Every year for the last eight years, HubSpot has come out with a report where it has surveyed thousands of marketers and salespeople around the globe about their challenges, priorities, and strategies in marketing and sales. This year is no different and today the 2016 edition of the State of Inbound report is released. If you have enough time and interest, make sure you read the full report. If not, this is our short top 10 takeaways from it. Enjoy!

First of all, who is surveyed?

Before we move into the insights, let’s dispel some of the obvious questions surrounding this report; is it only HubSpot customers that are surveyed? Is it only North America? Is it only B2B or perhaps only B2C?

  • 15% of respondents are HubSpot customers or partners
  • 15% of respondents are based in North America
  • 33% of respondents are B2C, 59% are B2B
  • 45% of respondents have fewer than 10 employees, 8% have more than 1000
  • 16% of respondents have annual revenues $100M+
  • 40% of respondents are C-level executives or VP/Directors

Now, if this looks relevant to you, let’s focus on what we think are some of the best takeaways from the 2016 report!

‘The world is becoming more inbound. It’s growing more authentic, less interruptive. And with the findings of this year’s report, I think it’s safe to say that over the next ten years we’re going to see an even more inbound world.’

– Brian Halligan, CEO HubSpot

#1 73% of companies still have outbound as the primary approach to marketing

We have been saying for years that ‘there is an empty chair’ in every industry. Guess what? There definitely still is. 

#2 The average lead-to-customer conversion rate is under 20% for almost half of respondents

Close to 1 in 4 of respondents have a lead-to-customer rate of less than 10%. Only 1 in 10 say their average lead-to-customer rate is 50% or higher.

#3 40% of companies says it’s more difficult to get a response from prospects now compared to 2 or 3 years ago 

Similarly, 34% say it’s more difficult closing deals. Leads are simply more educated than ever before.

#4 31% of executives write content, almost double from a year ago

More and more companies also rely on freelance writers and agency partners.

#5 A good benchmark for writing a 500 word blogpost is two hours

1/3 of marketers says they typically spend 1–2 hours, 23% spend 2–3 hours.

#6 Top priority for marketers is conversion followed by growing traffic

74% say their company’s top priority is converting contacts / leads to customers and 57% say growing traffic.

#7 More difficult to prove ROI with outbound than inbound

Companies that described themselves as outbound-focused have more trouble with proving ROI (49% versus 42%) and securing budget (33% vs 26%), compared to their inbound marketing peers.

#8 Inbound organisations are 4 times as likely to rate their marketing strategy highly

81% of organisations that do inbound rate their marketing strategy as effective, only 18% of those that primarily do outbound can say the same.

#9 Just 22% of companies has a formal agreement between Marketing and Sales

A further 44% stated that the two departments were generally aligned, whereas 35% are rarely aligned, misaligned or don’t know. 

#10 Those who calculate ROI are 1.6x more likely to get a higher budget for inbound

Half of marketers who calculate ROI will get a higher budget in the coming year, compared to 30% for those who don’t.

State of Inbound 2016

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Stellan Björnesjö

Online Strategist
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