Mastering Nearbound Marketing: Key Takeaways from the Nearbound Book

Mastering Nearbound Marketing: Key Takeaways from the Nearbound Book

Andrea Vallejo 9 min

If some of your top challenges include effectively reaching and engaging with buyers in today’s saturated (and evolving) market, or driving more revenue with a tight budget…then let us introduce you to Jared Fuller’s NEARBOUND and the Rise of the Who Economy.

 

 

Mike Midgley’s take on the Nearbound Marketing chapter

 

This book was written to help you build a better and stronger GTM strategy. With 15 chapters, 225 pages, 105 people highlighted, 110 companies mentioned, hundreds of stories told, and even more plays documented, Jared authored this book with a singular goal:

 

To give you the keys to unlock success with nearbound. 

 

Here’s a sneak peek of the Marketing section and how it can help. 

 

What is nearbound marketing?

Nearbound marketing focuses on creating conversations and building relationships with customers before they even search for a solution to their problems.

 

Outbound tactics utilized customer data for direct targeting through emails and phones, while inbound focused on attracting customers through content creation. However, the overwhelming influx of information has led to buyer distrust and decreased effectiveness of traditional tactics. 

 

Buyers now seek recommendations from trusted networks rather than relying on company information. If you want to properly reach out to your customers you have to focus not only on interrupting or merely attracting customers, but rather surrounding them with influence from people whom your buyers already trust.

 

And nearbound, a strategy emerging from outbound and inbound methods, addresses this evolution. 

 

Nearbound marketing leverages partners to change the conversation and involves surrounding prospects with trust rather than interruptions. It involves leveraging existing relationships and brand evangelists to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, ultimately adding value to existing marketing strategies and processes.

 

“Nearbound marketing is all about activating the evangelists who are closer to your prospects, leveraging the trust that they have, and their collective pull power of all of their trust nodes.”—Logan Lyles, Evangelism and Content Marketing at teamwork.com

 

Now, let’s dive into the 5 key takeaways of the Marketing chapter of the NEARBOUND book.

 

Takeaway #1: It’s about the market, not market-ing 

If you want to build a successful nearbound marketing strategy, you should go back to the basics: listen to your market. 

 

Your marketing strategy should be deeply informed by the evolving dynamics of the market and the needs of your audience—both potential and existing customers.

 

But what does this mean?

 

If your marketing strategy is based only on being closer to revenue or advertising and selling your product, you’re going to fail as a marketer. Attempting to dictate the market to adapt to your product or customer journey is futile; the market is in a constant state of flux driven by human behavior.

 

Market > Marketing

 

Focusing on the market—versus trying to dictate what you think it needs—is all about surrounding your audience with nodes of influence and delivering value. By doing so, your company can be top-of-mind, positively influence your customer’s journey, and drive more revenue. 

 

Being a Market team is not about imagining faceless ICPs or markets, focusing only on metrics, or imposing a customer journey. It’s about embracing a nearbound strategy rooted in an understanding of who your market is, who they trust, where they congregate, their behaviors, and motivations.

 

Nearbound marketing is fundamentally about aligning your strategy with human behavior. It’s not just about attracting customers; it’s about surrounding them in an environment where they feel connected and supported by those they trust.

 

To achieve this, you have to live in the market. Observe, learn from others, and develop the ability to see the world through your customers’ eyes.

 

“The actual boss and center of the universe in B2B is the customer.”Jared Fuller, Chief Partnerships and Ecosystem Officer at Reveal and Co-founder of nearbound.com

 

Takeaway #2: Buyers have become almost unreachable 

If you cold call your buyer or send cold emails, you’re not giving them any other option than to ignore you—they can receive 30+ prospective emails and 10+ cold calls a day. Your buyer has more important things to do than opening an email or answering a phone call from who knows who, about who knows what. 

 

As budgets shrink, advertising costs soar with a staggering $57K ad spend needed to secure a single deal. Organic reach is also dwindling with 65% of searches resulting in no clicks, and cold outreach efforts fall on deaf ears. Reaching your customers seems like an uphill battle, leaving your target audience nearly out of reach.

 

The current issue isn’t that your buyer isn’t engaging in searches, ad clicks, or email responses, but rather the lack of insight companies have into the additional behaviors their buyers are engaging in—your buyer is asking for help from those they trust. 

 

This is what we call the Who Economy. Rather than asking "How do I do x?" buyers seek "Who can help me solve x?". They turn to LinkedIn, Partnership Leaders, or nearbound.com to find real people with real solutions, shaping their buying journey based on trusted connections.

 

“True influence comes from trust, and trust comes from those who help.”—Jared Fuller

 

Nearbound facilitates meaningful connections, bridging the gap between buyers and helpful individuals who have achieved similar goals. Leveraging the right “who” can make you one step closer to your buyer.

