Inbound marketing revolution is all about ROI

Can software change the culture of your business?

recent survey of nearly 250 businesses using HubSpot software found that respondents spent 83 percent more time on inbound marketing after implementing the software.

"We went from 100 percent outbound marketing to 90 inbound marketing," one respondent commented in the survey, which was conducted by an MIT Sloan MBA student and released this month.

Another respondent wrote, "We now have a more relevant online presence and are generating new business from our website."

In some ways, those comments reflect a self-fulfilling prophecy. HubSpot's software is designed for inbound marketing and if you're going to invest in it, you damn well better use it for inbound marketing, whether you think you have the skills to go it alone or whether you tap into the expertise, strategy and support of one of HubSpot's network of certified partners.

However, some of the other comments indicate something more is at work here than merely using a new toy:

"My company has significantly altered the way we go to market," one respondent reported.

"Well, we never KNEW what inbound marketing was ... we now have a much better understanding of the primary inbound marketing techniques: SEO, blogging, etc. We also now better understand that the goal of marketing is to move the 'conversation' from 1 to 1 to 1 to many," said another.

Regardless of whether a business is a true convert to inbound marketing or is just testing the waters, the same thing matters in the end: Return on investment.
And the results of this report - which was also based on data collected from customer Web sites - are telling, probably even more so because the period studied coincides with the Great Recession. Here are some highlights:

 

  • A 60 percent increase in unique visitors to customer sites.
  • 4.2 times more leads after five months of use; in addition, customers who did not capture leads prior to using HubSpot reported getting more than 50 leads per month within a year.
  • 58 percent of respondents said sales increased (29 percent did not know, and 13 percent saw a decrease).
  • 23 percent of businesses with one to five employees enjoyed increases of 25 percent or more in sales.
  • 90 percent of respondents said they would recommend HubSpot (7.5 percent did not know and 2.5 percent said they would not).
So, can software change the culture of your business? Probably not. At its root, software - no matter how good - is still just tool. But if you marry the best practices of inbound marketing with the best inbound marketing software available, put in the effort and measure the results, you may end up asking yourself is an entirely different question: "Why weren't we doing this sooner?"

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