I just finished reviewing HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing: Report on Inbound Marketing Practices and Trends.
The report is based on a January 2012 survey of individuals familiar with their company’s marketing activities.
As a former customer of HubSpot, I am a big proponent of inbound marketing but know you must have buy-in from senior management and sales in order to: 1) have a successful, ongoing inbound marketing campaign; and, 2) track leads so you are able to determine the cost per lead.
Here are the insights I got from the report and my experience:
- Inbound marketing consistently delivers a cost per lead dramatically lower (61%) than outbound marketing.
- Three inbound marketing channels generate leads for less than any outbound channel:
Blogs = 52%
Social media = 45%
SEO = 38%
Direct mail = 34%
Telemarketing = 33%
Pay-per-click = 28%
Trade shows = 19%
- Distribution of marketing budgets are shifting to inbound channels (35%) versus outbound channels (23%) for lead generation.
- Small businesses (1 to 5 employees) spend a greater portion of their lead generation marketing budget (43%) on inbound marketing than larger companies (500+ employees) spend (21%) and less on outbound marketing (14% versus 33%).
- Inbound channels produce higher quality leads than outbound:
SEO = 15% lead to customer close
Direct traffic = 15%
Referrals = 9%
Paid search = 7%
Social media = 4%
Outbound = 2%
- Social media and blogs generate real customers:
Blog = 57% acquired a customer
LinkedIn = 62%
Facebook = 52%
Twitter = 44%
- Greater blog frequency leads to greater customer acquisition.
- Direct mail (51%), trade shows (39%) and telemarketing (36%) have become less important over the last six months.
- Blogging remains the most important media channel with 26% of respondents deeming it to be “critical,” 34% “important” and 22% “useful.”
- Public relations is still a great way to gain exposure for your company, your products and your services and is another way to disseminate content. One story in a vertical trade publication has generated a dozen leads for our company.
I joined my employer 18 months ago with three goals to boost the effectiveness of their marketing:
- Determine and implement the optimal CRM system so we can track leads.
- Implement an inbound marketing program to establish our company as a thought leader in the industry.
- Undertake an aggressive public relations campaign to tell our corporate story as well as the stories about the services our product offer.
I accomplished all three but that was not sufficient to overcome the stagnant housing market that my company relies upon.
As such, if you know of a company in search of someone to develop and implement an integrated marketing program based on the principles of inbound marketing, let me know. I’m available for a full-time position or as a consultant on a project basis.
How has inbound marketing worked for you?