Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Inbound Marketing Continues to Build Momentum

May 21, 2013

Hubspot report is stunningly optimistic about social selling.

Social media are overhyped. That’s not surprising: Every major application of computer technology is initially hailed as the be-all and end-all. That overly-optimistic first stage is starting to settle down, as breathless bloggers and other writers and publications gain better perspective on this use of the internet.

Todd Martin 050913 image 1But the sales community is already seeing that the inbound marketing potential of social media marketing is worth the extra effort it’s put in over the last few years. Social selling is not just a fad or a phase, and it’s not going away, as some industry contrarians have proclaimed.

Blogging has produced particularly dramatic results, according to Hubspot’s recently-released 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report. 79 percent of companies who have a blog claimed a positive ROI for inbound marketing this year, compared to 20 percent who don’t.

If You Build It…

“Inbound marketing” simply refers to the approach that the web makes possible. You create websites and blogs and social network pages, and your customers come to you. More traditional “outbound marketing – Hubspot calls it “interruption-based marketing” because its audience doesn’t necessarily choose when to absorb your message — refers to vehicles like direct mail and brochures and banners.

Hubspot says in its report that inbound marketing, “…is not a channel or technology, it’s a strategy.” In order to succeed, it continues, you must dedicate a great deal of time, commitment and resources to get it right. It’s not a quick fix. You have to make a strategic change in how you focus your end-to-end marketing practices.

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Inbound marketing should be considered a holistic approach according to Hubspot. You should weave its customer-focused approach throughout your business practices. It also turns the sales funnel on its ear, since customers are now in control of your interaction with them.You have to be prepared to engage with customers at every point in your sales cycle, depending on where they are in their, “…fragmented, distracted and over-stimulated” social networking experience.

Here’s Proof

Hubspot “gets” social media marketing as well as anyone, and better than most. So we’d be wise to listen to what it’s reporting. Here are some more of its findings:

  • Inbound marketing brings in 54 percent more leads than traditional outbound marketing.
  • Traditional marketing methods – both advertising and direct mail – are less important than they were six months ago, say 17 percent of marketers responding.
  • Inbound marketing doubles website conversions.
  • Companies that test their inbound efforts are 75 percent more likely to achieve ROI.
  • It takes more upfront time to develop inbound marketing materials, but salespeople spend less time chasing low-converting leads.

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“Inbound marketing is real, and it shows remarkable traction for such a new industry,” Hubspot says.

I’m encouraged by what over 3,300 marketing specialists in 128 countries told Hubspot. We’re obviously doing some things right, and we’ll continue to develop inbound marketing best practices.

What do you think?

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