7 Things St Patrick Can Teach Us About Inbound Marketing

10 Minute Read

Tags: Blog

Who doesn’t know who St Patrick is? The patron saint of Ireland, a man synonymous with snakes, shamrocks, and Guinness. Ok, maybe not the last one but he has made it famous!

Some facts about St Patrick include that he was either born in Scotland or Wales, he was captured and taken as a slave to Ireland at the age of 16, he then escaped after 6 years, became a bishop, returned to Ireland as a missionary and played a major part in converting the Irish to Christianity...phew! He liked to keep busy. 

At Atlanticus Digital our main aim is to help businesses to grow. We do this by utilising inbound marketing, increase leads and improve return on investment. We are also situated on the wonderful island of Ireland! 

So, what can St Patrick teach us about Inbound Marketing I hear you ask? Well, we have collated 7 things that this 5th-century legendary figure can teach us about it! Read on and find out more.  


1. Holy Trinity - Attract, Engage, Delight

Attract (1)

3 is the magic number! St Patrick used the shamrock to demonstrate the Holy Trinity (The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) to pagan Ireland and this helped convert Irish people in the 7th century. Now, this humble weed has gained worldwide fame with everyone adoring and drowning shamrocks on St Patrick’s Day. 

With Inbound Marketing, the Holy Trinity is Attract, Engage Delight. This tactic is used to attract strangers to your website, get leads, obtain customers and ensure those customers become promoters of your brand. Let’s look at how inbound could help you Attract, Delight and Engage your customers. 

Attract - Earn attention! Provide your customers with interesting engaging and thought leadership content. Use blog posts, videos, infographics, social media to educate them. Don't start creating barriers and going in for the hard sell straight away. Just like St Patrick did, use tools to help your customers visualise how you can help them. 

Engage - It’s all about talking to customers at the right time, in the right place, using the right content. Again, you're not forcing a hard sell here, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers and not interruptive and pushy.

Delight - Finally, analyse the success of your campaigns and determine which areas need further optimisations for future success. Regularly communicate with your customers which brings us onto the next bit...


2. Spreading The Word


According to legend, after escaping, St Patrick returned to Ireland as a bishop to spread the word of God to many people who hadn’t heard it before. His life would definitely have been made easier if he had Facebook! Apparently, he also baptised thousands of people across the island. This guy was busy! So, for St Patrick, regular communication with his followers was key.

The inbound marketing process is about continuing to communicate with and nurture your customers and finding ways to help them alleviate their challenges. The latest State of Inbound report from HubSpot states that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing (Source: HubSpot Research, Global Survey, Nov-Dec 2019). Further, it revealed that video, over infographics and blogs, is their primary method for doing this. Utilise these tools but also think about your customers. What platforms do they use, what are their challenges, and most importantly, how can you help them?


3. Driving the Snakes Away


One of the famous legends of St. Patrick is that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. Shockingly, this is considered not to be true (Ah, come on, I want to believe this!)St Patrick's Statue

According to historians, there have never been snakes in Ireland.  Scientists claim that the Ice Age kept the island too cold for reptiles during this period. As someone who has lived on this island all of his life, I would have to agree with the point about the temperature!

With Inbound, you don’t want to drive any customers* away, but you do want to focus on the people that matter and that you can gain long term relationships with. It’s back to the flywheel and thinking about your ideal customer, being customer-focused is fundamental in driving the growth of your business. There are many methods to ensure that you are customer-focused but two areas we would focus on are solving specific problems for your customers and building trust. 

When solving customers’ problems, you’re taking a pain point and effectively finding ways to soothe this. Take Sarah Nahm, who recognised that software companies were having difficulty attracting and retaining talent and founded Lever, easy to use technology to help with talent solutions.

Building trust is another customer-focused element and is fundamental in a customer- retention model. Service organisations such as financial, banks and insurance use trust and relationships to maintain customer service and revenue.  Insurance companies such as these follow the if/then model i.e. if a customer pays a regular fee they trust that they will be taken care of if something goes wrong.   To put it simply customers won’t want to do business with a company that they don’t trust. 

