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Did David Bowie accidentally predict the rise of inbound marketing?

Posted by Octopus Group - January 12, 2016

As if you needed another reason to worship the great David Bowie, as well as musically, it turns out he was a visionary when it came to technology too.

How does this strike you as a prediction on the future of content on the internet?

“The context and the state of content is going to be so different to anything we can envisage at the moment, where the interplay between the user and the provider will be so in simpatico it’s going to crush our ideas of what mediums are all about.”

It could easily be a leading B2B marketer’s description of inbound marketing and it’s an accurate comment on today’s digital landscape.

What makes it particularly impressive is that David Bowie said it 16 years ago.

The quote is from a Jeremy Paxman interview with Bowie in 2000, which has received renewed interest following the news of the musician’s death.

Check out the interview here.

Inbound marketing is a method  based on the customer trend of researching extensively online before deciding to buy – something that’s particularly apparent in B2B where order values tend to be high and involve long periods of information gathering so the buyer is fully informed before deciding what to buy.

The idea is that the content will catch your audience’s attention by being valuable and useful to them in a way that’s related to what your business does, allowing you to gradually nurture them through the B2B marketing funnel.

Bowie, who invested in web portals in the late 90s, was evidently not just a step ahead in music, but in technology and online habits too.

In appreciating the importance of the user’s role, he inadvertently predicted inbound marketing’s focus on the audience – in the words of inbound pioneers HubSpot, by publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.

And that’s what inbound marketing is all about: having that simpatico relationship between your business’s content and its audience.

This blog post is void of a call-to-action out of respect for David Bowie.


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