New research published by HubSpot finds that Asia Pacific marketers trail only North American marketers when it comes to tracking the Return on Investment (ROI) for “inbound marketing,” the process of attracting prospects to your organization instead of using less effective “outbound” or interruption-based marketing that forces advertising onto a captive audience. Unlike print ads or direct mail, inbound marketers use solution-based content to attract website visitors and provide practical solutions to problems or help fulfill their customer’s goals and desires.
Inbound Marketing is Global
This year, the State of Inbound report is a truly a global document, with more than 150 countries represented. The report surveyed nearly 4,000 respondents and 10% were Asia-Pacific marketers. The data revealed that the global marketing community is united in favor of inbound practices. In all five international regions, a 3:1 ratio emerged between those who considered their organization inbound-driven versus outbound-driven. The 2015 State of Inbound report also revealed other important geographic marketing differences, including a concern with training and the need to tailor website content to an international audience.
Sales & Marketing Alignment Boost Inbound Marketing Results
In addition to inbound marketing, the 2015 State of Inbound report also added a new sales chapter to the mix. Considering that aligning marketing and sales practices is critically important to an organization’s success, the State of Inbound report contains both marketing- and sales-specific results--as well as areas where the two departments intersect. The report describes the struggle salespeople are having with low-quality leads, a lack of information about those leads and burdensome data entry. This year’s data starts with a realistic look at why leaders lead, and why laggards lag, and provides insight into buzzworthy sales practices such as social selling.
Inbound Marketing Performs Better than Outbound Campaigns
What is most revealing is that--worldwide-- companies are 3x more likely to see high levels of ROI from their inbound marketing efforts compared to outbound campaigns across all 150 countries surveyed. In fact, three out of four marketers across the globe prioritize an inbound approach to marketing.
Inbound is surpassing all other forms of marketing in producing a positive return-on-investment (ROI). And best of all: proven marketing ROI unlocks budget! For the marketers who have put analytics in place for their campaigns, the ones who check their performance 3x a week or more were the most likely to see a positive return for their efforts.
The research couldn’t be more clear: Marketers who are able to show increases towards an organization’s revenue are seeing dramatic increases in their marketing budgets for the following year, and inbound campaigns are far more likely to achieve a higher ROI than outbound campaigns. Surprisingly, this trait holds true across different company sizes, regions, countries and budgets.
Regardless of whether your business caters to business or consumers, Inbound Marketing is outperforming outbound marketing across every metric. The challenge for many marketers is ROI in the first place, and the State of Inbound report helps marketers do just that. The findings support what statistician Karl Pearson said, “that which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.”
Looking ahead to next year, the 2015 State of Inbound report emphasizes the importance of empowering sales teams with information about a lead before they are asked to reach out and make content. The reason is simple: Today’s buyer is notably different than the buyer of decades past -- or even just a few years ago. Our prospects expect more out of the initial sales conversation, especially when that first contact is made over the phone.
Organizations that have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place between their marketing and sales teams are much more likely to experience the success of Inbound Marketing. Marketers need to get more input from their sales team to ensure campaigns deliver high-quality, “sales ready” leads. A formal SLA between sales and marketing departments will also lead to increased marketing budget and ROI. Sadly, only between 30% and 40% of respondents in each region polled said their organization had an SLA in place. Opportunities abound in 2016 for increased departmental alignment between international sales and marketing teams.