Steve Vaughan, Channel Account Manager HubSpot
I have 2 young kids, Jacob aged 5, Annabelle aged 4 and therefore I am constantly getting bombarded with the “why” questions – why is the sky blue? Why does Elsa (from Frozen) have ice coming out of her hands? Why is mummy older than daddy but smaller than daddy?
And one of things that is both brilliant and annoying is that kids don’t let you off easy. They keep asking “why why why” until they get right to the bottom and I usually end up saying “because that is the way it is!!” So in this blog I want to get to the bottom of why Inbound Marketing is worth considering. Why should I bother? What is the big deal?
And I have narrowed it down to 5 B2B business pains that Inbound Marketing solves.
1. Return On Investment (ROI)
It’s the most important question that faces a decision-maker, will what I am about to do bring ROI to my business? The premise of Inbound Marketing was to create a way of doing marketing that turned marketing from an art into a science (without losing the art!). And so everything you do in your marketing has an ROI attached to it – every blog post, e-mail, social post, Landing Page and Campaign.
And when I say ROI, I mean clear revenue results attached to your marketing. For example here is the ROI on our social media activity for 1 month,
Or here is the ROI of one Landing Page that we have created.
If you want a clear ROI, then you’ll enjoy Inbound Marketing.
2. Understanding the Customer Journey
I could have called this marketing-sales alignment. It is very well known that, on average, for B2B sales, 60% of the customer journey is complete before anyone speaks to a sales representative.
Additionally I have heard it said that only 2% of web visitors are ready to do business (pick up the phone or send you an e-mail) and yet they want to learn and “check you out.”
So how do we adapt to the new world we live in where people learn online and read reviews and check out your company website before they start speaking to you? Well you need to be able to (a) track everything they’re doing and (b) capture their data so you can retarget them effectively.
We want to know what a potential customer is doing on our website, on e-mail and on social and have a single view of all that. And I want to be able to score each prospect who is engaging online, through e-mail or social media so I can pass the best ones onto my sales team. Here is an example.
In effect, I want visibility into what my potential customers are doing, so I can influence more of the buying process and when they are ready to speak to us, to be 100% ready to be able to help them.
If you want marketing and sales alignment and visibility into your customers journey, then you’ll enjoy Inbound Marketing.
3. Leads Leads Leads
Do you have enough good leads in your sales pipeline? If so you’re in the minority…keep it up! If not, what are you going to about it? If you have any ambitions to grow your business you need to work out how to get more leads and good leads.
Inbound Marketing is a simple but effective process where we turn your website from a brochure website into a lead generation machine. Firstly people find you because you have great content that solves their problems and once they find you, you draw them in with more helpful content and you start to nurture them. Then, as explained above, you can segment the best leads and pass them onto the sales team based on a criteria which you predefine (e.g role = decision-maker, number of downloads > 5, prospect = has viewed the pricing page or is doing a demo etc).
In HubSpot we define those leads according to personas we have created.
If you want leads you’ll enjoy Inbound Marketing.
4. A Cohesive Strategy
Again I could have called this marketing-sales alignment. Most companies these days have made some attempt to adapt to the online world we live in. Many of you will have social pages (though you’re not quite sure why and what to do with them). Many of you will have started a blog (but last published one 3 months ago). Many of you will be trying to do some form or A/B testing and segmentation and automation with your e-mails and Landing Pages, but even though you love the theory you don’t have the systems which means you can do it in 30 minutes…so you gave up.
Inbound Marketing is the designed to help you solve all of your top, middle and bottom of the funnels problems, in a way that brings together your online presence with your digital marketing with your sales team. Here is the marketing-sales funnels you should be logging into every morning.
If you feel you’re doing lots but it’s all disjointed or ineffective, then you’ll enjoy Inbound Marketing.
5. Be Part of the Future
Business is moving online at a rapid and scary rate. Google didn’t exist 17 years ago, Twitter didn’t exist 9 years ago. They now dominate the modern world we live in and both have huge power over B2B decision making. This provides great opportunities and challenges. Opportunities for those that will adapt their businesses to the way people learn and buy, challenges for any that get stuck in their ways with regards to marketing and sales.
The question is simple, will you position your business so that you can not only survive the next 5-10 years of digital transformation, but capitalise on it so you become a thought-leader in your sector and grow your business in a predictable and scalable manner?
If you want to do that, you’ll enjoy Inbound Marketing.
So there you have it. Maybe I have rose-tinted spectacles, but there are the 5 “this is just the way it is” answers to why inbound marketing solves 5 B2B business pains of today.
Steve Vaughan is Channel Account Manager bij HubSpot (all-in-one Marketing en Sales software) en partner van Webs.