Earlier this month, Gartner released its 2013 U.S. Digital Marketing Spend Survey results, based on responses from 253 marketers at U.S.-based companies.
On average, companies spent 10.4% of their annual 2012 revenue on marketing; 2.5% of this went specifically to digital marketing. In addition, digital marketing spend is expected to increase 9% this year.
With these increases in budgets comes a greater demand for more accountability, service integration and technical know-how among marketing teams.
More Budget = More Responsibility
While larger budgets bring opportunity, they also bring responsibility. According to the report, “[increased funding] puts more pressure on marketers to deliver and prove a return on investments.” And, yet, only 9% of respondents cited analytics—one of the best ways to prove ROI—as critical to their success.
We agree with Gartner that a lack of focus on analytics is a severe oversight. It is those marketing teams that are able to turn data into intelligence, and intelligence into action that will be the most successful. These teams are better able to tie activities to bottom-line metrics that matter, which lets them report more accurately to executives, gain greater support ongoing and adjust campaigns based on performance.
The End of Marketing Silos
At 20% of companies, digital and traditional marketing techniques have merged so much that budgets are no longer allocated separately. Gartner expects that other companies will follow suit, as they realize that marketing programs can no longer run in silos.
For example, today, it’s common to see traditional TV ads with a social component, billboards driving viewers to a dedicated landing page on the company’s website, and online content spurring PR campaigns. With the lines blurring, it will become harder to earmark budgets specifically to digital or traditional strategies moving forward.
Technical Chops Required
In addition to the rise of digital marketing budgets (stemming from changes in consumer purchasing behaviors), 67% of marketers have budgets to acquire marketing software licenses and infrastructure.
This has created a need for chief marketing technologists, individuals with an understanding of both marketing and technology, in order to oversee and execute strategic programs. Today, 70% of companies have someone serving in a marketing/technology role.
That said: we envision the need for tech-savvy professionals to only grow, as new technologies crop up that continue to change the way consumers purchase products, and consequently how marketers do their jobs. For more on this topic, download PR 20/20’s free ebook, The Evolution of the Prototype Marketer, the Hybrids are Coming.
What’s Your Marketing Budget?
How does your marketing budget compare to Gartner’s averages? Do you plan to shift more funding to digital? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
For additional insights from the report, visit the Gartner website.
About the Author: Tracy Lewis is an inbound marketing consultant with PR 20/20, a certified Gold HubSpot partner and inbound marketing agency that combines content, public relations, social media and search marketing into integrated campaigns. She is also the community manager for Marketing Agency Insider, the hub for agency news, information and resources.
Image Credit: 401(K) 2013
When was the last time you went to a trade show? If you're like most of my agency’s clients, you've been to a trade show sometime in the last year or two. What was your trade show experience like? Did it involve a lot of standing around the booth hoping someone would make accidental eye contact and feel guilty enough to come over and talk to you? How did you prep for the show? Did you spend a lot of time on having promo material ready, getting your backdrop just so, and filling your toolkit?
In my experience trade shows are a prime example of how otherwise engaged companies drop the inbound marketing ball. So often companies spend all of their time getting their physical materials together for a show. Those same companies then show up and hope attendees with find them in the show directory and come over to the booth. Trade shows become very inwardly focused and passive. I've seen companies with great social media followings go to trade shows and the only thing on their profiles is a single update about the show! If you're going to spend the money to go to a trade show, do the leg work to make it successful.
Before the Show
Long before the first day of a trade show you should be preparing your target audience. Just because a trade show is something that you physically attend doesn't mean it shouldn't follow the rules of any good inbound marketing campaign.
Your first step should be to decide what your message is and develop calls to action. Of course you're also going to need a great landing page for prospects who engage with your call to action. And once you've got your CTA and landing page you are going to need to attract some attention to them. Maybe you email your current customers and tell them about the trade show and include your CTA. You could also buy/rent a list of the shows attendees and contact them with your CTA. Some shows even have social media accounts or hashtags that attendees can follow or "like" to stay up to date with show news. You can post links to your CTA on the shows' social media outlets.
