In MarketingSherpa’s latest benchmark report on B2B marketing, the trend shows that the majority of B2B organizations are increasing their marketing budgets for inbound marketing tactics. When it comes to outbound marketing tactics, budgets are staying flat or decreasing.
So what’s inbound? It’s social media, virtual events and webinars, SEO and PPC. Outbound tactics are telemarketing, direct mail and print advertising. Depending on how it’s used, email falls somewhere in-between.
So why the move to inbound? According to Sherpa, “The growing trend of utilizing inbound marketing tactics is a result of the cost effectiveness of these marketing channels and when applied with established sales funnel processes… organizations are able to effectively generate a high volume of qualified leads for their sales teams.”
It makes sense that B2B companies look at cost effective and ROI more closely because they were hit hard by the recession and their marketing budgets and staff were slashed. They had to operate smarter, and inbound marketing is all about ‘creative sweat’ combined with a sharp eye on the metrics.
So what are the most effective B2B marketing tactics? MarketingSherpa’s report ranks them as follows:
Notice how the inbound tactics dominate the outbound ones.
If you are at all interested in finding out more what’s working in B2B marketing, I highly recommend that you read MarketingSherpa’s 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report.