It’s difficult to sum up in a few words the eighth annual report on the state of inbound marketing produced by HubSpot, a developer of software to support that endeavour.It runs to 120 pages, most of them crammed with charts graphs, data and statistics derived from HubSpot’s survey of 4,500 respondents from around the world, more than 800 from Asia Pacific, where, according to HubSpot, inbound is seeing significant growth.
Director of marketing for HubSpot in Asia Pacific, Ryan Bonnici, does, however, sum up the findings in a few words. “There is a huge opportunity right now for marketing and sales organisations to better align their efforts and together use the power of inbound to more effectively reach customers,” he says.
“The data revealed in the State of Inbound report only emphasises this point and I hope it acts as the catalyst the businesses need to shift how they do business so that they can create more value for themselves and their customers.”
For the first time, this year’s survey sought to garner respondents’ views on the future of inbound, providing a look at the technologies and strategies companies will be prioritising in years to come.
“With the rise in modern social channels and messaging apps, organisations will need to diversify and decentralise content if they hope to continue reaching customers,” it concludes.
HubSpot co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, says:“With data collected from all corners of the map, this year’s report draws from a truly global community. And we’ve taken these incredibly diverse insights to provide not a state-of-the-state approach, but what the future holds for inbound.”
HubSpot found that, in the next 12 months, 48 percent of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy, followed closely by 39 percent who plan to add Facebook video. “Marketers are now moving to new content formats to better engage with their customer base,” it concludes.
“Seventy-three percent of Facebook users and 64 percent of Twitter users say they use these respective platforms for professional purposes. The line between social and professional networking is blurring.”
HubSpotfound the storage of data on customer leads to be remarkably haphazard. “A surprising 40 percent of salespeople store customer data in Excel or Outlook, and 22 percent store them in Google Docs, it reported. Even more surprising: “Twenty-one percent still use physical files and folders.”
Reading this you might think: “Haven't the people heard of customer relationship management systems (CRM)?”And you’d be right. Of those surveyed, 22 percent indicated they weren’t even sure what a CRM was.
As HubSpot observed:“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.”
Finally, it would be no surprise to most people that the world is going mobile. “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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