Inbound marketing techniques are rapidly becoming more important for agency new business.
Over the past four years I’ve seen a steady progression of agencies embracing social media as part of their new business program. Primarily because of the way their prospective clients are making decisions on how they are finding their agency partner. Traditional, “outbound marketing” methods are getting less and less effective.
CMO Survey: 80 percent of decision makers said they found their vendors, not the other way around. MarketingSherpa
Social media is now mainstream and has greatly advanced the importance of “inbound marketing” techniques. Your agency’s prospects are more in control of what information they receive and how they receive it. They are able to get a considerable amount of information about your agency without ever interacting with you directly.
Those agencies that have adapted to this new business paradigm shift from “outbound marketing” methods to “inbound marketing” have an distinct advantage over their competition.
A helpful resource on how companies are generating business through inbound marketing is the “2011 State of Inbound Marketing” report. This is a study, conducted by Hubspot., and is based on responses from 644 marketing professionals.
Here are the reports top 10 key takeaways:
- Inbound consistently delivers a dramatically lower cost per lead than outbound. In 2011, the average cost per lead for outbound-dominated businesses was $373, while inbound businesses reported their leads cost on average $143.
- The gap between spending on inbound v. outbound continues to widen: In 2009, inbound marketing had a 9% greater share of the lead generation budget; in 2011 inbound’s share was 17% greater.
- Blogs and social media channels are generating real customers: 57% of companies using blogs reported that they acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blog.
- More and more business are blogging: Businesses are now in the minority if they do not blog. From 2009 to 2011 the percentage of businesses with a blog grew from 48% to 65%.
- Three out of four Inbound Channels cost less than any Outbound Channel: In 2011, the average cost per lead for outbound-dominated businesses was $373, while inbound businesses reported their leads cost on average $143.
- Businesses are increasingly aware their blog is highly valuable: 85% of businesses rated their company blogs as “Useful”, “Important” or “Critical”; a whopping 27% rated their company blog as “Critical” to their business.
- The majority of businesses are increasing their Inbound Marketing budgets:54% of those surveyed are increasing their inbound marketing budgets. Among the 54% of respondents with increased inbound marketing budgets, the most commonly cited reason was ―past success with inbound marketing.
- Social Media and Blogs generate real customers:57% of those using company blogs have acquired a customer from a blog-generated lead; this is an increase of 11 percentage points since 2010. Facebook and Twitter users reported customer acquisition rates of 48% and 42%, respectively.
- Company blogs are increasingly valued. The blog is the channel most frequently reported as critical or important, both in 2009 and 2011. Higher Education, Professional Services & Consulting, and Software & Biotech found blogging was highly effective. All of those industries had over 50% of respondents indicating customer acquisition through their blog.
- Most company blogs publish at least weekly. 71% of respondents indicated they blog at least weekly. Despite the evidence showing that increased blogging correlates with increased customer acquisition, blogging frequency remained relatively steady between 2009 and 2011.
HubSpot’s 2011 “State of Inbound Marketing Report” is now available for download.
Additional articles that may be of interest:
- 10 suggestions for creating an ad agency blog for new business
- 50 of the Best Insights from Ad Age’s First Ever Small Agency Conference
- Ideas for Creating an Ad Agency New Business War Room
- 7 Tips to Find Time for Ad Agency New Business
- The Top 10 Social Media Questions Ad Agency Clients are Asking
- IBM Study: The end of advertising as we know it