Every year HubSpot runs a pretty serious research into the state of inbound marketing. This year is no exception but we also added sales not just marketing as a research topic.
The major finding in our 8th annual survey is not just that things are changing, they always do (and they better), but that things are changing at an insanely rapid pace. And most importantly we think that they are changing in the right direction.
In five years only, marketing and the way we do business are going to be completely different. Why? Because the world is adopting inbound. It's becoming more authentic and less interruptive.
As Brian Halligan says,
Inbound means transforming how we do business to be more helpful, more human, more empathetic. It ... is about matching the way you market and sell with the way people actually want to shop and buy.
So it's not just about marketing, it's about everything we do as a business that needs to be is 100% customer-focused rather than marketer or seller-focused.
33 Stats About Marketing and Sales That You Need to Know Now:
EMEA Marketing and Sales:
- 72% state that their top marketing priority over the next 12 months is to convert visitors/leads into customers.
- However, a staggering 25% close less than 10% of their leads into sales.
- For 47% improving the efficiency of the sales funnel is the second top sales priority for the next year.
- 35% state that getting a response from a prospect is now more difficult in sales than 2 or 3 years ago.
- Only 19% of buyers rely on sales people for purchase decisions.
- 28% say that social selling is going to be a top priority too (compared to 22% last year).
- 66% state that their number one challenge is generating traffic and leads.
- 42% mention proving the ROI of their marketing activities as a major challenge as they still lack the necessary tools.
- 65% say that their top inbound marketing priority next year is growing SEO and organic presence.
- 66% of marketers already conduct inbound marketing.
- 57% believe that their marketing strategy is effective.
- Inbound companies are 4 times more likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective than outbound ones.
- For 57% inbound practices provide the highest quality leads to their sales team.
- 44% would characterise the relationship between sales and marketing as aligned.
- However, only 22% of sales people say that marketing is their main source of leads. 43% source their leads directly.
- 60% of marketers are prioritising blog posts this year although that's not the content people want.
- Companies' inbound marketing budgets are going up by 49%.
- But 51% don't calculate the ROI of their marketing activities.
- 34% say that paid advertising (print, outdoors) is the most overrated marketing tactic.
- 46% plan to add YouTube as a content distribution channel next year. 33% say the same about Facebook, 30% about Instagram, 16% about messaging apps, 11% about podcasts and 10% about Snapchat.
- When buying business software, 58% rely on word of mouth referrals, 42% on media articles, 40% on customer reviews and only 18% on a salesperson.
- 90% prefer to communicate via email with prospects and customers for business purposes. 41% prefer social media and 21% messaging apps.
- 83% use LinkedIn for professional purposes, 90% use Facebook for personal use. Instagram is used by 53% personally and 29% professionally.
- For 71% it's the staff who writes the content and only 19% comes from agency partners.
- 33% say that it takes them 1 to 2 hours to write a 500-word blog post.
- When looking for a new job, 60% say that opportunities for growth is their top consideration, for 50% it's work-life balance and for 44% compensation.
Global Consumer Stats:
- 2 out of 3 adults use social media to keep up with the news.
- Facebook users watch 8 billion videos on the network every day, Snapchat goes to 10 billion videos a day.
- 2 billion people search Facebook for content every day.
- 4 billion people use messaging apps to communicate and search.
- Mobile notifications have increased 34% this year.
- There have been 4 billion downloads of messaging apps this year so far.
- Mobile ad blocking has increased 90% year-over-year.
It's not just text anymore
What I am seeing is that we are going away from the written word. We still read, don't get me wrong. Blogs and magazines and newspapers are staying. But we as marketers need to get out of our comfort zone and start creating the content that people really want to consume. Because they don't only want to read, they want to watch and experience. They want to be part of something. And they don't only search for it in Google. Hence the growth of Instagram, Snapchat, messaging apps and bots. That's the future. And we better start being part of it now.
I fully recommend reading the whole report. There's so much more in there, also including differences between regions and industries. I promise you you'll learn a lot.
What's your top learning from the State of Inbound?