Wednesday, 14 October 2015 23:40

Inbound marketing gets tick of approval over outbound: survey

Inbound marketing gets tick of approval over outbound: survey Image courtesy of Stuart Miles,

So-called inbound marketing – or the creation of content for distribution and promotion across social channels – is preferred ahead of outbound marketing which uses banner ads, direct mail, cold calling, and other supposedly intrusive ways of grabbing a customer’s attention, according to a newly published global study.

“Inbound marketing hits the mark” is the overwhelming message from sales and marketing professionals in Australia, and around the globe, according to the seventh State of Inbound Report released today by global inbound marketing and sales software company, HubSpot.

According to Ryan Bonnici, HubSpot’s Director of Marketing in Asia Pacific, over the last few years especially, inbound marketing and sales methodology has continued to take root around the world, and the latest report shows that businesses prefer inbound to outbound tactics 3-to-1, and “the movement has proven itself as a success.”

“As an industry, the State of Inbound Report can be used to determine which facets of inbound people are gravitating towards and which elements, or markets, remain nascent,” Bonnici says.

Bonnici says the report revealed businesses around the world, including in Australia, predominantly prefer inbound to outbound marketing and sales activities.

And,he says this year’s study highlights that the Australia-New Zealand and North America regions are more concerned with providing ROI than the other global regions, providing  “worrying news for the advertising industry with paid ads being judged as the most over-rated marketing tactic by both inbound and outbound marketers.”

In the ANZ market, Bonnici refers to cloud accounting software company Reckon and its engagement of HubSpot in 2013 to help it build brand awareness and generate leads after undergoing a name change.

Previously, Reckon employed traditional marketing tactics such as brochures and direct mailing to generate demand, but Bonnici says Matthew Butler, Group Marketing Manager, wanted to adopt a new marketing strategy that would enable him to demonstrate the ROI of marketing activities and, in turn, provide insight to make informed business decisions.

“We saw an opportunity to work more effectively and an opportunity to increase our conversion rates and sales,” Butler said.

“I liked HubSpot because it seemed to be a blend of functionality and simplicity; some of the other solutions were impractical and I was trying to make it an easy enough tool for the whole marketing team to get their heads around, and HubSpot met that.”

Bonnici points to key marketing takeaways from the study:

•    Inbound is the norm rather than the exception, as businesses now prefer inbound to outbound 3-to-1

•    Companies are 3x as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound campaigns

•    Paid ads are the single-most-overrated marketing tactic, according to both inbound and outbound marketers, signalling a great opportunity for a ‘better way to do ads’

•    84% of small businesses are predominantly using inbound marketing

•    Inbound is the preferred marketing strategy regardless of company type, meaning B2B, B2C, and non-profits alike are all adopting and implementing inbound tactics

•    Lead generation and conversion are the biggest challenge for marketers, proving the value to be gained from the convergence of marketing and sales

And, Bonnici says that with increased focus on trends in sales and sales technology in this year’s report, compared to last year, key sales findings include:

•    Manual data entry is the #1 issue for salespeople when trying to use their CRM systems

•    Sales teams are 2x as likely to be unsuccessful if they use Excel, Outlook or physical files to store lead and customer data

•    Salespeople cite prospecting as their #1 challenge when ranking the most difficult parts of the sales process

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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