Shout out to HubSpot for their annual State of Inbound report which shares inbound marketing and sales insights from across the world. We look forward to this report every year because it helps put some of the challenges that our clients (and we!) face into perspective. Below are 10 key insights that shed some light on where fellow marketers stand on current trends and how sales teams feel they need to be supported.
1. 69% of marketers say that converting leads into customers is their top priority
Followed by 54% that said growing web traffic and 44% that said increasing revenue derived from existing customers
The bottom of the sales funnel needs the most love. New leads and contacts are being attracted, but how can we convert them into customers? Content that proves ROI and drives home why your product or service is superior is key. And if you’re stuck, think out-of-the-box when it comes to communicating those messages – have you explored video?
2. 75% of sales teams say that closing more leads is their top priority
Followed by 48% that said improving the efficiency of their sales funnel
Here’s something that marketing and sales DO agree on! This tells us more than anything else that when marketing and sales team up and align their efforts, they can achieve their goal of closing leads.
3. 61% of marketers say that generating traffic and leads is their top marketing challenge
Followed by 39% that said proving ROI of marketing activities and 27% that said securing enough budget
This stat is interesting in comparison to #1. While marketers want to focus on converting leads, they say they struggle the most with obtaining leads. Make sure you have different tactics and messages for each stage of the sales funnel because the same tactics and content won’t work for different stages of the buyer’s journey.
4. 61% of marketers say that growing SEO and organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority
Followed by 55% that said blog content creation and 50% that said marketing automation
Utilizing SEO and keywords will help potential customers that are searching online for solutions or products find your company. Plugging your website into Moz is a good place to start if you want to analyze and improve your organic traffic.
5. 45% of marketers are planning to add YouTube to their distribution channels in 2018
Followed by 41% that are adding Facebook video
6. Paid print and digital advertising is the most overrated marketing tactic in 2018, according to 41% of marketers
Followed by 14% that said organic social media and 11% that said email marketing
With so much opportunity to organically attract leads, this doesn’t surprise us. Many of our clients don’t see much ROI when it comes to paying for ad space. That being said, there are times when it can be an invaluable tactic for your company.
7. 46% of marketing teams have a higher budget in 2018 than in 2017
32% had no change
8. 32% of marketers will spend $25,000 or less on marketing in the next year
Followed by 21% that will spend between $25,000 and $100,000; 14% that will spend between $100,000 and $500,000; and 16% that will spend $500,000+
At ODEA, we often get asked about the elusive marketing budget. There is no magic number, but it does help to see if marketing budgets are trending higher or lower year to year. Also keep in mind that certain tactics (website, video) need a higher budget to be successful and thus produce ROI. Are you spending enough?
9. 55% of respondents rely most on word-of-mouth referrals when making a purchase decision
We always tell our clients that no matter how amazing the branding is for your company, none of it matters if you don’t live your brand. When your customer has an experience with you that aligns with your brand promise (i.e. top-notch customer service), it will solidify your reputation in their mind. Naturally, they will share that experience and feeling online and in-person with their friends, family and colleagues.
10. 83% of respondents prefer to communicate via email for business purposes
Followed by 59% that prefer face-to-face and 55% that prefer phone
Even though email is preferred, 36% of sales teams said that the best way to reach prospects is via phone (30% said email). Regardless of how people prefer to be contacted, when it comes to sales it’s all about the right place at the right time. Never count out any method, but remember not to pester your prospects too much.
For more sales and marketing stats, click here to download the full State of Inbound report from HubSpot!