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May 02, 2013


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Peter Johnston

This is not new, David.

I helped Grant Shapps to overturn a major Labour majority in Welwyn Hatfield in 2005.

A major part of his strategy was to create websites for local issues such as the closure of the local hospital and build an email list for his blog. He was also one of the first with Twitter and Facebook when they arrived.

It works - he turned an 11,000 deficit into a 5,000 majority and he now runs campaigning for the whole Conservative Party.

What I will add, however, is that it takes a consistent build-up and a straightforward and committed candidate - it isn't a quick fix. Just as in business, really.

Peter Johnston

Slightly off-topic comment but the timeline got me thinking. Facebook came out in 2004 and Twitter in 2006 - neither was available in the UK for Grant's campaign in 2005.

A blog this morning claims that Inbound Marketing is 5 years old, as Hubspot released their 5th annual review. I remember you saying you sat and discussed it in 2007.

When and how did the germ of the idea come about, when did it become a realistic proposition and who were the prime movers?

David Meerman Scott

Hi Peter, many thanks for jumping in here. Yes, of course it isn't new. Here in the US, people frequently talk about Barack Obama's surprise win in 2008. He hadn't even completed one term as a US Senator. I thought Gareth's story was interesting because it shows anyone can use the ideas.

My book "Cashing in with Content" (which is dated now) released in 2005. I wrote it in 2004. The first edition of "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" released in 2007 and I was writing it in 2006. I would argue that Inbound Marketing is nearly a decade old.

Early on we had blogs and websites and forums and not much else. While Facebook is from 2004 it was several years before they opened to non-students (in the first few years it was required that you have a .edu email address to join).



That's a very interesting insight, and I'd say I would agree. It's interesting how some bloggers notice political strategies on a small scale; and this does benefit our own approach to marketing. Good stuff!


Fantastic post David.

I would say that what this example does demonstrate is the power of combined on-line & off-line communications.

Gareth would have still utilised the 'leaflet drops'; using Social Media to 'remind' his constituents of his presence and vis-versa.

Small businesses should be looking to utilise these same principles in their marketing, creating increased brand awareness and leading to an easier adoption process.

Thanks David.



Great article! Really shows the power of social media. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa Chaves

Well it shows how powerful is the influence of social media and powerful content. Glad to know Gareth has exhausted this system and really succeeded.

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