a funnel model is obsolete, as it no longer takes customers into account as soon as they have made a purchase due to its linear representation. That shouldn't be the case, however. Because when customers are satisfied with your product / service, they share their positive experience with friends, family, the whole world (social media, reviews of your products / services).

These people should definitely stay on your horizon. Therefore, the entire process should be saved as a flywheel, i.e. a mechanical flywheel. The advantage of a flywheel over the conventional funnel concept is that the contribution that satisfied customers can make to company growth is also taken into account.

This means that customers who have bought once will fall out of the machine from that point on, which is not the case. Because when they are happy, they report on their positive experience to friends / family, who then also become customers. The process should therefore be presented as a flywheel (= a mechanical flywheel). This stores rotational energy.

The advantage over the funnel concept is that it makes the contribution that satisfied customers can make to sustainable company growth.

Does it have to be an either / or, or can the concepts of the flywheel and the funnel be combined? Yes! The flywheel is used to visualize your entire inbound marketing process. Visualization as a funnel makes sense for individual phases within the entire inbound marketing process:

  • If you want to take a close look at which phase in the inbound marketing funnel you have lost and how much in the transition to the next phase.
  • If you want to analyze conspicuous losses in more detail, as these can have various causes.
  • If you want to revise the structure of the individual phases.
  • If you want to create a separate sales funnel for each and every one of your salespeople to see exactly who has weaknesses and strengths and where.

As you can see, the visualization as a flywheel is not a contradiction to a conventional sales funnel, but an addition. It is also in no way intended to express that from now on every sales funnel should no longer be represented as a funnel, but as a flywheel. What is expressed by the flywheel is that a business process should be seen as a cycle. A cycle that stores rotational energy and feeds itself. This cycle forms the overriding framework for the use of funnel concepts.

The individual phases of the inbound methodology

It is the job of marketeers to attract as many potential customers as possible, to interact with them and to inspire them all. In the following I would like to go into more detail on the individual phases of the inbound methodology.


Even if you want to attract as many website visitors as possible, don't forget that, as always, quality is about quantity. After all, your primary concern is those website visitors who turn into leads and, at the end of the day, customers. So your goal should be with the help of your well-thought-out content strategy the right people, at the right time, with the right content to bring to your website.

Engage - interact

The second phase of the inbound methodology begins when a customer or potential customer takes a desired action. This phase is all about building meaningful and long-lasting relationships with customers and prospects. It does this by providing people with insights, information, and solutions that go along with their obstacles and goals.

Delight - inspire

The final phase of the inbound methodology, the Delight phase, is about providing customers and prospects with an exceptional experience every time they come into contact with the company. This experience must have real value, far exceed the expectations of customers and prospects, and empower them to achieve their goals and become advocates of your business.


Attract, Engage, Delight - this is the recipe for inbound marketing. Now that you know what inbound marketing is, how it differs from other marketing disciplines, how wonderful marketing automation software is and what the inbound method is, I would like to delve a little deeper into practice: