Hubspot released their 7th annual report on the State of Inbound Marketing over the weekend. And while the report clearly indicates that marketers who prefer inbound are the smartest, best looking people in the world, there’s fantastic data that you will find very helpful and relational for any size B2B, B2C, or a non-profit organization.

Top priority: More leads, more conversions

Whether companies have fewer than 25 employees or more than 200, the top priority for their digital marketing is to increase the number of contacts/leads and to convert them into customers. Of those, there’s a big difference between how they go about making that a reality. The bigger the budget, the more likely they are to rely on outbound marketing efforts. In contrast, the lower the marketing budget, the more inbound is relied on.

Inbound vs Outbound by Marketing Spend Graph

Source: Hubspot State of Inbound 2015 Report

With a marketing budget of over $5MM, 55% rely on outbound marketing. However, that same group says they are almost 3x more likely to see higher ROI using inbound marketing vs outbound. Whether the marketing budget is under $100k or over $5MM, everyone sees higher returns with inbound over outbound marketing. That’s sexy.

Inbound vs. Outbound ROI by Marketing Spend graph

Source: Hubspot State of Inbound 2015 Report

More [PROVEN] ROI = More Budget

We’re fortunate to work with clients of all sizes. One of the many things we do is help define their digital marketing budget for their next fiscal year. The larger the client, the more internal competition there is for the budget. Every department or division within the company has initiatives that can use the money, so how do we help justify the marketing budget?

Prove ROI.

It’s not only the catalyst to securing the budget, it’s also key to securing more budget to implement fresh marketing initiatives. The Hubspot report agrees:

“Best-in-class companies get increased marketing budgets, and they do it by proving their teams are worth the uptick in cash. How? By tracking the returns year-over-year, and subsequently demonstrating a positive ROI.

Respondents were 20% more likely to receive a higher budget in 2015 if ROI was tracked in the first place, and twice as likely to see an increased budget if that tracked ROI was shown to be higher than in 2014. What’s more, respondents were nine times more likely to receive a lower budget if they failed to demonstrate a positive ROI.

With this in mind, there is a strong case to be made for dedicating time and resources to establishing links between marketing activity and results.”

And you know we’re big on results. It’s the basis of our performance optimization engagement. But what’s interesting is that leading marketers interviewed indicated past failure in their inbound marketing efforts also resulted in a higher budget.

“Of those who failed, 81% increased budget as a result. That means top marketers realized that inbound is a long game. If you get off to a slow start, you shouldn’t back off. In fact, you might consider doubling down.”

That’s NOT an incentive to fail. However, when it happens, make it happen fast and ensure you’re tracking everything closely so you can learn from the data and make the necessary adjustments to make up for it to hit your goals.

How often should you track your performance?

According to the report, the most successful marketers are on top of their game, checking analytics 3 or more times per week. That’s in alignment with our average client engagement. Some are as low as 2, some as often as daily. And why not? It’s fun! Seeing the measurable impact your efforts have on your organization is very rewarding.

It’s a pretty simple cycle:

  1. Do the work
  2. Measure
  3. Get results
  4. Get more budget

Oh, and here’s the best insight. If you’re in marketing, you are already one of the smartest, best looking people in the world.

In my opinion.

You can read the full report yourself…