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Inbound Marketing: Convince Your CEO to Give You a Budget

Even B2B businesses with a millennial employee force and target demographic can get mired in expensive, outdated traditional marketing methods such as print ads, television / radio, or other outbound tactics. Advertising and marketing budgets can be thin, and older, conservative CEOS often allocate funds based on familiar outbound channels, hesitant to make the leap to a strange new world of digital media and social platforms.

Unfortunately, this approach can lead to stagnation, and you know it may be significantly reducing your company’s ROI. You’ve presented proposals to invest in inbound marketing methods in the past, but failed to gain approval – possibly due to the fact that your CEO doesn’t understand the mechanics and benefits of inbound marketing and sees it as too risky.

Pushing for an inbound marketing strategy in the face of prolonged opposition from the C-Suite or Board of Directors can be difficult. Arming yourself with indisputable facts and being able to make your case using real world examples is the key to achieving your goal of implementing an inbound marketing plan.

According to the State of Inbound 2018 Report and Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2018 from HubSpot (a trusted leader in the inbound marketing space), here’s the fuel you need to get your executives onboard with inbound:

Inbound marketing delivers a higher ROI.

53% of marketers surveyed said that inbound marketing delivers a higher ROI, compared to 16% of marketers who said outbound marketing delivers a higher ROI. 

Need help proving inbound ROI? Download the slide deck: Get CEO Approval on Inbound Marketing ↓

Inbound leads are higher quality - and cheaper.

60% of marketers surveyed said that inbound leads (from SEO, referrals, social media, web or blog content, or hyper-targeted display/social ads) were their highest quality leads, compared to 21% of marketers who said the best leads were sourced by the sales team. Only 18% said leads acquired through outbound practices (trade shows, cold calling, purchased lists, TV/radio/print, or outdoor ads) were preferred. Inbound leads are also estimated to be around 60% less costly to acquire than leads that are bought or secured through outbound marketing.

Lead acquisition is the top challenge for marketers.

63% of marketers surveyed said that their biggest challenge is generating traffic and leads, and that acquisition is far more expensive than conversion. For every $92 spent to acquire a lead, only $1 is spent to convert it. Inbound marketing drops the costs of lead acquisition by around 60%.

Content marketing works to drive inbound traffic.

55% of surveyed marketers said blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising, and 43% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most important type of content.

Social media is the new word of mouth.

Word of mouth and referrals have long been the highest value leads, no matter what industry you are in. Today’s fast paced digital world means consumers want fast feedback when they shop for products or services, and social media allows them to communicate in real time with a vast group of their peers.

Nearly 60% of surveyed marketers said their highest quality leads come from referrals, and  32% of sales personnel said the top source of leads for their sales organization is referrals. Using social selling tools can increase win rates by 5% and deal size by 35%, and organically acquired leads from Facebook Groups can be particularly valuable.

Highlight brands which are succeeding with inbound.

Being able to project higher ROI and cost savings is a vital part of making the case for inbound marketing to a chief executive or financial officer. Pointing to high profile success stories can help, particularly showcasing older companies that leveraged inbound marketing as an early adopter, or current but established brands implementing inbound marketing with measurable, high value results.

  • Networking and hardware behemoth Cisco’s 2008 router launch was executed on social media, an almost unheard of tactic at the time, and the company saved $100,000 off of their anticipated launch costs.

  • Payroll, HR and tax services provider ADP’s integrated email marketing campaign and webcast series focused on the intersect of employee tax compliance and the Affordable Care Act reached 24,000 contacts, registered 11,000 for 12 webinars, and closed $20 million in new business.

  • Accounting and consulting firm Crowe Horwath targeted financial institutions worth $1 billion or more with a content marketing campaign that included case studies, infographics, video, and executive briefs to generate nearly 800 new contacts and sign $250,000 in new contracts.

What are your competitors doing?

When pulling together your presentation for the C-Suite, don’t forget to look at competitors and add their current tactics to your potential game plan. Chances are, they are already doing inbound marketing. You can also leverage industry studies that show how your vertical specifically is benefiting from inbound marketing methods. The way people browse, learn, shop, and make decisions has changed thanks to the expansion of digital media, and it’s your job to hammer home how your organization cannot afford to be left behind.

By presenting your CEO with the data, statistics, cost estimates, competitor research, and industry examples that make your case for inbound marketing, you can convince them to approve a budget for a trial period and then implement strategies to prove your ROI projections are correct. Don’t have a trained inbound content marketing team? Contact Horseshoe + Co today for a consultation.

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