 

To effectively reach your market, the focus shifts from determining how to reach the market to identifying who can assist buyers in achieving their objectives.

 

Takeaway #3: Surround and connect your buyer through trusted relationships 

“Nearbound marketing means marketing with and not through people who already have relationships and operate in the same spaces as your target market.”Jared Fuller

 

Establishing a solid nearbound marketing strategy starts with understanding who your buyer trusts. However, it’s unlikely that you are that trusted source. This highlights the importance of collaborating with those who already hold sway over your target audience.

 

These trusted connections can take many forms, including advisors, advocates, customers, influencers, or partners. One thing you must remember is that it’s crucial to distinguish between merely paying for brand exposure and fostering genuine partnerships with trusted people.

 

A true partnership involves engaging in the market and fostering a two-way flow of traffic, information, influence, and introductions, rather than just paying for logo placement.

 

To effectively implement a nearbound marketing approach, leverage your partners as collaborators in serving your audience, providing valuable insights, and surrounding them with trusted influence.

 

This approach allows you to participate in your audience’s conversations without disrupting them and fosters an environment of trust rather than bombarding buyers with unsolicited product pitches.

 

Takeaway #4: Enhance your existing strategies by layering nearbound 

The good news is that running a nearbound marketing motion doesn’t require starting from scratch. Instead, nearbound allows you to overlay data into your existing activities.

 

To achieve this, one approach is to shift away from traditional and cold tactics towards a more account-based engagement approach—a nearbound ABM strategy

 

 

This entails focusing with your Sales and Partnerships teams on identifying accounts that perfectly align with your ICP, prioritizing those who have already shown interest in your product and have some partner presence.

 

You’re not just building a traditional ABM strategy. Previously, you carefully reached out to your ICP. Now, the next step is to overlay nearbound into your existing marketing strategy by following the ICE model (created by Mark Kilens, Isaac Morehouse, and Jared Fuller):

  • Identify: Once you’ve identified your target accounts, determine who they trust, their network connections, and their partner overlap.

  • Collaborate: Engage with partners to assist in reaching your ICP, prioritizing partners based on their proximity to your ICP.

  • Execute: Implement your usual marketing strategies, ensuring that your messaging is tailored based on the partner data you’ve collected.

     

"With nearbound, Marketing teams can surround the market with influence and focus on target accounts with partners. Marketers don’t need to be the loudest voice to reach customers if they partner with the most trusted voice." —Jared Fuller

 

Takeaway #5: Execute a nearbound marketing strategy to build trust and drive revenue  

Follow a 5-phase system created by Isaac Morehouse and Logan Lyles (the first two points are already embedded into your marketing strategy):

  • Define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

  • Establish a strategic narrative

  • Assemble a nearbound marketing team

  • Activate your evangelists

  • Iterate and scale

Following these phases ensures a scalable growth engine powered by networks of trust and influence.

 

To execute nearbound marketing effectively, answer: who is my ideal customer and who do they trust? Develop a brand story and positioning aligned with your customer’s trust network and needs. Let discussions with partners and evangelists shape your message, leveraging their understanding and trust within your audience. To draft the perfect message here’s how you have to prioritize the elements in your narrative: 

 

 

To get the second element of your messaging right, you have to market with partners, making them influential, not just pathways for transactions. Engage partners to identify ideal collaborations, bridge product gaps, and amplify your message. Here’s how your partners can help you build a nearbound marketing strategy: 

  • Share top partners

  • Guide event, content, or ad collaborations

  • Identify active channels and conversations

  • Determine influential voices

Nearbound marketing integrates partner, influencer, and customer advocacy into existing strategies, amplifying trusted voices. Focus on "who" influences buyers, not just "how" they arrive, and finally celebrate early wins to drive investment and expansion across teams.

 

TL;DR

NEARBOUND and the Rise of the Who Economy offers an invaluable resource for mastering nearbound marketing and overcoming the challenges of reaching and engaging buyers in today’s competitive landscape.

 

The key takeaways provided offer actionable insights into understanding your market, connecting with buyers through trusted relationships, and enhancing existing strategies with nearbound principles. Whether you’re just beginning to explore nearbound marketing or seeking to refine your approach, this book provides the guidance and tools needed to succeed.

 

If you want to access all the step-by-step tactics, examples, and success stories from Allison Munro and Pete Caputa, get your copy of NEARBOUND and the Rise of the Who Economy.

 

Get my copy. 

Andrea Vallejo 9 min

Mastering Nearbound Marketing: Key Takeaways from the Nearbound Book


Unlock nearbound marketing strategies from the Nearbound book to revolutionize customer engagement. Drive revenue growth by leveraging trusted relationships.


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