Have you ever sat back at your desk and wondered, “What are my competitors doing to market their business? Is there any potential for me to get in on the action?”
As a business owner, you know the importance of keeping up with the industry Jones’s. And you’re not alone in that.
There’s one company that dominates in inbound marketing – Hubspot. Every year, they give company owners like you a unique glimpse into the state of the industry. This helps you stay ahead of the game and the competition.
How it Works
This year, HubSpot surveyed of a few thousand marketing professionals. Some of the questions asked on the survey were the same as years prior. Others were new.
With this data, HubSpot identified strategies that continue to be popular among marketers, as well as new emerging trends.
Why should you care?
As a business owner, you are constantly taking a pulse on what works and what is emerging. Using this information, you are better equipped to propel your company forward. You improve the performance of your top line, get more people in your company engaged in the processes, and power forward toward your growth goals.
That sounds pretty good, right? But first…
Forget about marketing
In the past, there was a distinct gap between marketing and sales. Although both departments worked toward a common goal, getting each group to see the other’s value was a challenge.
For many companies, it still is.
Hubspot identified this challenge in their data. They also saw a noticeable shift taking place to reduce that gap and inspire growth. To accommodate this change, they dropped the term “marketing” from their titles. Now, it’s all about “inbound.”
“Inbound” is no longer limited to marketing. Businesses now turn to inbound methodologies to power sales (25%) and even customer service (10%).
Although marketing plays a major role in inbound, it’s not the sole component. With that in mind, here are some of the key takeaways that your business needs to harness the power of inbound.
You must track ROI
According to HubSpot, inbound marketers who track ROI are more than 12 times more likely to see an increase in ROI year-over-year than to see a decrease.
Tracking ROI remains essential – especially when planning your inbound budget. Start a campaign, determine how much it earned for your company, and then revise your strategy based on what’s most effective. If you’re not tracking ROI, you may be wasting time and money – not to mention, jeopardizing your inbound success.
You must get found
High inbound performers still remain focused on getting found online.
Tactics such as blogging, search, and content promotion remain high on successful marketers lists. More specifically, blogging continues to have the highest impact on overall performance – the strongest correlation to positive ROI. Marketers who emphasize blogging are 13 times more likely to have increased ROI year over year.
You must harness data to drive strategy
In HubSpot’s report, they refer to data as the coach of a marketing team.
Although Big Data is becoming increasingly available, it continues to overwhelm marketers. To maximize your data analytics, focus on a few specific metrics at a time. Here are the most common metrics businesses focus on in order of importance:
- Increasing the number of contacts and leads
- Converting contacts and leads into customers
- Reaching the right audience
- Driving revenues from existing customers
- Proving the return on marketing investments
- Lowering the cost of contact/lead/customer acquisition
With this data in hand, you can find what fuels your company’s growth and what’s costing you money.
You must work with a marketing agency on inbound
Marketing agencies continue to lead when it comes to using inbound to generate new business.
Many private vendors work harder to drive leads through outbound tactics. On the other hand, marketing agencies are more focused on inbound. They are measuring and improving ROI far better than vendors.
Perhaps more surprising is that marketing agencies are improving processes using inbound across departments. For example, marketing agencies that might not have talked to a sales department before are now reaching out to them for inspiration. By using the questions and objections salesmen hear on a daily basis, inbound marketing efforts improve. In turn, the job of a salesman becomes easier too. It’s a win-win.
International marketing strategies aren’t as different as you might think
HubSpot surveyed people around the world about marketing strategies used. To their surprise (and the surprise of many others) North America does not lead the world in terms of marketing innovation. In fact, when comparing data from the international group of respondents, HubSpot saw very little differentiation among the geographic markets.
Inbound continues to surge ahead as one of the most powerful strategies for reaching new audiences. From budgeting and planning, to executing a flawless campaign, there’s tremendous potential across all stages of the inbound process.
Eager to get started? With How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign you will discover how to develop an inbound marketing campaign that works in any situation and delivers measurable results. Download it today for free.
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