The key principle to follow is before the show, attract as much attention as you can to the fact that you're going to be there. If you can get people excited about your attendance, maybe with a giveaway or demo you've been talking about online, then you should see more foot traffic to your booth.
At the Show
I've been to a lot of trade shows, and I've noticed a few things about show attendees over the years. The first thing I've noticed is that people tend to lack concrete answers to a very simple question. I like to ask the people manning the booth what makes them different/better than their competition. A lot of the time they say, "Our quality," but what does that mean? No one goes into a trade show and says that they have a substandard product or service; everyone is going to say they have a quality product. How much better is your quality? How does that quality transfer into better performance or results for your customers? If you want to stand out, figure out precise and evidence-based answers to those questions before you step onto the trade show floor. Find the answers, work to define, quantify and support them. This work needs to be done, and marketing needs to do it.
My second piece of advice for day-of-success deals with the people you have manning your booths. Basic rules of business attire are essential; dress neatly and conservatively in clothing that fits well, is clean, and is ironed (if need be). Once you've replaced the too small/too large, rumpled, and casual clothing, you need to work on the enthusiasm levels. If you need to, you can rotate out teams throughout the show to keep your people fresh, awake, and enthusiastic. Whatever you do, you need to keep in mind that the people in your booth are the face of your company. For best results you want the face of your company to be professional, knowledgeable, and engaging.
After the Show
Once you get home after a trade show it can be tempting to sit back and wait for your phone to start ringing, and that's what a lot of companies do. If you want to maximize your trade show efforts, you should treat the post-show just like you did the pre-show; work the inbound marketing. Did you collect emails/business cards at the show? Create a lead nurturing campaign designed specifically for the trade show contacts you collected. Did you hand out flyers or proportional material? Stick a QR code on anything you hand out that directs people to a landing page with a great offer. Did you make new industry connections? Make sure you get on your social media accounts and connect with any new contacts you made at the show.
Don't be afraid to work the trade show angle as much as you can. For example, trade show interviews on your YouTube channel, photo diary of the show on your blog, or blow by blow show updates on your Twitter stream. The key to a successful trade show experience is making every aspect of the show work together. Keep your message clear, arm your people with the quantitative data they need to back up your message, and stay enthusiastic!
Lead nurturing has probably become a major part of the services you offer your clients. Lead nurturing allows marketers to maintain communication with leads who are not yet ready to buy, and your clients understand that. What they may not understand, though, is executing a successful lead nurturing strategy often requires the involvement of several departments within an organization, not just marketing.
Before embarking on your lead nurturing journey with your clients, here are a few people you may want to consider including on the lead nurturing team.
Don’t wait until you have a list of leads to engage sales managers in the process — aligning sales and marketing early on is essential. Never assume marketing and sales define qualified leads in the same way—in fact, their definitions are often very different. It is also important to agree at what point a lead will be handed off to sales and the process for getting the leads into the hands of the right sales representatives. Many marketing automation systems, such as HubSpot and Marketo, have built-in lead scoring functionality. Points are assigned to a lead based on a variety of factors, like pages visited, content consumed, job title, company size, etc. Once a lead’s score reaches a defined threshold, it is sent sales.
Lead nurturing will most likely be a new concept for your sales team. In my experience, most sales reps are accustomed to cold calling leads from a purchased list or following up on leads that have completed a sample request or sweepstakes form. Prior to launching a lead nurturing program, educate the reps on the process and how better qualified leads will benefit them: according to DemandGen Report, on average, nurtured leads produce a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities versus nonnurtured leads. It is also important to talk with the reps about the information they need to qualify a lead. Marketing can use this information to build better lead capturing forms.
