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The State of Inbound Marketing

The Top Marketing Priorities for the Next 12 Months

Hubspot creates a “State of Inbound” annually to display different factors of marketing and sales and how they may be changing or remain the same. They do this by interviewing a variety of companies worldwide to get the largest amount of input they can. This year they revealed the top marketing and sales challenges, top priorities, and new trends that may change the way we do business. Two major shifts this year were that marketers are implementing more visual content creations while salespeople are changing from “hard-seller stereotypes” to “more trusted advisors”.

What are your top marketing priorities for the next 12 months?

  • 70%- convert contacts and leads into customers
  • 55%- growing traffic to the website
  • 45%- increase revenue derived from existing customers
  • 39%- prove ROI of marketing activites
  • 29%- sales enablement
  • 24% reduce the cost of contacts/leads
  • 2%- not sure

What are your top marketing challenges?

  • Social conversion
  • Developing content
  • Technology and analytics
  • Time for doing our own marketing
  • Implementing a modern marketing strategy

What are your top sales priorities for the next 12 months?

  • 71%- closing more deals
  • 44%- improve the efficiency of the sales funnel
  • 29%- social selling
  • 27%- training the sales team
  • 26%- decreasing the length of the sales cycle
  • 23%- increase existing sales technologies
  • 16%- invest in sales enablement
  • 14%- invest in CRM
  • 3%- not sure

Sales Challenges

  • Responses from prospects
  • Closing deals
  • Identifying good leads
  • Delivering a presentation
  • Connecting via email

Is Marketing Effective?

Hubspot asked a variety of companies if they thought that their marketing was effective, and the responses are interesting. Sixty-one percent (61%) responded with a “yes”, while 39% responded with a “no”. Of the 61% that said yes, 68% were companies that have implemented inbound marketing strategies. The remaining were outbound. Then we look at the “no”. Of those 39%, 52% were companies using outbound marketing strategies. This goes to show that inbound marketing has been increasing its popularity, while outbound is slowly disappearing.

Marketing and Sales Alignment

Another question asked was how closely related the marketing and sales teams are when it comes to their relationship. It’s pretty important for them to be able to work together in order to be successful, so the answers to this question were concerning:

  • 22%- tightly aligned
  • 44%- generally aligned
  • 14%- rarely aligned
  • 11%- misaligned
  • 10%- not sure

The Marketing Business

When asked which type of marketing, inbound or outbound, created higher ROI, the results weren’t far from what I would have predicted:

  • 46%- Inbound Marketing
  • 12%- Outbound Marketing
  • 23%- Don’t calculate
  • 18%- Don’t know

As marketing techniques are created and perfected, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the trends and updates. At this point in time, if you don’t stay up-to-date, then you’ll be too far behind, due to the fact that the marketing and sales world is constantly changing. One main issue that we are having now is whether or not to implement video. Some people have, because they feel that it’s useful, but others have not, and this may hurt them in the future. With all this information above, it has been concluded that sales are evolving, but everyone’s priorities seem to stay consistent over the past few years.

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