By The Numbers: The State of Inbound Marketing

Posted by Lisa Smith on Sep 12, 2016 11:10:30 AM

 

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Are you well-versed in the latest that inbound marketing has to offer and want to make sure that you don’t miss anything? Or, if you are unfamiliar with inbound, would you like to know more in order to decide if its right for you?

Either way, you’re in luck.

 

Each year, HubSpot —  a leader in inbound marketing software — produces a report on the State of Inbound which details the activities, priorities, and challenges of marketing and sales personnel from around the world.

 

Having crunched lots of numbers, and studied the answers from 4,500 respondents, the 2016 State of Inbound gives valuable insights into the ever-growing (and ever-changing) world of inbound marketing. Let’s dive right into the numbers to understand the current state of inbound marketing — and where it’s heading in the future.

 

 

A Snapshot of Respondents

Of the thousands of marketers and salespeople that responded:

  • 59% work in business-to-business (B2B) environments
  • 33% work in business-to-consumer (B2C) environments
  • 73% of marketers overall now use the inbound approach
  • However, only 15% of the organizations are officially partnered with HubSpot (like us!)

 

Priorities

Most marketers and salespeople have different priorities for their businesses. And, as the world of inbound marketing continually changes, the priorities themselves also shift. Let’s look at the results of questions about this year’s top marketing, sales, and inbound project priorities.

 

What are your company’s top marketing priorities for the next year?

  • 74% - Convert contacts/leads into customers
  • 57% - Grow website traffic
  • 46% - Increase revenue from existing customers

 

What are your company’s top sales priorities for the next year?

  • 72% - Close more deals
  • 47% - Improve efficiency of the sales funnel
  • 28% - Social selling

 

For inbound marketing projects in 2016, what are the top priorities?

  • 66% - Growing SEO/organic presence
  • 60% - Blog content creation
  • 44% - Marketing automation
  • 33% - Content creation such as whitepapers, eBooks, infographics

 

What’s Most Effective?

This just in: Inbound is better than outbound.

 

In the HubSpot report, inbound organizations rated their marketing strategy as highly effective four times more than did outbound agencies. Not only that:  67% of respondents said that inbound practices provided the highest-quality leads for their sales team. Only 17% said their best leads came from the sales team itself, and a mere 16% noted that outbound practices worked best for them.

 

Budgets are Shifting

When inbound marketing talks the talk, businesses tend to walk the walk.

 

84% of respondents who said their marketing strategy is effective used inbound tactics. And, of that 84%, an astounding 72% saw a higher inbound marketing budget compared to last year.

 

“What about those other guys?”

 

Well, a not-so-shocking 85% of respondents who said their marketing strategy is not effective use outbound strategies. Want to know what happened to their budgets? 55% of those respondents said their budget was lowered from the previous year.

 

So, Who’s Using Inbound?

Some people think that inbound marketing is only useful for select industries. Or that it’s just a fad used by Internet hipsters trying to take over the world. The fact of the matter is, inbound is everywhere. Check out these industry numbers:

 

Percentage of respondents in different industries who use Inbound Marketing:

  • 89% in E-commerce
  • 76% in Nonprofit/Government
  • 62% in Financial Services
  • 60% in Consumer Products
  • 59% in Industrial/Manufacturing
  • 57% in Healthcare and Medical

  

Overrated (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)?

Now in its eighth year, the “State of Inbound” report reflects the ways that new and exciting inbound strategies are put to use and honed by marketing professionals. However, one statistic has remained constant.

 

Respondents were asked: “What’s the most overrated marketing tactic?” The top answer (by almost three-fold) has been that paid print and outdoor advertising is the most overrated marketing tactic. No other answer even comes close—and that itself speaks volumes about the current path marketing is on.

 

Adding to the Arsenal

It’s been said that “Content is King.” And that’s true. Content creation is a high priority for today’s marketers. But what about the different channels that are used to distribute that ever-so-important content? Marketers are looking for new mediums to distribute their content, and the trend seems to be visual.

 

Respondents were asked which distribution channels they plan to add to their marketing efforts in the coming year:

  • 48% plan on adding YouTube
  • 39% want to begin using Facebook Video
  • 33% said Instagram was hot on their list of channels to add
  • 13% said they plan to add Snapchat to their marketing arsenal soon

 


 

Inbound marketing is a constantly growing — and changing — marketing strategy that has provided thousands of businesses with greater growth than they previously thought possible.

 

Is inbound marketing right for you?

 

Reach out to us to find out. Our firm specializes in inbound marketing strategy, creative design, and website development.

 

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Topics: inbound marketing, marketing