The State (and Future) of Inbound 2016 Finds a Socially Connected and Aligned Inbound World

by Henry Franco

Date

Sep 11, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Today HubSpot published its 8th annual State of Inbound report. Available for free online, the 2016 report continues its in-depth analysis of industry trends marketers and salespeople alike have come to expect. With over 4,00 respondents from 132 countries, the global report reveals growing trends in both marketing and sales.

Over a decade ago, the inbound movement set out to transform the way companies did business to be more helpful, human, and empathetic. But as technology continues to evolve, so too must inbound practices.

New to this year’s report is a focus on the future state of inbound. The report offers a look at the technologies and strategies companies are prioritizing in years to come. One thing the report predicts? With the rise in modern social channels and messaging apps, organizations will need to diversify and decentralize content if they hope to continue reaching customers.

“With data collected from all corners of the map, this year’s report draws from a truly global community,” said Brian Halligan, HubSpot Co-founder and CEO. “And we’ve taken these incredibly diverse insights to provide not a state-of-the-state approach, but what the future holds for inbound.”

We’re taking the rest of the week to examine regional findings from The State of Inbound 2016 and hold in-depth conversations around the future of marketing and sales in APAC, EMEA, and LATAM. In coordination with the State of Inbound, HubSpot will also host its first Inbound Sales Day on September 14, bringing together the stars of the sales industry to share their multi-million dollar playbooks.

The State of Inbound Today

Key takeaways from this year’s report include:

  • Inbound marketers are 4x as likely to be effective, compared to their outbound counterparts.
  • One-third of marketers find outbound marketing tactics to be overrated.
  • Organizations are 1.6 times as likely to receive higher budgets, if they can calculate ROI.
  • Inbound organizations with an SLA are over 5x times as likely to be effective, proving that having one is as important as ever.
  • With 70% of sales respondents giving marketing-generated leads a 3 out of 5 or less, communication between marketing and sales is key.
  • Fifty-five percent of people are likely to consumer videos thoroughly, while only 29% are likely do so with blog posts.

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The Future State of Inbound

This year, the report also aims a trained eye towards the future of inbound. We wanted to know: How are marketers going to adapt to changing consumer tastes and behavior? How will sales shake its slimy image and be more effective? Key takeaways include:

  • In the next 12 months, 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy, followed closely by 39% who plan to add Facebook video. Marketers are now moving to new content formats to better engage with their customer base.
  • Seventy-three percent of Facebook users and 64% of Twitter users say they use these respective platforms for professional purposes. The line between social and professional networking is blurring.
  • The future of sales? Adopting a CRM. A surprising 40% of salespeople store customer data in Excel or Outlook, and 22% store them in Google Docs. When lead records are stored in a haphazard way, there’s potential for a prospect to get contacted by multiple reps, receive redundant emails or calls, and end up with a disjointed and frustrating selling experience.
  • One-third of people now say their mobile is their primary device for accessing the internet, meaning content must fit on-the-go habits. Mobile notification will play a larger role in how consumers discover content.


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The State of Inbound 2016  analyzes trends by region, company size, and role in the organization from around the globe. Check back throughout the week to learn more about our regional findings from around the globe.

Download the complete State of Inbound 2016 report and infographics for free.

Written by Henry Franco

Henry is a Brand Marketing Associate at HubSpot. Prior to joining the company, he attended Dartmouth College, where he learned to love the outdoors (except when it's really, really ridiculously cold).

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