When you are a marketer, learning never stops. Whether it’s about new tactics and new technologies or new industries you have to familiarise yourself with, you know that you are an eternal student. So, what better time than the end of the year to recap what we’ve learned in 2016.
Inbound and Sales Need To Align
We all know that marketing and sales haven’t always been the best of friends. But, luckily, things are changing as we speak. In fact, according to the HubSpot 2016 State of Inbound Report, there will soon be a complete alignment between the two. The new trend even has its own name, “smarketing” and, it will become the norm in less than 5 years.
According to the same report, inbound companies with Service Level Agreements between sales and marketing are 5 times more likely to deliver effective campaigns. In other words, businesses will have no choice but to align their sales and marketing teams or be overpowered by competitors who already use smarketing.
Inbound Sales To Replace Legacy Sales Teams
Remember the pushy sales rep set on convincing you to purchase the most expensive thing in the store even though you’ve told him about your small budget? He is (or should be) history. The Internet has completely changed the relationship between buyer and seller. With most of the sales done online, traditional sales tactics have become obsolete.
They have been replaced by inbound sales which focus on the buyers and their needs. In this new environment if a buyer needs anything from a new pair of shoes to an airfare, that’s exactly what they will get. Instead of aggressive approaches, inbound sales use predictive intelligence and smart content to deliver what the client needs exactly when they need it.
The Habits Of Consumers Are Changing…
…and marketers need to keep up with them. People now search for content online instead of relying on advertising. Even if video is still the preferred type of content, this doesn’t mean that a YouTube channel guarantees your visibility. Marketers have to work harder than ever to create accurate buyer personas, publishing their content on platforms where their buyers are looking for information.
Big Data Is The Marketing Powerhouse
The age of the ‘gut feeling’ is gone. Marketers now rely on big data to power their strategy in order to ensure effectiveness. They leverage the power of information collected from their CRMs and marketing automation tools on customers’ online behaviour in order to gain valuable insights.
Today’s savvy marketers know who their customers are, what they want and how they prefer to have it delivered, as well as what type of content to create and when to distribute it for maximum efficiency. Even more, the development of new products and services is dictated by customers’ wants and needs and revealed by big data.
Inbound Has Become The Preferred Marketing Strategy For All Business Types
Inbound is no longer in its infancy. The HubSpot 2016 State of Inbound Report clearly shows that 3 out of 4 marketers prefer inbound tactics to outbound ones. Even more, they view advertising as obsolete and too aggressive. What powered this change? Aside from the effectiveness of inbound marketing, it appears that generating leads this way costs 60% less than using outbound marketing, according to Search Engine Journal.