It’s that time of year again: budget planning. Not to fear, there’s a game changer that makes it easier than ever for marketers to secure marketing budget. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2015 report, inbound marketing makes it twice as likely that you’ll receive an increase in budget — if you’re able to show positive ROI.
The inbound marketing statistics cited in this year’s report demonstrates how inbound marketing ROI is the leverage you need to increase your budget.
Stat 1: Top Priorities by Company Type
State of Inbound respondents from B2B, B2C and nonprofit companies of all sizes shared the same two marketing priorities:
- Increasing the lead pool
- Increasing lead conversions
Be careful here: This is not the same thing as increasing lead volume while maintaining the same conversion rate. While this would indeed produce more conversions, the upshot in revenue isn’t nearly as big.
Let us explain: Companies of all types and sizes want to grow their customer base at the top of the sales funnel, while simultaneously increasing the percentage of conversions at the bottom of the funnel (think: lower average cost per lead, higher average value per lead).
Other marketing priorities trail far behind, and include proving ROI of marketing efforts, increasing revenue derived from current customers and reducing the cost of lead acquisition. The ultimate goal is simple: More leads + more conversions = more revenue.
In order to see a budget increase, you’ll need a firm handle on your own priorities and the role of inbound marketing at your company.
Stat 2: Demonstrating ROI is the #1 challenge marketers face
Predictably, the report cites proving the return on marketing dollars was the most common challenge faced by marketers of all company sizes and focus areas. Acquiring additional budget to put toward ROI-generating actions was the next challenge in line. The domino effect is obvious: if you can prove your money’s worth to the company (click here if you want to know how), you will secure marketing budget, and therefore fund activities that provide the most value (like inbound marketing!).
Smaller for-profit and nonprofit companies face unique challenges as they struggle to reach a growth phase, such as finding the right technologies for their needs and managing a website. Established companies were 40% less likely to mention these challenges.
Stat 3: How to prove ROI
Now we’re getting to the good stuff: If you want to know how to prove ROI, you must track it in the first place.
The following inbound marketing statistics (gathered in the report) demonstrate best practices that resulted in more leads and higher rates of conversion for companies surveyed.
Inbound efforts achieve higher ROI than outbound regardless of company size or total marketing spend.
Leading marketers resist the allure of paid campaigns and recognize outbound as being overrated.
Both staff and guest contributors write marketing content.
The best marketers check their marketing analytics 3+ times per week.
Can you establish the links between your own marketing best practices and results? By dedicating the time and resources to tracking, you will set yourself up to prove ROI.
Stat 4: Proven marketing ROI unlocks budget.
The most significant finding in this year’s State of Inbound report is the direct connection between marketers who focus on inbound marketing and realizing both positive ROI and increases in budget. It states that “Best-in-class marketers track ROI, prove it’s growing each year, and secure increased budget as a result.”
More specifically, marketing teams that achieved positive marketing ROI this year were more than twice as likely to receive a larger budget, as shown by the diagram below.
State of Inbound surveyed nearly 4,000 marketers from all over the world, and validates that inbound marketing is the preferred method for companies spending under $5M annually on marketing. In fact, the data cites that organizations spending less than $100,000 on marketing annually are four times more likely to practice inbound marketing (versus outbound).
Across B2B, B2C and nonprofit companies, inbound was three times more likely to be the marketing approach of choice. The takeaway is clear: Show the ROI of inbound marketing to your company’s stakeholders, and get the one thing everybody wants — a bigger budget.
Get a positive return on this year’s investment and watch next year’s budget flourish by prioritizing compelling content over ads, and drawing customers to you rather than shoving your message onto them.