The Most Overrated Marketing Tactic

In a survey of thousands of marketers from big and small companies across the world, HubSpot’s report, The State of Inbound, has concluded that Paid Advertising, as in commercials, billboards, magazine ads, ect, is what most marketers consider overrated. The most surprising thing about this statistic is that even the big guys that ARE paying for flashy advertisements are admitting that these tactics are overrated.

“Approximately 32% of survey respondents whose companies identify as primarily outbound organizations called paid advertising the most overrated marketing tactic — the number one answer by a wide margin,” (page 20, The State of Inbound 2015)

Why is Paid Advertising The Most Overrated Marketing Tactic?

Marketers are not seeing the ROI that inbound marketing can clearing visualize.

The main reason that paid advertising often has a bad aftertaste is that it’s ROI is almost impossible to track. We live in a time where there is data about everything. Inbound marketing techniques, (blog posts, downloadable offers, emails, social media posts) are almost always trackable. In just a few minutes you can figure out what your most popular tweets are and where all of your website hits are coming from. How can you guess if a television commercial or a billboard inspired me to buy?

Companies have been watching their customer’s online activity for years, but recently in the past few years with the rise in popularity and technology advancements of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, these numbers can now more often then ever be traced back to specific people. This makes success, and failure, easy to measure with each piece of inbound content.

Deep pockets are no longer needed to get the word out.

The most successful brands are prioritizing interesting and helpful content to attract customers to them rather than shoving their messages onto other people. Social media platforms have created spaces for brands to not only get their name in front of people, but to interact with them, facilitate a conversation, answer questions, and address concerns, and it’s completely free.

But Inbound Marketing isn’t flawless either

While Super bowl ads and Billboard aren’t going out of style any time soon, Inbound Marketing is clearly becoming more popular. Here are a couple of findings from The State of Inbound that address some of the drawbacks to Inbound marketing.

Failure = An Increase in Budget?

Inbound marketing techniques, (blog posts, downloadable offers, emails, social media posts) are almost always trackable. Thanks to all this data we’re collecting, the successes and failures of every inbound campaign are more present. According to The State of Inbound 2015, that hasn’t stopped companies from investing in inbound marketing. “Of those who failed with inbound last year, 81% increased budget as a result,” (page 28, The State of Inbound 2015).

It’s frustrating, but anyone that has launched several inbound campaigns knows that starting off is a slow process. If your results aren’t in your favor, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It means you need to step on the gas.

Whose job should it be to create content? Content that is actually compelling, dynamic and drives results.

It’s a lot easier said than done, especially consistently, but content creation is the name of the game when it comes to successful online marketing. According to The State of Inbound 2015, many businesses are taking this pressure off of their employees. No longer do the people in house have to be the only experts on your business. More and more companies are hiring freelancers or agencies to produce and curate their content. The amount of staff writers has fallen about 5%, and the use of freelance and agency talent has gained close to 5%, (see chart on page 22, The State of Inbound 2015). A slight shift, but we predict this shift will continue to happen throughout 2016.

Inbound marketing can be great because most of the tools are free and unlimited. Results can be tracked and analyzed in real time, leaving both successes and failures with no place to hide. Even though it’s frustrating and disheartening to watch campaigns fail to bring in leads or close sales, most marketers are responding to failure by increasing their Inbound budgets. They’re also more willing to pass the torch or content creation onto outside sources to ensure that it gets done, and done right. It must be worth the investment of time and money if big companies that normally buy super bowl ads are suddenly admitting their low expectations in paid advertising as whole.

For more information and the most up-to-date facts and trends on Inbound Marketing, check out The State of Inbound 2015, which was released this week (Tuesday, October 13th).