There’s been a lot of buzz about inbound marketing lately. Here at Aldeia, we’ve seen the value of attracting qualified leads both internally and for our clients. In most cases, it has been a much more economical and effective way of getting qualified leads into the pipeline, nurturing those leads until they are ready for action, and converting them to customers.
But my inner analyst forces me to think through data like the one seen in this infographic. First, let’s consider the sources of the data; HubSpot and eMarketer. Both companies are major players in online marketing. HubSpot sells a useful online marketing software platform to the small and medium business market. eMarketer is a research firm for online marketing. Both companies collect data from businesses engaged in internet marketing. So the data shown here rates the success of companies who do online marketing compared to those companies’ own offline efforts. Also, the infographic was put together by MGD, an interactive media agency. So, it is to their advantage to show how much success businesses have with digital marketing. With all that in mind, take a look at the chart below, followed by my own interpretation.
Of companies who are using inbound marketing methods 89% think it is worth the cost, with a full 54% of those willing to invest more into it.
Out of those willing to invest more money into inbound methods, over half are are doing so because inbound marketing ROI has been strong. 15% didn’t invest as much as they would have initially liked because the economy squezed their marketing budget. Another 14% have new management that believes in the ROI of inbound marketing.
Shift to Inbound Marketing
In the last two years, inbound marketing has gained 3% more of marketer’s lead generation budget. Blogs and social media in particular gained 9% more of the budget. In other words, although companies see value in inbound marketing, but they aren’t abandoning other channels.
Low Cost Advantage
The average cost per lead generated through inbound marketing is $230 less than inbound leads. This is where business people get excited – but think this through before jumping! The more complicated the product, the more likely that outbound sales will be generating leads. Also, if you’re selling an innovative thing-a-ma-jig that is not part of your target audience’s vocabulary yet, it will take some strong talent to generate inbound leads. I’ll cover this better in an upcoming blog post.
Customer acquisition has grown dramatically, especially for company blogs and LinkedIn. I see this as a result of the maturing of these channels as lead generation tools. For example, more companies today are investing in lead generation techniques for blogs. Not long ago, many companies were not as strategic in their content and social media efforts. As LinkedIn grew in membership and improved its features, it became a better lead generation channel.
Success by Audience
This is a no-brainer: the same person might be on LinkedIn and Facebook, but when on one site, they are in “work mode” on the other they are interacting with personal contacts. However I am surprised that company blogs are not being used better in the B2B sector. I think Twitter is still an emerging channel. Companies haven’t quite figured out what to do with it yet to generate leads.
It’s no surprise the creators of this infographic see a steady growth for inbound marketing. Yet it is also an accurate observation. As companies improve online content and more and more of their prospects and customers get used to going to the web first for information, inbound marketing will grow. My personal prediction is that as the Internet matures, so ill it’s ability to deliver more accurate information to people. We are already seeing some signs of how information is narrowing done. Search engines now put more effort into personalizing search results by using location and social network proof to make people’s results more accurate. Meanwhile, very broad social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have taken steps to create niches within the network. This will make it even more important to have focused content, clean SEO, and smart social media marketing practices. In other words, success will come to those who continually use inbound marketing best practices and create content and marketing around their target audience.