HubSpot’s 2015 State of Inbound Marketing Survey offers marketers some valuable insight into how the industry is evolving and how companies all over the world are changing the way they do business. Analyzing and understanding these insights can help put inbound marketing into perspective for businesses of any size, especially those that are still hesitating to launch an inbound marketing campaign. So, if you haven’t made inbound marketing a major part of your integrated marketing communications, it’s time to listen up.
Here are 7 key takeaways from this year’s State of Inbound Marketing Survey.
- 3 out of 4 marketers globally prioritize inbound marketing.
In the past, inbound marketing was the play for small business marketers. Considering most small businesses lack the big budgets larger companies have to spend on marketing, they were able to use inbound marketing as a way to compete with outbound marketers. However, inbound marketing isn’t just an important strategy for small businesses anymore. By providing well-written and relevant content, businesses big and small are able to draw customers to their sites, building not only brand recognition, but also trust in the information and educational content their sites provide. The 2015 report reveals that both large and small businesses now use inbound marketing to grow their customer bases. Larger companies still use outbound marketing as well, sending advertisements out into the global marketplace.
- Inbound and outbound marketers rate paid marketing as the #1 overrated tactic.
It comes as no surprise that companies using inbound marketing describe paid advertising as overrated. The surprise in the report came from companies using outbound marketing – in the form of print, TV, and billboard ads – also describe paid advertising as overrated. About 32 percent of the outbound marketers who responded made this their number one answer.
- Proven market ROI unlocks budget, but you have to actually track ROI in the first place.
Showing C-suite executives the correlation between marketing dollars expended and the return on marketing investment is a challenge for all businesses. Small companies with fewer than 25 employees were more likely to concern themselves with technologies and managing websites, rather than tracking ROI. We cannot, however, overstate ROI’s importance because proving ROI is the most effective way to break the budget dollar logjam. The key, then, is that you have to track ROI in order to prove the correlation. As the report states, “no ROI, no budget.”
- Inbound marketing is a long game.
It’s no surprise that companies that demonstrated higher ROI for inbound marketing campaigns were more likely to receive increased budgets for the following year. What is interesting is that companies that used inbound marketing campaigns, but failed to show an increased ROI, also received higher budgets the next year. Why? Executives understand that inbound marketing is a long game. A bad year just might mean that the company needs to spend more money on inbound marketing, not less.
- Everyone is implementing inbound marketing.
If you had doubts about whether inbound marketing would work for your organization, have no fear. B2B, B2C, and nonprofit organizations have all used inbound marketing successfully. The respondents to the 2015 report chose inbound over outbound marketing by a margin of 3:1. The type of business (B2B, B2C, nonprofit) did not change the result. The other surprising answer: executives favor inbound marketing more than managers.
- Inbound marketing results in higher ROI.
Companies that spend under $5 million annually on marketing prefer inbound marketing to other methods. Companies that spend less than $100 million annually on marketing are four times more likely to use inbound marketing than outbound marketing. What’s even more interesting is that every company surveyed, regardless of the amount of advertising dollars they spent, were more likely to have a higher ROI from inbound marketing than outbound marketing. Still think inbound is not for you?
- SLAs result in higher ROI.
As the report shows, inbound marketing is a team effort. Companies who had a team approach that featured a formal agreement between their sales and marketing departments were more likely to experience higher ROI, bigger budget increases, and sales team growth.
To learn more about the benefits of inbound marketing or how you can incorporate it into your integrated marketing communications, please contact us today.