Traditionally, inbound marketing has been a small companies’ response to larger companies with bigger marketing budgets. While larger companies still demand sizable budgets to spend on flashy advertising, smaller organizations have embraced inbound marketing, which prioritizes engaging content over ads, and uses a “pull” vs “push” approach to attracting and acquiring new customers. This approach has in essence evened the playing field for marketing power and supremacy. Here are four of the more prominent story lines from the current state of Inbound.
Over the next several weeks, Mojo will bring you high-level insights from HubSpot's recent State of Inbound 2015 Report. Below is the first installment in this blog series titled The Growth of Inbound. To access the full report, simply click here to download your free copy now.
Inbound is king, but outbound still matters to big companies.
Inbound continues to be the core marketing strategy for companies with 25-200 employees who are either fighting to grow, or just beginning to enter the growth phase. Interestingly, companies with under 25 employees were six times more likely to use inbound as their primary marketing approach, while companies with over 200 employees are deploying both inbound and outbound marketing strategies equally. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as companies with much larger budgets continue to be able to throw money at paid advertising campaigns that run alongside inbound ones. As it stands today, 3 out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritize an inbound approach to marketing.
Takeaway: Every business should deploy inbound marketing strategies in order to remain competitive and grow.
Leads (and converting them) remain a top priority.
Increasing the volume of leads at the top of the funnel while also increasing the conversion percentage at the bottom of the funnel continue to be top priorities for marketers of all company sizes or organization type (i.e. B2B, B2C, non-profits). The demand for prospects’ attention has never been higher, and the companies who have embraced inbound techniques have been able to generate leads for their business and also improve the conversion percentages between each of the life cycle stages throughout the buyer’s journey.
Takeaway: Inbound marketing not only helps you generate leads at the top of the funnel but also helps to convert and qualify opportunities through the funnel.
Demonstrating ROI is the #1 challenge marketers face.
The ability to prove a demonstrable return on marketing dollars invested (ROI) remains a top challenge among companies of all sizes and areas of focus. The second biggest challenge has been the ability to secure more budget to allocate towards ROI-generating activities. Lastly, for smaller companies fighting to reach the growth phase, the ability to find the right technology for their business and managing a website were understandably large concerns.
Takeaway: Companies today must have a system in place to track, measure and demonstrate ROI on marketing efforts.
Proven ROI? Hello, budget.
All companies, whether large or small want more budget for marketing purposes. This has been one of the top challenges for companies of all sizes and areas of focus over the last couple years. The key to securing more budget may not be all that complex. Companies who have been able to demonstrate a positive marketing ROI in 2015 are more than twice as likely to receive higher budget. The takeaway here is very clear: Demonstrate a return on your marketing investment dollars and next year’s budget will likely increase. The converse is also true: Companies who demonstrate a positive ROI are nine times less likely to see a lower budget the following year. This brings up a valid point that all marketers should be tracking ROI in the first place in order to prove ROI and justify budget increases.
Takeaway: The ability to track, interpret, and demonstrate a measurable return (ROI) can help marketers justify budget increases.