Although smaller companies have always relied more on inbound marketing strategies, 75 per cent of the 3,000 marketers surveyed from large and small companies say that inbound marketing is choice for large and small companies alike with 76 per cent of senior executives surveyed favor inbound marketing. In fact, according to inbound marketing and research platform, Hubspot's survey, companies are now three times more likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than outbound.
Seventy-four per cent of B2B marketers surveyed from both small and large companies cited increasing the number of contacts/lead as their top priority with seventy one per cent agreeing that converting contacts and leads to customers is the key. Additionally, 41 per cent surveyed said that proving the ROI of marketing activities was also an important goal. Although all companies surveyed agreed that securing a budget is one of their biggest challenges, those companies that offer a positive marketing ROI in 2015 are nine times more likely to receive higher budgets.
However, for both large and small companies, proving a demonstrable return on marketing dollars is the toughest challenge marketers face, the survey said. Budgets and proven strategies appear to be a larger concern for companies with 71 per cent of these marketers in large companies saying their biggest challenge is proving the ROI of marketing activities. The effort of securing a larger budget has affected 51 per cent of larger companies with almost a third (32 per cent) facing similar difficulties with companies of 200 employees or less.
One of the key findings in the survey was that in order to increase budgets, it is essential to track ROI in the first place. Additionally, marketers surveyed said that the need for executive support and team training meant finding an executive sponsor for marketing initiatives is an increasing priority.
The survey also shows that inbound marketing is a long game, with 97 per cent of companies with past success in inbound marketing willing to put the budget towards more budgets. Leading marketers who check their marketing analytics three or more times per week are over 20 per cent more likely to achieve positive ROI. Marketing automation is used by 52 per cent of companies and 60 per cent of leading marketers are involved in sales software purchase decisions with 13 per cent more likely to see a positive ROI, while 11 per cent were more likely to receive an increased budget.
Budgets are increasing for marketers, with a solid 43 per cent with budgets under $25,000 receiving a budget increase in 2015. The data reveals that the more budget marketers have to begin with, the more they will receive next year.
The survey also found that inbound marketing is a team effort with sales, with 58 per cent saying that with collaboration companies are more likely to see higher ROI on marketing dollars.