In working with clients, I have found those that have included the legal/regulatory department early on in the process often face fewer barriers when submitting content for approval. You may find that not all copy may need to go through the same rigorous review process. For example, copy extracted from previously approved documents for use in emails or blogs may be able to bypass some stages of the approval process. But you will only know this if you ask the right people up front!
As marketers, if we could simply measure our success by the number of leads sent to sales, our job would be easy, right? Wishful thinking, I know. Our success is often measured on the revenue generated from the leads. However, without having a complete picture of what happens to the leads once they are handed over to sales, it is difficult to report ROI. In an ideal situation there is a constant flow of data between your CRM and marketing software through the use of an API—this is where your IT team can help. Be sure to include them early in the process rather than frustrating everyone half way through.
Who knows the common questions and challenges customers face better than your front-line support teams? Your customer service and technical support departments can provide you with valuable insight. For example, in talking with technical support you may learn the three most common questions received. Why not interview a technical service rep to get answers to these questions and use this information to create a download or blog post?
Final Thought: Remember a successful lead nurturing program often requires the assistance of multiple departments within your company. Before jumping in head first, take the time to meet with and educate key players.
Have you recently embarked on the lead nurturing journey? Share your tips for success or tell us about the challenges you encountered in the comment section below.
Shannon Fuldauer has a B2B and B2C eCommerce Marketing background including roles as Vice President of Marketing & Sales Support, and subsequently Vice President of Public Relations & SEO Services, for CareerBoard.com. She has expertise in digital marketing and advanced email communications.
Creatures of Habit...or convenience
Every business knows who their customers are, right? After all, that's about as basic as it gets. But how often is that knowledge of customers predicted on open minded, robust analysis? Not often. Rather it's typically an extrapolation based on gut feeling impressions of how it's always been.
Is that horrible? Not really - after all that's what most companies do. But compared to what "could be", it's analogous to the proverbial drunk looking for his car keys under the streetlight - not because he lost them there, but because that's where the light is.
Grab a flashlight!
So if we're going to peer into corners beyond the arc of our neighborhood streetlight looking for prospects, where should we start?
- Prospects you should know about...but don't
- Prospects you couldn't possibly know about
- Prospects that everyone else in the world knows about but you pretend don't exist
First, grab the sales team, CSRs, and anyone else who is customer facing during the sales process. Map out all the interactions from leads through delivery and subsequent support to identify what topics, roles, pains, decision points and themes emerge. Be careful about discounting outliers as aberrations - this may well be the data you seek!
With the perspective you generate you now have the data to map personas, value and buying process against actual experience rather than just lore. Additionally you'll identify key gaps. For instance, if financial benefits are a key part of your value (e.g. not just lower cost but a legitimate reduction in WiP inventory due to a process improvement - and resulting reduction in working capital and manufacturing floor space requirements), but nowhere in your personas, influencers or buying process are you helping the buyer extrapolate the corporate financial implications, you have a gap to fill and an opportunity.
Remember that most folks have a lens through which they see this topic:
- The type of buyer personality with which they are comfortable
- The type of industry where they have succeeded
- The value that they find most compelling based on their personal biases, etc.
And of course the inverse of each as well. Don't allow individual biases to limit the range (really hard in small companies where the owner is the primary sales driver, where the company is formed around his/her biases, and where the assumption is that every company has the same priorities and buys the same way as them).
Second, get your R&D and marketing folks together. (Note - don't try this at home. Seriously. Get some sort of experienced corporate facilitator to help plan and execute this!) If done clumsily this could be a colossal waste of time. However, managed artfully, this will let you continuously troll for opportunities by creating conceptual content that highlights core technology capabilities. This will allow buyers searching for component solutions to stumble across your company. This is precisely how GE intends to identify many of their new market opportunities.
Put simply, you can't possibly anticipate the various serendipitous applications for your technology, and therefore can't market to the folks who might need it. Naturally you can't create content for every possible situation. But in parallel to your focused, persona based content you can create some that is more focused on the technology (NOT the old product crap of GB of RAM, RPMs, HP, mm, torque, ANSI, etc.) in general ways that will allow R&D folks in other businesses to identify core capability that they need to support their developments.
