In its recently released 2011 State of Inbound Marketing report, HubSpot concludes that traditional marketing techniques (print, direct mail, etc.) are now less cost-effective than newer inbound programs (blogs, search engine optimization, social media, etc.).
In fact, the study shows that inbound marketing-dominated organizations now experience a cost per lead 62 percent lower than outbound marketing-dominated organizations.
Which types of inbound marketing are proving to be most effective?
HubSpot found that the answer to that question varies from industry to industry. For example:
- Blogging is highly effective for higher education, professional services and consulting, and software and biotech. More than half of the respondents in all of these industries reported customer acquisition through their blog.
- For retail, Facebook and Twitter are the most effective.
- LinkedIn works best for communications and media, banking/insurance/financial services, manufacturing, professional services and consulting, and technology hardware.
- In general, the survey concluded that Facebook is more effective for B2C businesses and LinkedIn is more effective for B2B businesses. Both business types found similar and relatively high success with customer acquisition through a company blog.
Survey respondents were fairly definitive when asked to compare the importance of these inbound marketing channels to their outbound cousins:
- 62 percent of businesses rated social media as being more important.
- Social media and SEO were the channels most frequently reported as more important.
- Direct mail was the channel most frequently cited as less important.
- Businesses rated every outbound channel as less important than any inbound channel.
More results from the The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing report are available here. (Registration required.)