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Inbound Marketing! A term that has dramatically increased in popularity over the last decade alongside a healthy mixture of software tools and applications that help organisations create and deliver content that appeals to precisely the right people, in the right place at just the right time.

Did you know that three out of four marketers currently apply an inbound approach to their marketing methods? You may be one of these people which is looking to improve your activities or perhaps you’re taking a fresh look at how to begin your inbound marketing journey? Either way you’re in luck!

HubSpot has just announced their latest ‘State of Inbound’ 2015 report, where they surveyed nearly 4,000 marketing and sales professionals at virtually all levels of the business, across all industries, across the entire world. So in true HubSpot fashion, we’ve used a buyer persona, Marketing Mike, to provide you with the five best ways that marketing professionals are setting up their organisation to succeed in their Inbound Marketing methods:

1. Marketing Mike uses Marketing Automation Software

The most important tool for any top marketer in 2015 and there’s plenty out there. Marketing Automation software allows Marketing Mike to effectively market across multiple channels as well as automating repetitive tasks.

Not only this, but those marketers that saw a higher marketing ROI in 2014 were more likely to have used marketing automation software. What’s even better is that these same people were more likely to see their budget for the following year increase as a result! 

2. Marketing Mike was involved within the sales software decision-making process

As iterated in the first point - marketing automation software increases your chance of success. However, data from HubSpot’s report also shows that when marketing and sales team come together and decide to purchase software (a CRM and Marketing Automation tool for example) the odds of success are even better.

This is proven as the marketers who were involved in the sales software selection were 13% more likely to see a positive ROI and 11% more likely to receive an increase budget for the following year. 

3. Marketing Mike looks at his Marketing Metrics 3+ times per week

What marketing metrics are you currently looking at? And how often? Many of our clients are reporting on a variety of different marketing metrics, from clicks, to submissions, to ROI, to revenue, to web visits, to web sources.

Why do we focus on these metrics so much? Well respondents whose teams check marketing metrics three or more times a week were 20% more likely to see an increased ROI in 2015. This regular monitoring enables campaigns to be constantly tweaked and corrected so that they are performing at their optimum rate. If you want to truly engage with your prospective customer base then it makes sense to keep a close eye on how they are engaging with you so that you can personalise their experience.

So get your metrics right and start checking them more frequently!

4. Marketing Mike’s team track their ROI to secure budget 

Are you a Marketing Manager struggling to secure your marketing budget for the near year?

Data from the State of Inbound 2015 report showed that the more budget marketers have to begin with, the more they are likely to receive the next year. For example more than half of all marketers with budgets over $25,000 saw a bump in funds since last year. Well done for those people! But what those of use that don’t have a budget that big? How did we fair?

Well, 43% of marketers with budgets under $25,000 received a budget increase in 2015, while 31% of budgets held steady.

Tracking, managing and calculating ROI is clearly more important than ever and if you are one of the 8% whose budget was cut last year, poor ROI tracking could be to blame.

Respondents that tracked ROI were over 20% more likely to receive higher budget than their counterparts who failed to keep tabs. If you fail to demonstrate positive ROI, you’re nine times more likely to see a decrease in budget.

5. Marketing Mike has a SLA in place between Marketing and Sales, helping to yield more ROI, more budget and more headcount

Inbound Marketing success isn’t just because of the marketers (we hate to admit!), it’s a team effort and requires strong alignment between sales and marketing. The organisations getting the most out of their marketing budget tend to be partnered very tightly with sales.

Respondents that had a formal agreement between sales and marketing were more likely to see higher ROI on marketing spent in 2015, receive a budget increase and expand their sales team. Sounds good doesn’t it? If so, get a SLA in place if you don’t already have one.

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