Third, accept that customers are defined by their needs and budget NOT BY THEIR PASSPORT (or time zone, primary currency, language or continent)! From a simple perspective, your distance from Toronto, Mexico City or London is likely less than between many pairs of American cities between which trade is reflexive. But more importantly many buyers in many corners of the globe fit your ideal prospect criteria. With shrinking incomes, low to negative GDP and policy uncertainty that constrains investment here in the US, why not take the easy route? If you can shift your mindset you'll find you have a global market with areas that you can enter relatively easily where "Made in America" is craved.
If you're already inbound marketing, you already have a base of leads and data for initial market opportunity analysis. Eventually as you select focus markets you'll create parallel market specific personas, content and even locally hosted microsites with the relevant TLD - but those are refinements for later and not necessary for initial success.
And as a bonus? What about paying 50% lower tax on the profits from those sales?
But what do personas really represent?
Indulge me while I make an awkward segué into a related topic.
I've become increasingly convinced that personas are the simplest way to evaluate potential clients and prospective inbound marketing practitioners for suitability. What do I mean?
It's pretty simple. Real effectiveness at inbound marketing requires:
More than any other step of the program, the exploration and development of personas provides a handy crucible to assess these required attributes. Someone who approaches the persona step with a flat, check the box, simple mentality will never fully embrace the system of inbound marketing.
- Lateralized cognition - artistic and logical cognitive predilections must be balanced
- Broad business understanding - empathy (and ideally experience) with different functions and priorities across business
- System perspective - intuitively understanding how all the pieces must be interwoven because omitting even one damages the program
You can gauge quickly whether a potential client grasps the concept and engages with you in the persona process, or simply parrots back the routine and reflexive. If it's the latter, I would contend that you will always be justifying your program rather than collaborating.
Similarly while you may focus on hiring "position players" such as an SEO expert, you can't afford to be the integrator between their silo efforts and the comprehensive program. An SEO expert that doesn't embrace the persona process, and push aggressively to be involved and demonstrate awareness and interest in the related aspects, will likely not be able to grow with the organization. Further, their work won't manifest the nuanced, systemic perspective that ultimately distinguishes average from exceptional. It's far more critical that role players and technical specialists understand how their piece fits into the larger context than for you to understand the detail of their specialty - beyond adequate knowledge to manage effectively.
Maybe the question is...can someone who has never owned and run a business, is uncomfortable with systems and strategy, nor achieved noteworthy sales mastery, really create personas much less drive an effective inbound marketing program? Answers? Debate? Skepticism? Incredulity? Vitriol? (On second thought, hold the vitriol, but let's have some discussion.)About the Author: Ed Marsh is co-founder of Consilium Global Business Advisors, an international marketing consulting agency focused on developing strategic global business development and channel programs.
Today, HubSpot officially launches in Europe. Here's a few presentations they'll be making:
It's cool to see that we have our International Agency Partner of the year involved in the event. I understand that many of our top European partners will be present at the event too.
We have 5 people already on the ground in Dublin focused on our channel partners. Yesterday, I took 5 more people out to lunch that will return to Dublin and will focus exclusively on our channel partners after receiving training in Cambridge, MA this month. Exciting times for HubSpot and our partners.
I blogged long before I had any real sales skills or experience. I thought I knew how to sell, but didn't really learn the right way to do it until I hired Rick Roberge. When I started learning how to prospect, I realized that a blog is a perfect selling tool. Blogging helps with generating awareness, establishing credibility, and nurturing prospects. Shortly after I started getting sales coaching from Rick, I started coaching Rick Roberge on how to use a blog. Unlike me, he was a salesperson long before he ever wrote a blog post. That was almost 10 years ago now. Rick is still blogging.
At HubSpot, my sales team is constantly telling our partners to blog more frequently. They're also coaching agencies on how to offer blogging as a service to their clients. But, very few people on my team actually write their own blogs. Not anymore...
