The Seven Deadly Dangers of B2B Inbound Marketing

This post has been updated to include links to the 2017 State of Inbound Marketing Report. The Seven Dangers are all still Deadly so they remain the same.

If you have a paralyzing fear of failure, you may not want to read any further.

If you seek the B2B marketing treasure of more visits, more leads, more sales and customers that love you then let’s keep going…

Begin with a search of the term “Inbound Marketing Methodology” and your results will reveal what looks like a simple map. This bright and colorful chart indicates riches are there for any B2B marketing team that simply follows four easy steps to the land of unlimited leads and delighted customers.

It isn’t that easy. Although the Inbound Marketing Methodology map is accurate, discovering the rewards of inbound marketing can be a difficult journey and you will discover failures along the way. I know from experience that success hasn’t come easy for either our agency or our clients. I also know that perseverance pays off.

Don’t be afraid of Inbound Marketing. You aren’t alone and others have gone before you.

Not only should you be aware of the dangers so you can avoid them, you should learn from both the successful and failed adventures of other B2B marketers that have gone before you. There’s an eye-opening FREE report that you need to read that will help you. It’s the State Of Inbound Marketing Report.

The Seven Dangers That Can Leave Your Inbound Marketing Efforts Dead In The Water:

Dangers of Inbound Marketing

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Dangers of Inbound Marketing - Dragon

1. Lack of Commitment

For your inbound marketing program to be successful, it must be integrated throughout the company and sustainable over the long haul.

According to the State of Inbound Marketing Report: While most marketers say they do inbound, only 25% of sales teams and 10% of those in customer service say that they take part in inbound marketing strategies.

Dangers of Inbound Marketing - Mermaid

2. No Inbound Strategy

Your Inbound Marketing journey won’t be exactly like anyone else’s. Start by creating your buyer personas and a plan for creating content that’s most relevant to your personas at the different stages of your sales funnel. Set realistic goals and continuously test for success and failures along the way. And never quit learning.

Inbound marketing is not a channel or a technology, it’s a strategy: It’s not enough to “do” inbound. To see real results, you need to deeply commit to the model and optimize continually.

Dangers of Inbound Marketing - Octopus

3. All Hype, No Help

It seems so simple but it’s so hard to do for marketers locked into traditional sales messaging. It’s time to stop selling your customers and prospects and start helping them. That’s the core principal of inbound marketing.

Inbound tactics like blogging and SEO help you get found by people who need your products and services on their time, instead of wasting your time pushing your way in front of unengaged strangers.

Dangers of Inbound Marketing - Eel

4. Dysfunction Between Sales and Marketing

In our many years of B2B marketing experience, the lack of cooperation between sales and marketing has been one of our biggest challenges. I’m thankful to see more collaborative engagement across departments now that the tools exist to set and measure goals that meet the needs of both.

According to the State of Inbound Marketing Report: the wealth of tracking and analytics central to inbound marketing efforts can significantly bridge this gap. Successful inbound marketing can follow customers through their entire lifecycle, from their first site visit, to the point they become a lead, through the sales handoff, until the final sale.

Dangers of Inbound Marketing - Ship

5. Lack of Fuel For Inbound Marketing Engine

Think of marketing automation, CRM and Inbound Marketing software as the engine and remarkable content as the fuel.

Nothing matters more to your inbound marketing success than content. Being unrealistic about your resources to create and deliver this content will surely sink your inbound marketing program. Your quality and quantity of content will slip and so will the level of interest and engagement from your customers and prospects.

Dangers of Inbound Marketing - Shark

6. Ineffective Inbound Marketing Software

For years marketing executives have been hearing about the promise of marketing automation. By this time, many have invested in what they believe to be the best technology for automation, customer relationship management (CRM), inbound marketing and lead nurturing.

In some cases, these legacy systems have been too complicated to fully implement and integrate. And the internal resources to do so don’t exist.

Many enterprise level marketing departments must still have to struggle with IT over control of their corporate website without access to a truly useful content management system.

Dangers of Inbound Marketing - Fish

7. Insufficient Budget (Time & Money)

We believe the debate is over as to whether or not your company should include inbound marketing in your overall marketing efforts. The question is: how much should your business invest in inbound marketing?

If you are fortunate enough to have passive competition, you can start slow and build your inbound marketing program over time. You will be the pacesetter.

If your competition has a head start, I suggest you invest in extra resources and spend more to catch up. The good news is that there are more outside resources available than ever and it’s not difficult to be very selective.

Take a look at some of this year’s inbound stats and see for yourself why so many companies are are investing. If you can dodge the dangers, the treasure is immense.

  1. Around 85% of companies will execute inbound marketing strategies in 2015.
  2. For small to midsize companies, the average cost per lead was 3x more for outbound marketing than inbound marketing.
  3. More than twice as many marketers cited inbound (45%) as their primary source of leads versus outbound (22%).
  4. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
  5. Marketers who measure inbound ROI are 17 times more likely to see the same or greater ROI as the previous year.

What dangers have I missed? If you’ve explored Inbound Marketing I welcome your cautionary tales of adventure and advice…

Seven Dangers of B2B Inbound Marketing