Inbound Marketing is taking over the world. Well, the marketing world at least. Yes, I may be a little biased. But the State of Inbound report 2015 does share some compelling statistics to support my claim.
For anyone unfamiliar with the State of Inbound, it’s an annual report conducted by HubSpot who survey the world’s Inbound Marketing practitioners. It asks them their most pressing priorities, the challenges they face, and the tactics they’ve used to meet those challenges. The result is the State of Inbound report, and it provides insight into Inbound Marketing practice, global adoption and emerging trends.
The 2015 results are particularly encouraging for anyone applying the Inbound Marketing methodology to their marketing strategy. The news is less good if you still heavily rely on outbound tactics… particularly advertising.
The report states that:
Three out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritise an inbound approach to marketingOf 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).
Inbound continues to be the key marketing strategy for SMEs. The reports states that: “Over six times as many respondents from companies with fewer than 25 employees cited inbound as their primary marketing approach, while more than double the number of 26-200-person companies cited the same.”
Both inbound and outbound marketers rank paid advertising as the #1 most overrated marketing tacticAs Inbound Marketers it’s no surprise that we shy away from disruptive tactics like advertising. But it seems we’re not the only ones. This statistic was truly shocking:
“Approximately 32% of survey respondents whose companies identify as primarily outbound organisations called paid advertising the most overrated marketing tactic -- the number one answer by a wide margin.”
Even people who work in organisations that favour advertising are starting to recognise that traditional methods are losing their impact. It’s only a matter of time until budgets are shifted and Inbound Marketing becomes the weapon of choice.
There are still challenges aheadAnd although the news is overwhelmingly good, Inbound Marketers are still facing challenges. Proving a demonstrable return on investment is still the biggest obstacle facing companies of all types and sizes.
This is hardly surprising. The whole philosophy of Inbound is to create content that people love and establish more genuine connections with prospective buyers over time. The results aren’t always immediate, but when they arrive, they are often spectacular. To view Inbound through the narrow lens of ROI is too short sighted. It’s a sign that companies moving towards Inbound want to see true, long term success, they need to treat it as a culture, not just a marketing tactic.
Where to from here?Clearly, the smart money is on Inbound Marketing as the future of marketing. The fact that companies are moving away from advertising and embracing Inbound is recognition that content that naturally draws customers to your product 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.
Looking even further ahead, the day may soon arrive when ‘Inbound Marketing’ becomes known as just ‘Marketing’.