HubSpot recently released its seventh annual State of Inbound report. The report—which is divided into marketing and sales sections—consists of 73 pages worth of insights, emerging trends, and data illuminating the biggest challenges and missed opportunities in the world of inbound marketing. Including data gathered from over 4,000 survey respondents across more than 150 countries, the report serves as an accurate representation of the inbound industry landscape as it currently stands.
We figured you might not have the time to read through 73 pages of material, so we did it for you. Below, we’ve listed three of the biggest takeaways to note from the marketing section of HubSpot’s 2015 State of Inbound report.
1. Marketers around the world prioritize inbound marketing
One of the most interesting takeaways we pulled from this year’s State of Inbound report is that a whopping 75 percent of marketers worldwide utilize and prefer inbound marketing methods to outbound. What’s more, this preference remains consistent across company types, with inbound marketing appealing to three out of four marketers in B2B, B2C, and nonprofit businesses. And though larger companies with bigger budgets to spend on paid advertising continue to prioritize inbound and outbound marketing equally, inbound continues to remain the core strategy of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with 0-200 employees.
2. Everyone agrees: Paid advertising is a poor investment
Inbound marketers know that traditional outbound marketing methods—such as TV ads and billboards—are a poor investment. But as it turns out, so do the marketers who actually use these tactics.
Of the survey respondents whose companies identify as outbound organizations, 32 percent cited paid advertising as the marketing tactic they consider the biggest waste of time. The graph below, pulled from the State of Inbound report, shows that paid advertising takes a commanding lead in the list of most overrated marketing tactics, followed by social media and email marketing.
The Most Overrated Marketing Tactic
3. Demonstrating ROI is the #1 challenge marketers face
The State of Inbound report also showed that the biggest obstacle facing marketers is demonstrating ROI to company executives. However, demonstrating ROI also proved to correlate positively with a marketing budget increase, exposing a “catch-22” in the inbound marketing world: Marketers need a bigger budget to better fund the activities that generate ROI, but they need to be able to demonstrate ROI to get that bigger budget approved by higher ups.
So what can marketers do? The key is to track ROI from the beginning (or start now!), which will provide you with the proof you need to justify a future increase in budget. The report showed that marketing automation software can play a big role in a marketer’s inbound success, noting that marketers who saw a higher ROI in 2014 were more likely to have used marketing automation software than not, and to see an increase in budget the following year as a result.
If you need assistance unlocking your own inbound marketing potential with an innovative strategy or quality content production, contact us at SevenAtoms Inc.