Each year Hubspot compiles data from around the globe to determine the key trends and developments in the Inbound (and Outbound) marketing world. This is the seventh year of the 'State of Inbound' report and the insightful data keeps on coming...
We've trawled through this fascinating insight into modern day marketing practices and picked out the key takeaways for any small business wondering if Inbound is right for them.
Almost 4000 people took part on the survey, 32% of these respondents were from the EMEA. 65 % of the total worked in the B2B industry.
Here are the key stats we saw that drove home the importance of Inbound in today's market:
The fact that 3 out of every 4 marketers saw Inbound as their primary approach to marketing confirmed with us this methodology has not only arrived, it has taken over.
Companies with less than 25 employees were over 6 times more likely to employ Inbound as their go-to marketing approach in 2015. The uptake was still 200% more likely for companies with 26-200 employees.
What does this mean for you?
Inbound is a great way for SMBs to get their message out and make an impact locally, nationally and internationally. No longer do big budgets rule the roost - if you are able to create captivating content that provides value and is presented to a prospect at the right time, you have the opportunity to catch an audience online that may have previously been impossible.
Whilst smaller businesses have grabbed the opportunity to dive headfirst into Inbound, it is often perceived as a technique best suited to B2B business models. This assumption has been challenged as the report details how all sectors now implement Inbound, regardless of customer sector.
The ability for any business type to implement Inbound truly demonstrates it's power in reaching people rather than professions. By tuning into an individual's pain points and serving specific buyer needs, you will develop a bullet-proof strategy that reaches much further and converts much more.
You read it right - Inbound campaigns achieve a higher return on investment than outbound campaigns, time and time again. The report details how this also holds true across company size as well as budget size.
Leading marketers have reported receiving a 300% higher ROI with Inbound than traditional outbound techniques.
Most interestingly, this increase was seen across ALL budgets, from less than $100,000 up to $5m. This shows it is no longer a game only for the big players. Small businesses can pick up Inbound Marketing today and see returns on any spend.
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The study found that respondents who had managed to successfully agree formal SLAs between marketing and sales teams were much more likely to see a higher ROI for their marketing spend in 2015.
Hubspot reports that budgets also increased, as did the number of people in the departments that managed to get an SLA nailed on. It is clear that having secure SLAs agreed is essential to ensuring the positive development of your business or department.
With all these stats, you'd be inclined to think that Outbound marketing techniques are so outdated and inefficient that no-one in their right mind would ever use them. This isn't exactly the case...outbound still matters to big companies and this was represented in the data Hubspot collected. I know you're wondering why - the quick answer is available budget.
Whilst inbound is the dominant strategy for those with less than 200 employees, as the headcount rises, so does the likelihood of outbound techniques being implemented. This can be attributed to the amount of cash available to throw. If you've got a million dollar marketing budget, you'd possibly spread your bets.
Along with conversion, first-stage lead generation is still one of the main focuses for SMBs worldwide. Digital 22 specialises in getting you more leads and we use Inbound Marketing to do this.
Increasing the volume at the top of the funnel still matters most, regardless of business type, mission statement or client type.
It's encouraging to see the upward trend in marketers enlisting outside help for content creation. Whilst internal expertise will always be incredibly valuable, it is often the ability to plan, implement and publish content in a repeatable and reliable process that is advantageous to those employing external assistance.
The most successful marketers who saw the greatest ROI increases are using both in-house and external agencies for their writing...
As an Inbound Marketing Agency, we're happy to see the continued success of Inbound Marketing around the globe. We're even happier to see how the methodology is crossing all sectors, budgets and business sizes. Roll on next year!
If you'd like to read all 73 pages of the State of Inbound 2015, just click below!
Do you agree with the above findings? How have you found the previous year in marketing? Share your thoughts below!