Inbound Marketing has levelled the playing field for small and mid size organisations. The emphasis on creating great content that draws people to your company rather than pushing messages onto prospective buyers means that SMEs are enjoying just as much marketing success (and power) as companies that boast deeper pockets.
Yet rather than being marketing’s latest trend, Inbound is increasingly becoming the strategy of choice amongst the world’s top marketers, across all company types and sizes.
HubSpot’s 2015 State of Inbound report revealed the rapid rise of Inbound Marketing — particularly amongst those in the SME sector. It showed that over six times as many respondents from companies with fewer than 25 employees cite inbound as their primary marketing approach. That number doubles for companies with 26-200 employees.
At companies with over 200 employees, inbound and outbound marketing strategies are shared equally. This isn’t surprising, considering bigger companies have the larger budgets required to deliver expensive marketing and advertising campaigns.
But the statistics don’t lie - Inbound is enjoying phenomenal growth, and its evolution into a true marketing powerhouse is set to continue in 2016.
Of the nearly 4,000 people surveyed, inbound was the marketing approach of choice amongst 75% of respondents, while outbound was favoured by only 25% of people. These percentages were evident across all company types and sizes (B2B, B2C, and non-profit).
Increasing volume at the top of the funnel while increasing conversion percentage at the bottom remain top priorities for respondents. This was true across company size, as well as organisation type.
Moreover, these two priorities were of nearly equal importance across all segments. Among SMEs, “increasing number of contacts/leads” and “converting contacts/leads to customers” were more likely to be ranked as the highest priority.
Proving a demonstrable return on marketing dollars was the most common challenge across companies of different size and focus, and securing more budget to allocate toward ROI-generating activities was next in line.
Finding the right technologies and managing a website were understandably a larger concern for small companies fighting to reach the growth phase.
What did all survey respondents have in common? Everyone wants more budget. In fact, securing more budget has been the second-most pressing challenge for survey respondents the last two years running.
However, the key to securing more money for your team might not be that complex. Respondents whose teams demonstrated positive marketing ROI in 2015 were more than twice as likely to receive larger budget. The takeaway is clear: Get a positive return on this year’s investment and watch next year’s budget increase.
Clearly, the smart money is on Inbound Marketing as the future of marketing. The fact that companies are moving away from outbound and embracing Inbound is recognition that permission based marketing, and publishing content that is focused on your buyers and their needs, is far more effective. Marketing budgets will soon follow suit and we will see continued growth in the number of companies adopting Inbound Marketing methodology.