Where is Inbound Marketing Headed?

State of Inbound-Marketing 2014

Inbound marketing – a trend that has grown significantly in recent years – continues to be a powerful piece of any marketer’s toolkit.

HubSpot, a company that produces inbound marketing and sales software, recently released its State of Inbound 2014 Report. New this year, HubSpot dropped “marketing” from the report’s title, reflecting the way in which inbound efforts are expanding to sales (25%) and customer service (10%).

Among the key findings are the importance of tracking your return on investment. The report found inbound marketers who measure ROI are more than 12 times more likely to be generating a greater year-over-year return. Too often marketing is one of the first things on the chopping block when a company hits a rough patch or the overall economy takes a turn for the worse. Carefully tracking ROI helps marketers insulate themselves from budget cuts during times when marketing, sales and customer service are the most critical.

The report also noted that marketers see “getting found” as a top priority. And one key way marketers are achieving that goal is through blogs. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

The foundation of inbound marketing is built on two-way, interactive communication. It’s about letting the customers find you via search engine, social media, etc. and the idea is to entertain, educate and provide value. Blogs are so important because they fulfill all those functions. They give consumers a way to interact and be part of the conversation. Blogs boost search engine optimization, helping consumers find you. And blogs provide information and value.

A third important point is that inbound is about marketing and it’s about selling. According to the HubSpot report, inbound is no longer limited to marketing. More than 25% of respondents reported that their organizations’ sales teams practice inbound strategies.

Does your company have an inbound marketing or sales strategy? Are you giving customers valuable content and ways they can find you? Are you letting them be part of the conversation?

Or, are you hanging on to outbound strategies of pushing products and services on customers are no longer working and may be turning customers away. Now’s the time to change course and invite customers to come to you.