How to Climb a Sand Dune, Inbound Marketing Style

By Anne Daly | May 10, 2018

Our CEO, Brendon Dennewill, was born in southwest Africa. Namibia, to be exact.

It’s a place known for three things, he says: cheetahs (the most in the world), the Namib desert (the oldest desert in the world), and sand dunes (the tallest in the world).

The dunes, he says, were a huge part of his growing up. “I remember when my parents first brought me to the sand dunes,” he says “I jumped out of the car, and I just wanted to get to the top of the dune.”

climbing a dune

The Fastest Way to Scale a Dune

When you look at a dune, you’d think the fastest way up is straight up the front face,

“So of course, that’s what you do.”

But Dennewill quickly realized that going straight up a dune “is really hard.”

“Eventually,” he says, “you realize that the better way to get to the top is to take the longer route, coming at it from the side, at the apex. Because there’s firmer footing.”

Even though it’s 2 or 3x the distance, you get up a lot quicker because every step is a step forward. And it’s a sustainable path. You could go up and down that hill 5x in one day, no problem…And come back the next day and do it again. If you do it the right way.

If you go up the dune the wrong way, you can go up maybe once. And you won’t want to come back and do it again. It is brutal. Exhausting. You are treading sand.

But this exhausting method is the way we approach most challenges - in nature, in life, in business.

Damaraland Mountain Camp, Namibia

Scaling the Dunes of Sales and Marketing

“What I am seeing in sales and marketing in 2018 is what I experienced in the dunes.” Dennewill says. “So many of us are scaling the dune all wrong, treading soft sand and going nowhere. We have to find the better way.”

When he and his wife Kristin founded Denamico, they wanted to find the better way to “scale the dune” of sales and marketing.

They’ve found it, he says, in inbound marketing.

It’s a model that’s quickly outpacing the antiquated, outbound method of selling. Outbound marketing may seem like the quickest way from point A to point B. But it quickly exhausts your target audience and makes them deaf to your messages.

In contrast, Dennewill says, inbound marketing meets the buyer where they’re at. Like the longer, but more efficient, route up the dunes, it provides the steady path that gets results time over time.


Inbound marketing works because it recognizes these three key truths.

3 giraffes

The 3 Truths of Inbound Marketing

1. The Buyer is in Control

It used to be that when a buyer wanted to make a purchase, they’d pick up the phone and call a salesperson, a travel agent, a company representative.

But this is no longer the case.

Today, when a buyer is looking to make a purchase, they go straight to the internet to research products and services.

Your sales team is no longer in control.

The buyer, and their search habits, are.

2. The Buyer Has Questions

If you use inbound marketing, though, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

The buyer has questions? And they Google their questions?

You can answer those questions. By creating quality educational content around your buyers’ questions, you will A) meet them where they’re at, B) build credibility, and C) qualify your leads.

3. Embrace the Zero Moment of Truth

15 years ago, you might have invested the majority of your resources in sales.

Today, that investment needs to be flipped to prioritize marketing.

Why? In 2018, when your lead finally picks up a phone to talk to a salesperson, they’re 70-80% of the way through the buying process. Make that fact work for you.

Embrace the zero moment of truth, and meet your buyer where they’re at - online.

road in Namibia

Your Website Can Be Your Number One Employee

In 2018, your website is your most valuable asset.

Without eating a salary, it can work 24/7 to help your leads move through their journey [down the funnel]. It has the ability - and this ability is increasing every day - to answer questions that your audience has, and help you close more deals with fewer salespeople.

Stop Scaling the Dunes Wrong - Learn How at DenamiCON on 5/17

You can’t afford to spend time treading sand. You need a marketing strategy that meets today’s buyers where they’re at. An inbound marketing strategy.

One of the latest components of inbound marketing? Artificial intelligence.

If you’re not using its insights to inform your marketing and sales process, you’re already behind.

But it’s not too late.

Join us on May 17 from 2-6 pm at Surly Brewing for DenamiCON III, where we’ll be discussing Marketing in the Machine Age: The Path to a More (Artificially) Intelligent Future.

You'll learn about the present and future potential of artificial intelligence, and discover AI-powered technologies that can drive marketing performance. Attendees will walk away with valuable, implementable takeaways to transform their online presence and the way they're connecting with prospects online.

Learn the right way to scale the dunes. Register for DenamiCON today and get the tools you need to succeed!

Register for DenamiCON

image credits:

Thorn Tree Sossusvlei Namib Desert Namibia Luca Galuzzi 2004 by LucaG is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5

Damaraland Mountain Camp, Namibia by dconvertini is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by Joachim Huber is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by Heribert Bechen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Namibian road by Olivier Bruchez is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


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