- Sales People Can Blog - A group blog by Danielle Herzberg's sales team. So far, contrbutions are from Dan MacAdam and Brian Signorelli, both Channel Account Managers at HubSpot. It's fun and it's funny, not just for salespeople, not just for agencies.... So far, their stuff appeals to a general marketing and sales audience.
- Inbound Agency Selling with David Weinhaus, a Channel Account Manager. David was the first salesperson on my team to blog consistently. Great advice for agencies.
- Nick Sal Inbound - Nick Sal is a consultant on our agency team. Anyone who knows Nick, knows that he brings excitement to everything he does. That shows through in his writing too.
- Innovation Al Marketing - Al is the wise man on the agency consulting team at HubSpot. He's an excellent writer and communicator. I speak from experience when I say: don't ever ask him for critical feedback about your blogging efforts, if you don't really want it.
There's a real SHIFT going on - where marketers aren't the only ones blogging. There's a shift in sales going on - where salespeople are seeing the value of blogging. Inbound marketing changes sales. Frank Belzer just published his book today: Sales Shift: How inbound marketing has changed selling, making it more difficult and more lucrative at the same time. He's leading a bit of a movement, I believe.
Are you in sales? Do you blog? Why? Why not?
Today, I shared the stage with Tony Mikes (@secondwindbuzz) and Billy Mitchell (@billymitchell1) to give a talk titled, "The Inbound Mandate" at YA2: Your Agency Empowered.
Below is the deck, which was largely created by my right hand man @HubSpot, Patrick Shea (@mpatrickshea).
For those who weren't there, here's a blog post I published a few weeks ago that says some of what I said today: 9 More Reasons to Invest in Inbound Marketing. I plan to work with @shannopop to get a blog post on the HubSpot blog that covers more of what I said in the deck.
PS to @bhalligan. Although the slides might not look like it, you would blush if you were there. @BillyMitchell1 will tell you.
Feedback welcome. Engage on Twitter: @pc4media.
The future of marketing belongs to the hybrids.
The role of the CMO has expanded beyond brand, creative and advertising to include digital programs, analytics and marketing technology decisions, among other emerging disciplines.
As a result, marketing professionals are tasked with developing new skills—primarily in the areas of tech and data analysis—in order to successfully execute strategic, integrated campaigns that drive leads and loyalty.
But, next-gen, hybrid marketers are a rare breed with agencies, corporations and tech companies all after the same employees.
How can you prepare yourself for the future and stand out in the marketing talent crowd? Below are six key competencies of the tech-savvy marketing professional.
1. Data Analysis
Marketers have access to an insurmountable amount of data. Hidden within it lies consumer intelligence and market research, insight into the performance of campaigns, and actionable next steps. Yet, “on average, marketers depend on data for just 11% of all customer-related decisions.” Metrics-driven, analytical marketers are needed to bring order to the noise and meaningful data to the forefront.
2. Content Marketing
Content is the crux of inbound marketing, fueling email, social updates, PR outreach and search optimization. But as outlined in the 7 Key Elements of Great Business Content, “there are many talented writers and content services available, but few that possess the wide range of capabilities needed [for] … effective business copywriting.”
Excellent copywriters create content that is strategic, brand-centric, buyer-persona focused, optimized, technically sound, creative and results driven.
3. Social Media
Consumers discuss brands, seek recommendations, ask for advice and share experiences on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn everyday—providing powerful opportunities for organizations to interact.
Marketers who understand how to navigate social channels and create integrated strategies are key to an organization’s social business success.
4. Email Marketing
Marketing automation technologies, like HubSpot, have changed the game when it comes to email marketing. Messages can now be personalized based on consumers’ behaviors and preferences.
However, with technology changing so quickly, many marketers lack the technical prowess to execute advanced campaigns, leaving those with the skills in high demand.
