HubSpot’s “State of Inbound 2015” (get your free copy here) illuminated emerging trends in inbound and outbound for large and small firms in all industries.
Where did inbound marketing come from? The idea and moniker for “inbound marketing” was the brainchild of Brian Halligan, co-founder and CEO of HubSpot, a Boston-based software automation firm.
Inbound marketing is, according to HubSpot, “Instead of blasting out interruptive ads and trying to pull people to your company, inbound marketing uses helpful content to attract visitors and get them to engage of their own volition.”
For many asset management firms, however, the phrase “inbound” typically referred to the inbound sales desk tasked with taking incoming phone calls from prospects and clients generated by the sales department.
How’s inbound marketing doing? A recap of five trends:
State #1: Inbound Is For all Types of Firms
According to the report, “Inbound had a 75% likelihood of being the marketing approach of choice, while outbound had only a 25% chance. This 3:1 ratio remained consistent across all company types (B2B, B2C, and nonprofit).” Start-ups and small businesses were not the only inbounders. Larger firms – those with more than 200 employees – have done both inbound and outbound strategies.
State #2: Outbound Has Moved Out
Is outbound out? Larger companies still spent considerable money on outbound. 32% of companies who identified as more outbound than inbound said paid advertising was the number one most overrated marketing tactic.
State #3: Outsourcing Content Development Has Increased
The study reported that in 2014, 23% of content was either created by marketing agencies or by freelancers, up from 20% in 2013. By contrast, in-house staff generated 41% of marketing content in 2014, down from 46% in 2014.
“Companies that achieve the most positive ROI are also those who outsource at least a portion of their content creation. This is no coincidence; as outsourcing content is one prong of a multi-pronged strategy for success with inbound,” said the report.
State #4: Adding Automation Has Increased Inbound Efforts
Companies that used automation in inbound campaigns reported more ROI than those that didn’t. An example of inbound automation is an email campaign targeted to specific audiences, depending on their behavior and actions.
State #5: Inbound Takes Time
“Leading marketers recognize that inbound is a long game, the report said. “Both past success and past failure with inbound correlates with an inbound marketing budget increase.”