B2B Marketing: Do You Need an Inbound Strategy?
When pitching new business, we sometimes come across prospects that need to be convinced, not just about hiring us, but about inbound marketing in general. We call this the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” client.
We try to convince them that inbound really works for B2B marketing, and we cite the following statistics1:
- The number of marketers practicing inbound rose from 60% last year to 85% this year, while the percentage of marketers who concede they don’t practice an inbound approach was nearly halved to 13%.
- In 2014, half of marketers (B2B, B2C, and Nonprofit) ranked inbound as their primary lead source.
- Inbound-sourced leads are consistently more knowledgeable about a company prior to speaking with a sales or business development representative than leads that originate through outbound means.
Despite our argument, some B2B prospects remain unconvinced. And it usually has something to do with the bottom line. Why invest in an inbound strategy when you think things are just fine the way they are?
In a recent blog post, John McTigue of Kuno Creative, argues that businesses can’t afford not to. With inbound, you increase your visibility, are better able to compete, and you increase sales efficiency and revenue. At MLT Creative, we think he presents a pretty compelling argument, but let’s take a look and see if there are facts to back him up. Because we love statistics.
Where will your customers come from?
Because up to 93% of buying cycles begin with an online search, that means you need a website optimized for inbound. Otherwise, McTigue states, you’re missing out on potential new business:
- Potential buyers leave because they can’t find what they want
- They bounce because they don’t understand your value proposition
- They give you no more than a quick glance because your site is slow to load or is unreadable on smartphones
- You never know they visited your site because you have no attractive lead conversion offers
What are your competitors doing?
While you’re limiting your investment to traditional outbound marketing, your competitor’s inbound strategy is generating three times as many leads for less – 62% less. In addition, according to McTigue there are other potential factors that are costing you money:
- They are first to market with competitive products
- They grab market share early and increase it over time
- They gain reputation as the industry leader
- They consistently win in head-to-head competitions, RFPs and customer reviews
- You reduce your sales revenue and increase your financial stress
How efficient is your sales funnel?
Inbound generates a better return on your investment than traditional outbound. Over 42% of companies using inbound increase their lead-to-sale conversion rate and almost 50% increase sales within seven months.
Are you satisfied with your revenue?
Or would you like it to be higher? Case studies show that inbound increases revenue. And some of them are pretty impressive.
Case Study #1: Shows a 207% increase in new client revenue, a 200% increase in lead volume and a 50% decrease in paid marketing spending.
Case Study #2: Describes an increase in revenue of 129% and a 5x increase in lead volume.
Case Study #3: Illustrates a 2x increase in average revenue growth rate, 42% increase in net income year-over-year since 2009 and a 172% increase in lead volume on average year-over-year.
We love statistics, and we love them even more when they support the case for inbound marketing. Any questions?