The marketing world is ever changing at the speed of tweet. If you were not lucky enough to immerse yourself in Content World or Inbound 2014 this year, don’t fret. At Illumine8 we’ve distilled down the best takeaways from what the inbound and content marketing world has to offer.
Here are our top five takeaways regarding the 2014 State of Inbound:
1. Marketing & Sales Big Bang Theory
The decades old marketing and sales department battle lines are about to be redrawn. With access to savvier marketing tools and intimate customer profiles, marketing and sales funnels are finally aligning around common goals. While sales loves the kill and marketing loves to nurture, the combo is killer for the bottom line. This is one trend we have been patiently waiting for and couldn’t be more excited to see.
Announced at Inbound 2014 HubSpot’s new Sales CRM that seamlessly integrates into the HubSpot marketing mothership. While we have just had time to play with the beta version of this tool, we are already impressed by its integration into the existing marketing platform. Is it a salesforce replacement? Not yet, but other CRM’s should take note of this newbie to the market. With access to the marketing data that software like HubSpot provides, these sales tools becomes more than just a digital rolodex and note file - they become marketing to sales funnel machines with surprising efficiency.
2. ROI isn’t optional anymore
ROI (return on investment) is the three letter word that has chased marketers for years - you either embrace it or grimace when asked about it. If ROI hasn’t been embraced in your marketing efforts it is high time you hopped on the bandwagon. By talking about numbers the conversation about marketing changes dramatically. No longer are monthly marketing meetings something to fear thanks to new marketing technologies that measure campaign’s ROI. Still not convinced? According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound "inbound marketers who measure ROI are more than 12 times more likely to be generating a greater as opposed to lower year-over-year return.” Further “ No single factor had a greater impact on budget – positive or negative – than did past success with inbound.”
3. Google is the new Yellowbook - oh wait, you knew that already, right?
Our reliance on technology to find the answers to never ending quires has lead to an entire profession dedicated to the art of “getting found”. “Getting found” is both an art and science but for inbound professionals one thing above everything else rings true - provide relevant content that solves our customer’s problems on a predicable and frequent basis. This content is informative, entertaining and search relevant. Need more convincing? Inbound marketers who blog are 13 times more likely to enjoy a positive ROI.
4. Creative + Data = Dynamite
Big data is old news. Everyone has heard about big data but how many actually use data for good? Our saying - data is king. Without data marketing efforts continued to be labeled arts and crafts projects with minimal value and return to the bottom line. It’s not that creative doesn’t has it’s place, because it does. Data unlocks possibilities in creative that lead to powerful, measurable results. Because data is immune to feelings, it is more inline with c-suite objectives and lends credibility to creative work. Calling all creatives everywhere, its time to embrace data as your new best friend.
5. Unbound, breaking the barriers of the marketing function
Inbound, Outbound - push and pull. It feels like the marketing world is in a constant tug of war over methodology. We claim Unbound Marketing efforts - the balance of inbound and outbound marketing efforts across multiple business functions - lead to the greatest success. As sales and marketing functions continue to integrate that it is only natural that Unbound Marketing will go beyond sales and branding communications into other functions as a way of conducting business holistically. From accounting to customer service, combining the problem solving relevance of good content with an integrated communications strategy will provide lasting brand value, customer retention and both internal and external communications alignment with lasting returns. After all, what organization wants to be bound within the confides of one methodology’s limits?
Looking to break beyond inbound and outbound marketing? Just getting started or maybe your an old pro - Take your organization to the next level with UNBOUND Illumine8 Marketing and PR.