The proliferation of smart phones and tablets has created an always-on society, that expects anytime, anywhere access. As usage increases, we’ll likely see the day when mobile users are more prevalent than desktop users. (That’s already the case for Facebook.)
Marketers who aren’t considering the implications of mobile on marketing and customer service are at a severe disadvantage to those that are.
6. Development and Programming
Basic coding and programming skills help marketers understand what is and isn’t possible when it comes to technology. This helps you guide strategy, ask the important questions and think outside the box.
As explained in Every Marketer Should be Technical: “To be successful nowadays, you need have both a breadth and depth of skills. You have to know what to ask for and how it's done. Without both of these capabilities, you're prone to be less efficient than a colleague or competitor who does.”
The Evolution of the Prototype Marketer
For a deeper look into required competencies for marketers, including what’s driving the transformation and resources to evolve, download PR 20/20's free ebook, Evolution of the Prototype Marketer: The Hybrids are Coming.
What skills do you think are critical for modern marketers? Share them in the comments.
About the Author: Tracy Lewis is an inbound marketing consultant with PR 20/20, a certified Gold HubSpot partner and inbound marketing agency that combines content, public relations, social media and search marketing into integrated campaigns.
Watch out! Those pesky PR people are coming.
That’s so far from the truth—if you’re smart.
Blogger outreach is a vital component of a content or inbound marketing campaign. For many agencies, blogger outreach is the forgotten strategy because of its roots in PR—something traditionally outside the inbound marketing best practices umbrella.
But companies that integrate blogger outreach as part of their normal campaigns can tap an ocean of opportunities from backlinks, ranking, social, blogger coverage and traffic. PR can help with lead gen as well.
Here are 6 things to keep in mind when developing your blogger outreach campaign:
1) Identify Your Targets
You’ve got to know your target audience. Based on that target audience and what blogs they’d read, you can make a list of potential bloggers to reach out to. You want to cast a wide relevant net.
There’s no way to guarantee responses, so the broader the target list, the more responses you could receive. Make sure that the blogs/bloggers you have identified as targets would be interested in the “news” you are promoting. If it’s a new cooking app that you’re promoting, it obviously makes sense to send to tech blogs, food blogs and possibly mommy blogs. But if you have an education app food blogs aren’t going to be interested. By tailoring your list, you’re showing bloggers you know and care about what they cover. Find these blogs by doing a Google search using keywords like: Mommy Blogs or Tech Blogs, etc.
Check out the blogs yourself to see if they look legitimate. Look into what kind of authority they have, social media following, etc. Get the Blog names, URL, name of the blogger and contact info and input into Excel spread sheet. Now you have a “media list” to work with.
2) Develop a Plan of Attack
Outline your plan of attack before you begin outreach. A lot of blogs will want something in return for your post. Some will ask for money, some will ask for free product. Some will want product (or discounts) to give away to their readers. Be prepared with what you can actually offer up before beginning outreach. You want them to talk about the product so give them the incentive to do that. If it’s a really good blog I would consider payment as an option, but I wouldn’t pay every blog to write a post. I’d gauge based on how many readers and social media followers they have. If they are big enough to make an impact and get the word out to thousands of people (think 15,000 and up), it could be worth paying for a sponsored post.
3) Tailor Your Correspondence
You want to create a customized email “pitch” for your blogger outreach. Make sure you include their name or call out something specifically of interest to them, or something that resonated with you from their blog and why you think you’re product would be great for their audience. The more tailored, the better. You want the blogger to know that you are familiar with their site/writing and that you are talking directly to them. The more you show you know about their blog, the more likely they’ll be to read your email and cover your product.
4) Ask for Social Media Coverage
A lot of bloggers will have large following on Facebook and Twitter. In addition to pitching them to cover your product on their blog, make sure you ask about posting on their social media as well. Because they may have thousands of extra readers on social media, where you can extend your reach even further. Ask them to link to your social media pages, include your Twitter handle, etc.
