Marketers are looking to inbound marketing to increase conversion rates, improve lead quality and quantity, and increase sales revenue, finds Ascend2 in its latest report conducted with its Research Partners. With the vast majority of respondents (primarily B2B marketers) rating their inbound programs as successful, marketing content creation emerges as their most effective tactic. Indeed, asked which inbound tactics are most effective, 59% of respondents cited marketing content creation, with search engine optimization (54%), a related tactic, close behind. (Previous research from Ascend2 has found content to be a central component of B2B marketers’ search marketing efforts.)
When it came time to consider the most difficult tactics to execute, respondents to the Ascend2 survey were again most likely to identify content creation (54%), this time considerably further ahead than others such as inbound tactic integration (39%) and SEO (30%). While integration is a challenge for respondents, 9 in 10 integrate inbound tactics such as social, SEO, and content marketing to a limited (65%) or extensive (25%) extent.
As for inbound’s most challenging obstacles? Difficult-to-execute tactics fall behind strategic concerns, as the lack of an effective strategy is the most commonly cited obstacle (46%), ahead of lack of content creation (41%), inadequate budgets (33%) and lack of tactical integration (32%). An inability to prove ROI, for once, is not a primary obstacle.
Other study results:
- Only 42% of respondents use in-house resources only when performing inbound marketing campaigns; and
- Roughly 7 in 10 make limited (53%) or extensive (16%) use of marketing automation to manage their inbound marketing.
About the Data: Ascend2 and its Research Partners fielded the Inbound Marketing Survey and completed interviews with 270 marketing, sales and business professionals from around the world. A majority 63% come from companies with less than 50 employees, and 72% hail from companies in North America. Three-quarters are B2B-focused.