The future of B2B marketing: Inbound

The future of B2B marketing: Inbound
Apr 22

Christopher Brown

Inbound Marketing

Take the next step for your business marketing

According to HubSpot's Not Another State of Marketing Report 2020, 59% of marketers found that inbound strategies produced the highest quality leads and that inbound marketers are four times as likely to be effective than their traditional counterparts.

What makes B2B inbound marketing effective?

Inbound attracts customers through quality content that is relevant to their interests. It's more effective and efficient than outbound methods like cold-calling and spamming. Outbound uses more traditional methods, including direct mail, magazine ads, billboards and television, to send out messages to compete against a plethora of other marketing that consumers see every day.

It typically reaches out to consumers in a more aggressive way to get them interested in your product. It is also harder to measure the success of this kind of marketing. On the other hand, inbound marketing, as the name suggests, consists of drawing people to your website. When done correctly, inbound leads to better customer relationships and more sales opportunities.

So what does this all mean for B2B marketers?

Well, it means that we need to start thinking about the buyer journey in a whole new way. The traditional approach of targeting clients through outbound marketing methods such as cold calling and email blasts is no longer as effective as it once was.

The buyer's journey is no longer a linear process that can be easily predicted. It now spans different channels and devices, with buyers moving back and forth between them as they gather information. Buyers are now more likely to do their own research online before even contacting a supplier. To keep up with this rapidly changing landscape, B2B marketers need to change their approach and focus on building relationships long before the first interaction with the buyer.

Marketing and sales

Marketing and sales changed into a combined process that requires new strategies to attract interest. Inbound marketing came from this need to offer value and create beneficial experiences before that initial interaction with your brand. Inbound also benefits from digital transformation, and the events of the last couple of years have compounded this transformation.

"We've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security." – Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

The pandemic resulted in an unprecedented digital transformation in many different areas, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. He said that Microsoft saw two years' worth of digital transformation in just two months.

We saw more automation and improved analytics which revolutionised the marketing industry and solidified the relationship between marketing and sales. We can integrate the customer experience and tailor the customer journey through the methods made possible by new digital marketing technology.

The tools of the inbound marketing trade

One of the major benefits of inbound marketing is that it can be used across any marketing tactic or avenue, allowing you to create a truly omnichannel marketing experience. That can also mean that an inbound marketing strategy can feel a bit daunting.

To help with focusing on the most important elements, take a look at this blog. It covers the inbound marketing tools and tactics you should use to deliver maximum ROI, including the six fundamental areas that should always have your attention: SEO, content marketing, social media, landing pages, email marketing and a go-to-market plan.

If you're still not convinced of the value of inbound marketing for B2B, here are some compelling stats from a global survey published by McKinsey last year:

  • 32% of outperformers have more than half of their customer interactions through digital channels (vs 20% for slower growers).
  • 42% of outperformers generate more than half their revenue through digital channels (vs 25% for slow growers).
  • 68% of outperformers combine traditional and digital channels in the customer journey (vs 56% for slow growers).
  • 62% of B2B outperformers are more effective at using digital tools and capabilities to support sales.

Are you ready to start planning your own successful campaigns that reach buyers at every stage of the buying process? Download our inbound marketing campaign checklist to make sure you’re on track.

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