5) Follow Up
Make sure you stay on top of all the bloggers you’ve reached out to or “pitched” and don't forget to keep track of who requested product or additional info. Follow up with the bloggers to confirm the product arrived (if you’ve sent to them), ask if they have all the info they need to write their post (they might ask for images and make sure they include your website) and ask them when they plan to post their write up about your product so you can share it with your community as soon as it goes live on their blog. Follow up to say "thank you" after the blog post goes up. Maintaining your relationship is important because you going to want to reach out to them again in the future to write about another campaign.
6) Keep Notes
Tracking all feedback and recording that feedback in your Excel spreadsheet, aka media list, is important. You’ll find out that certain things work for certain bloggers, note who is paid, who likes giveaways, who doesn’t like certain things. Those notes will be helpful in the future when you do another campaign.
The key to a solid program is knowing your audience, tailoring your outreach and building relationships you can use in the future for other campaigns.
About the Author: Ryan Malone is the founder and CEO of SmartBug Media, a strategic inbound marketing agency based on Southern California. Go Lakers.
Most companies that resell products suck at marketing. In the IT and industrial markets, resellers have existing relationships with clients that enable manufacturers to get their products to market. But, these resellers sell and market the old fashioned way: brochures and 1:1 sales conversations. They generally don't practice scale-able marketing methods, especially online marketing, very well. On the other hand, HubSpot resellers excel at generating demand via inbound marketing. As they should. They are inbound marketing agencies, after all.
We've been doing a lot of analysis in the last few months at HubSpot, in order to figure out the growth channels that will help HubSpot scale from 10s of thousands of customers to 100s of thousands of customers one day. The graph below shows what our different funnels look like.
As the graph shows, HubSpot goes to market in 3 different ways. We have an outbound sales team that calls perfect fit customers who haven't found us yet. We, of course, have an inbound sales team that calls the leads our marketing team generates. We have a channel sales team who works with our agency partners/resellers to acquire mutual clients/customers.
Before you read on, take a look at the graph and ask yourself, "What does the data tell us?". (I removed the absolute numbers and the 'conversion rate from lead worked to customers' from the graph. But, I set up the ratios so that you could accurately compare the channels.)
Outbound vs Inbound
As you can see from the graph, our inbound and outbound teams work the same amount of leads, x. Yet, the inbound marketing team produces 5x the number of customers from that same volume of leads. It's a testament to the sales efficiency that is enabled when prospects are attracted to a company, as opposed to being approached by the company.
On the flip side, marketing must generate 5x leads in order to create x workable leads. Unfortunately, not everyone who converts on our website is ready to do inbound marketing.
Inbound vs Channel
Our agency partners who resell our product usually use our product for their own inbound marketing. Therefore, we - unlike most channel sales programs - know how many leads they generate and how many permission-based contacts that they upload. On a monthly basis, our partners have collectively added 12/5ths of the contacts to their HubSpot powered marketing databases than our marketing team adds, or 12x the volume of leads our outbound team works. Despite this extremely large top of the funnel that our partners create in aggregate every month, they register less than half the volume of leads that our outbound team works. When compared to our inbound sales team, which works 20% of the leads that our marketing team generates, our partners only try to resell HubSpot to less than 5% of their contacts. Nonetheless, of the leads they register, they convert the same percentage to customers as our inbound sales team does. In conclusion, their sales conversion rates are equivalent to our inbound sales team. But, they do a comparatively poor job of turning leads into sales opportunities.
How Would You Capitalize on this Demand?
In aggregate, our partners have created massive unfulfilled demand for their services. Further, their bottom of the funnel sales conversion rates are equivalent (or better) than HubSpot's internal teams. While I didn't share this data in this article, client retention amongst our agency partners is also very strong. But, as discussed, the top of the funnel sales conversion rate is much lower than Hubspot's internal teams.
If you're a HubSpot partner, what do you plan to do differently after seeing this data? If you were HubSpot, what would you do to help your partners generate more revenue from the demand they've created?