This is where inbound comes in, by using inbound marketing, you can help build credibility and nurture a customer through each stage of the buying process. Relationships are built on trust and this can be achieved by giving prospects content that resonates with them, whether that be an infographic, whitepaper or a blog post. 

So focus on the customers that matter and drive the snakes away!

*We are in no way comparing snakes to customers :-)


4. Creating Authority

Cute St Patrick's Day Dog

When it came to Christianity in the year 400, St Patrick was the Ron Burgundy of that generation and was ‘kind of a big deal’. The main reason was that he created authority with his followers and built a name for himself. He helped build churches, he baptised pagans into Christians and was the go-to person when it came to all God-related info. He built and earned that authority by continuing to build relationships and educate his followers.


This is similar in the inbound methodology and creating that authority, building a name for your company will help you gain more followers and believers in your brand. The goal is to create engaging content that will push users to your landing pages and to continue to communicate using automated marketing, email marketing and workflows. Using this tactic, you are letting your ideal customers come to you rather you pushing yourself towards them.  

5. Setting Goals


6 years after St Patrick escaped Ireland, he had a vision during the night. No, not the one that you might have after one too many Guinness, but one in which he heard the people of Ireland plead with him “We beg you holy youth that you shall come and shall walk again among us”. St Patrick knew then that he had to come back and serve the Irish people and spread the word of Christianity. In other words, he had clearly defined goals and he knew how he was going to achieve these. 

When creating an effective Inbound marketing strategy, you need to have realistic goals to help you to create a vision and get your desired results. Create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound) goals are a good way to start. You can do this by evaluating where you currently are as a business, where your current strategy is, what you have achieved previously and analysing results of previous plans.

Lack of a strategy can often be one of the biggest downfalls for a business when implementing an inbound marketing strategy. Having a SMART goal will help you tailor your strategic plans better and should be one of the first things that you look at on your journey to success.


6. Perseverance, Perseverance, Perseverance


St Patrick spent his whole life persevering and clinging on to hope. He faced negativity, cruelty, oppression, and uncertainty on a daily basis but what kept him going was resolution and determination. His goals were clear, he was certain what he wanted to do and how he was going to do it. His plan was to follow his dream and become a priest and return to Ireland and after studying for several years he felt ready to take up the life of a missionary. 

That’s the thing about inbound marketing - it's challenging - and you need that perseverance to make it work. So, how do you know that your perseverance is coming to fruition with Inbound? Well,  metrics such as ROI (Return on Investment), Client Engagements, Leads Generated and Customer Acquisition are going to be clear indicators that you are growing and thriving. Another major indicator is that you’re attracting your ideal customer persona, you know, the one whose problems you’re trying to ease?

Inbound Marketing is about practice, patience, testing, measuring, making mistakes, learning, making more mistakes, learning and repeat until you perfect it. In a word, persevering just like St Patrick did back in 432 AD!


7. Celebrate

Ok, fifth-century Ireland may not have been a time to celebrate but St Patrick’s Day has a reputation around the world for having fun and celebrating, regardless of your nationality, religious background or beliefs. It’s a day that you can celebrate successes, listen to music and have plenty of craic!St Patrick's Day Celebration

When looking at your Inbound campaign, analyse and enjoy successes collectively, look for feedback from your customers, look for ways to upsell, to further nurture and delight those customers. Think again, about the flywheel and how you attract and retain those customers again. Keep your customers informed. 

So, there you have it, that is how St Patrick could teach us about Inbound marketing. Can you think of anything else that St Patrick could teach us about Inbound?

Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all, stay safe and celebrate!

If you want to find out more about how Atlanticus Digital could help you grow your business, increase leads and get more word of mouth leads, contact us today. 


Niall Parfitt

Niall Parfitt

Niall Parfitt is marketing professional with over 20 years experience of working with large organisations to SMEs. Niall runs his own inbound marketing agency, Atlanticus Digital and is experienced in all areas of digital marketing including marketing strategies, Social Media, Web and email marketing.