In the past few years there has been a significant shift towards inbound marketing. Power has shifted from the marketer to the consumer; the outbound technique of chasing consumers with ads is no longer effective. Instead, through the use of inbound techniques, marketers are focusing on capturing consumer attention with valuable content, which eventually lures them in as potential customers.

Hubspot recently released their State of Inbound Marketing Report, which provides valuable insight into the direction of the marketing world. It revealed that the biggest marketing priority in North America is to convert contacts and leads into customers. Ironically, generating traffic and leads is also the biggest challenge marketers face.

Here are 5 tips marketers can use to operate more effectively and help boost business.

1. Play it cool

Most outbound content like mass emails and pop-up ads are perceived as intrusive. Ironically, the most overrated outbound marketing technique is paid advertising. Marketers that use the inbound approach of being helpful advocates are much more likely to be successful. In fact, 60% of consumers would prefer to speak with a sales representative after they learn about a product and have decided to purchase.

2. Ensure your company smarkets

Smarketing is when sales and marketing techniques are highly aligned. This starts with good clear communication. It is the most effective way to attract leads and turn them into sales. In fact, inbound organizations that have service level agreements (SLAs) are 5 times more likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective than outbound organizations that have misaligned SLAs.

3. Measure ROI

Measuring ROI is what allows a company to learn about the effectiveness of its marketing strategy. The company can then see where they have had successes and shift their marketing budget to cater to those effective strategies. Inbound marketing often reveals such successes, which is why companies that measure ROI are increasing there inbound content and in turn are becoming more successful.

4. Cater to consumers

How do your consumers prefer to communicate? Over email, through social networks or live YouTube chats? Once the preferred communication channels are identified, invest in marketing through those channels. LinkedIn and Twitter are the top used social media channels for business purposes. It’s interesting to note that 73% of respondents also reported using Facebook for professional reasons. It shows that there is a shift in the networks that consumers are using for business purposes and inbound marketers need to take note.

5. Use a CRM and ensure employees are trained on it

The biggest reported challenge of using a CRM is a “lack of integration” and “manual data entry.” Findings also show that a lack of understanding may be a contributing factor as to why sales teams aren’t using it.

Hubspot revealed that 40% of respondents are using an informal CRM system, such a Microsoft Excel or Outlook. These informal systems are time consuming, as all information needs to be input manually. Budget is the main factor preventing businesses from adopting proper CRM software. However, when you factor in the labor hours it takes for someone to manually input data, the cost of the CRM will save employees time allowing them more time to market and sell.

In a market where consumer and marketing trends are rapidly changing, businesses need to stay educated on the most effect marketing techniques. Use these 5 tips to help your marketing strategy reach a wider audience and turn more leads into customers.

Check out the full Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing report.


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