Senior marketing leaders are viewing their marketing plans through rose-coloured glasses and are more likely to rate their strategies a success than their employees, according to HubSpot’s ninth annual State of Inbound report.
The global report, which covers more than 6000 respondents from 141 countries, shows a division between executives and lower-level employees within marketing and sales teams on priorities moving forward and past achievements.
In ANZ, 77 per cent of C-level marketing and sales respondents said that their business’ marketing strategy was effective – compared to just 51 per cent of their employees.
These senior leaders were also more likely to characterise their company’s sales and marketing relationship as “tightly aligned” (31 per cent) compared to individual contributors (17 per cent).
This suggests these teams are less integrated than they seem, despite research that aligning sales and marketing – known as ‘smarketing’ – is critical in boosting organisational outcomes.
“There are a range of challenges in the development of great content,” said Ryan Bonnici, HubSpot Senior Director, Global Marketing. “But the issue is that the more content businesses produce, the more competitive the market becomes, and suddenly the target audience sees individual business content as less valuable than before.”
“The key finding in this year’s State of Inbound report is the level of disconnect between those leaders who set the vision for their businesses compared to those in sales and marketing departments who execute on this ambition,” HubSpot APAC Head of Marketing James Gilbert says.
Inbound is a marketing approach created by HubSpot, focused on drawing customers into a brand’s proposition using techniques such as content marketing, SEO and social media. Outbound includes the use of banner ads, direct mail, cold calling and other intrusive ways of grabbing the customer’s attention.
“Within this is a huge opportunity for organisations to better align their efforts across marketing and sales and the broader business hierarchy and together use the power of inbound marketing to more effectively reach customers. Ensuring teams have a cohesive view on strategy across the business is key for company growth.”
Across regions and company hierarchy, the report found companies which use inbound marketing are more confident in their marketing strategy and are more likely to state it as effective (81 per cent) than those that use outbound techniques (14 per cent).
The survey found paid advertising is seen as the most overrated marketing tactic by marketers (34 per cent). Further, it found that inbound is thought to give a higher return on investment (42 per cent) than outbound marketing (23 per cent).
Other findings from the report include:
- 73 per cent of ANZ marketers say converting contacts/leads to customers is their top priority over the next 12 months.
- 65 per cent of ANZ sales people said closing more details was their top priority.
- 42 per cent of sales teams note their top source of leads come from sales, rather than marketing (22 per cent). However, 51 per cent of marketers believe that inbound marketing provides the highest quality of sales leads, showing a disconnect between the value each believes they contribute.
- Marketers are planning on adding YouTube (44 per cent) and Facebook video (38 per cent) to their marketing mix in the next 12 months.
- Inbound marketing budgets will be 41 per cent higher in ANZ this year.