Every year around this time, inbound marketers and HubSpotters alike wait on the edge of their seats for The State of Inbound report. This is HubSpot’s annual report of the happenings with inbound business, marketing, and sales. It’s a great way for us to see what everyone is up to, check in on the progress of the industry, track success, and track our favorite trends.
Inbound marketing is no longer the shiny new marketing software for tech-savvy youngsters. It is a culture, a methodology, and a way to set your business apart from the rest. Those who haven’t adopted inbound yet, most will agree, have heard about it at one point or another.
HubSpot organized the data into five well-developed chapters, Growth of Inbound, Emerging Trends, Best-in-Class Marketing Practices, Setting Up for Inbound Success, and International Inbound.
"This year’s State of Inbound survey reaffirmed and reinforced this storyline:
- SMBs more often use inbound; bigger companies use both outbound and inbound.
- Getting more leads and converting more of them is a top priority across company sizes and sectors.
- Proving ROI and getting more budget are the leading challenges marketers face.
- Proven inbound marketing ROI unlocks budget."
Inbound marketing has become a way for smaller businesses to compete in the big leagues. "Inbound is the dominant marketing strategy for companies with fewer than 200 people.” [HubSpot]
As demands grow for better, more qualified leads, so do the concerns of managing websites, internal team training, and proving a return on investment. Companies are 3 times as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than they would with outbound advertising campaigns. [HubSpot] In fact, we have seen extremely high bounce rates, and significantly lower time spent on pages with traffic that is derived from paid advertisements than we do that of organic.
HubSpot attributes the success of their users and inbound marketers to the use of both marketing and sales automation, tracking metrics attentively—taking a look at least 3 times a week. Teams that are given a marketing budget are more likely to successfully track a return on investment thus developing better performance.
One of the biggest trends that surfaced in this year's State of Inbound report was the success when sales and marketing are on the same page, creating content, and collaborating. Lead quality improvements are becoming more important, and the only way to ensure your sales team is getting the right leads, is for the marketers to understand what that looks like for each member of the sales team.
The State of Inbound 2015 has really stepped up its game from last year. It has adopted a completely new format that now includes an entire section regarding sales observations as they pertain to the inbound methodology. We encourage you to take a look. And until next time, cheers to inbound!
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