Every year, HubSpot surveys thousands of marketers and salespeople about their priorities, challenges and the tactics they've used to tackle those challenges for their State of Inbound report. This year the company spoke to nearly 4,000 from more than 150 countries, many of whom are marketers at B2B small or medium sized businesses.
The findings published recently in the State of Inbound 2015 illuminate and demonstrate that inbound marketing continues to be a driving force for premier businesses around the globe. If there's one thing you can take from the survey results, it's that inbound is a powerful strategy -- maybe even more powerful than you may think.
(Hint: Scroll to the end of this post for the full report)
To understand the context of these results, it's important to note that these respondents are highly focused on generating leads, increasing the number of leads, and proving ROI from their marketing activities.
Here are some of our favorite highlights from this year's report that may help you do your job better:
1. Inbound works for every company type.
Of the thousands of people HubSpot surveyed, 75 percent of respondents said inbound was their marketing approach of choice, while outbound was favored by only 25 percent. With the majority of respondents focused on lead generation, we aren't surprised with this response. But what is surprising is that this 3:1 ration was consistent across all types of companies, B2B, B2C and nonprofit.
2. Blogging & SEO are among the top valued marketing tactics.
While inbound tactics such as blogging and SEO were deemed more worthy of investment, outbound tactics were the least valued. Approximately 20 percent of respondents from companies that favor inbound named paid advertising at the most overrated marketing tactic. Ironically, even 32 percent of survey respondents from outbound organizations who do paid advertising admitted it was overrated.
3. Inbound produces a higher ROI than outbound.
Yes, you read that correctly. Every company HubSpot surveyed, regardless of marketing spend, was three times as likely to see a higher ROI on inbound marketing than on outbound campaigns. Inbound is the preferred marketing method for all companies that spend less than $5M annually on marketing. Spend less than $100,000 per year? You're four times more likely to practice inbound. Perhaps that is because inbound marketers are making their dollars go farther.
4. Successful marketers are using their analytics more frequently.
A successful inbound marketing campaign is built on data -- whether that's understanding how particular content is performing or optimizing buttons and call to actions for conversion. This principle, relying on analytics, is leading to more successful campaigns and greater ROI. According to HubSpot's data, respondents who achieved greater ROI in 2015 than the previous year were 20 percent more likely to check their marketing analytics three or more times per week.
5. Even failure with inbound results in higher budget.
While there is absolutely no single factor more important in driving a higher inbound budget than past success, HubSpot found that even respondents who had a failed campaign were given higher budgets. Top marketers realize that inbound is a long game. If inbound marketing gets off a little slow, respondents felt they shouldn't back off -- in fact, they doubled down.
Put Inbound to the Test
Ready to see what Inbound can do for you? Download our guide of the 30 most effective B2B lead generation tips and tricks: