How are the best marketing departments around the world actually implementing inbound? We’re going to look at how leading marketers are ascending to the top. What tools are they using? What kind of relationship do they have with the Sales team? How do they think about their metrics (and how often)?
Here are five insights from HubSpot's State of Inbound 2015 Report that will help to answer these questions. Click here for the full report.
Leading marketers use marketing automation software
The primary tool in top marketers’ arsenals is an automation software platform to handle their team’s marketing efforts. While marketers today have and utilize a number of products, the guys at the top are using automation software in some form or another.
Those who saw a higher marketing ROI in 2014 were most likely to have used marketing automation software than not. In addition, those marketers were more likely to see budget increases as a result, with little to zero chance of not receiving additional funding.
Leading marketers are involved in sales software purchase decisions
Using marketing automation software increases a marketer’s chance for success. When Marketing and Sales work together to make software purchase decisions – such as CRM systems and marketing automation tools – the odds are even better. In fact, marketers who were involved with sales in software selection were 13% more likely to see a positive ROI, and 11% more likely to receive an increased marketing budget.
Big budgets, big boosts
How are the best marketers securing additional budget? The data shows that the more budget marketers have to begin with (until they hit the five million dollar ceiling), the more they are likely to receive in the next year. In fact, more than half of all marketers with budgets over $25,000 saw an increase in funds since last year.
If you are a small to medium sized business marketer who has to work tirelessly for every marketing dollar, it is easy to get discouraged. However consider that a solid 43% of marketers with budgets under $25,000 received a budget increase in 2015, and for 31% of them, the level of funding stayed the same. If you happen to fall into the 8% whose budget was slashed, it could be due to using more outbound marketing methods with declining results or possibly even poor ROI tracking.
Best-in-class marketers track ROI
The key to unlocking budget increases lies in the data that can prove ROI. The only way to have access to this data is to track it in the first place. Respondents from the survey who tracked ROI were over 20% more likely to receive higher budget than their counterparts who did not keep track.
The moral of the story is to track the return on your marketing spend. Your marketing budget will thank you in the end. If you demonstrate higher ROI, you are twice as likely to secure additional budget in the next year. If you fail to demonstrate positive ROI, you’re nine times more likely to see a decrease in marketing budget. You can no longer afford to miss out on ROI tracking.
SLAs correlate with success
Inbound glory does not rest solely on the shoulders of a company’s marketers. Not at all. Inbound success is a team effort and requires a strong alignment between Sales and Marketing. The companies that are getting the most out of their marketing budget (and getting consistent budget increases) tended to be partnered up with Sales.
Of the respondents in the survey, those who had a formal agreement between Sales and Marketing were more likely to see higher ROI on marketing dollars in 2015, receive a budget increase, and expand their sales teams. In summary, get an SLA if you don’t already have one.