So, you've chosen the path of inbound marketing and want to give it a go with your business. Awesome. But, you may be asking yourself, how in the world do I get started? Well, all good things start with a plan. So, let's get you set up with how you should plan for inbound marketing and what kinds of things you should anticipate once your inbound journey begins. Let's get started with cover these four bases on how to begin with inbound marketing.
1) How should you think about the inbound/outbound marketing balance?
The number of companies using inbound marketing are growing year by year. That said, we're not telling you to throw out outbound completely but rethink how the two interplay and what each brings to the table.
Ultimately, all marketing is shooting for one things: the ability to grow revenue. For this reason, attributing new business leads to inbound or outbound practices is one of the most important considerations when deciding the balance of inbound vs outbound in your marketing plan.
According to HubSpot's State of Inbound report in 2014, for the first time in the past four years, outbound as a primary lead source dropped - from 34% to 22%. In 2014, more than twice as many respondents to this "lead source" survey cited inbound (455) as their primary source of leads versus outbound (22%).
2) What challenges should you anticipate?
No matter if your company is big or small, one common challenge faces them all: Proving the return on investment of your marketing activities. Management is expecting to see proof of marketing impact now that many pieces are in place. If management is expecting ROI, marketers need to prioritize its delivery.
If we do want to talk about size, when it comes to smaller companies tend to prioritize lead generation while bigger companies will focus on ROI. It can be summed up in the graph below.
3) Where should I spend my time & budget?
This is one of the biggest questions out there. If we had to pinpoint an area where to spend your time and budget, it would be lead generation. We mentioned before one of the biggest marketing challenges is ROI but that doesn't necessarily really parallel with marketing priorities. According to the data collected, about 24% of all companies say generating leads is top priority.
4) How should my sales team factor into my plans?
It only makes sense we mentioned this. After all, sales is the primary beneficiary of marketing's effort. So it's important that the two are aligned as much as possible for the best performance and outcomes for your company.
Sales must always be in the forefront of marketers not the afterthought in the marketing plan process. Marketing should always be supporting its primary stakeholder. Through the data shown below, it's proven that inbound marketers create more knowledgeable prospects for your sales team. Inbound warms your leads and makes it easier for possible leads to learn about your company.
Hopefully these tidbits helped sort a few things out in your head on inbound. Check back in here for more on inbound and feel free to contact us with any questions. We'll get you started with inbound. :)
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