What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a data-driven strategy that involves attracting and converting visitors into customers through personalized, relevant information and content and following them through the sales experience with ongoing engagement. While inbound marketing is a relatively new industry, it shows sizeable market share and impressive budget growth rates.

  • Sixty percent of companies will execute inbound marketing strategies in 2013
  • Marketers allocate 34% of their overall budgets to inbound tactics — 11% more than they dedicate to outbound strategies, like banners, direct mail, and more.
  • This year, 48% of marketers plan to increase their inbound marketing spending – the third year in a row that inbound budgets are increasing at a near 50% pace.

Twice as many marketers say inbound marketing delivers below average cost per leads versus outbound strategies. Our survey found that 34% of all the leads generated in 2013 come from inbound marketing sources. In fact, inbound delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound leads.

Marketers who have embraced inbound recognize that success depends on shifting overall marketing’s focus – and weaving inbound’s content- rich, customer-focused strategy through your business practices. The inbound plan gets your company working together, rather than looking at a lead as a baton to hand off from one functional group to another.

Inbound marketers also address the fact that consumers’ behavior, which is often fragmented, distracted, and over-stimulated with alerts and content, necessitates tying things together. Your customer controls their own interaction with your online material – a prospect engages with you on their own timetable. One person may look at your site at 10 a.m. every morning, while another will visit only after an email has captured their attention. To be successful at inbound, you need to align your team to be ready and to measure it all together.

This clear alignment of inbound goals makes marketing more profitable:

  • Companies that establish shared marketing and sales responsibilities see clear improvements in their lead acquisition costs, particularly among enterprise firms. Adopting a marketing-sales agreement saves companies with more than 200 employees an average of $195.84 total cost per customer.
  • Inbound concepts boost website conversions: Inbound marketers double the average site conversion rate of non-inbound marketers, from 6% to 12% total. Marketers see an average website conversion rate of 10% industry-wide.
  • Testing inbound efforts drives major ROI improvements: Companies who test are 75% more likely to show ROI for inbound marketing than those who fail to test their strategies.

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