Marketing 101 in 2011

By Dave Goates, Director of Human Capital at Launch Leads

The marketing world is changing. Some would say it’s been a wild ride of rapid change, others would say if you aren’t totally invested in social media you’re living in the dark ages.

Where is your company on the spectrum?

Here are some fascinating trends worth watching if you’re involved in marketing decisions at your company. We see the truth of these findings every day around here.

  • According to Edison Research 2010, the medium that is “most essential to my life” among Twitter users is the Internet. 73% of Twitter users compared to 42% of those who don’t use Twitter are fully invested in exploiting the Internet to its fullest capacity. It’s an important trend to follow, since Twitter users tend to be early adopters of technology, so watch for that demographic to continue exploding.
  • Here’s another eye-popping stat from the same study: 79% of U.S. Twitter users are more likely to recommend brands they follow. Being WHAT people are interested in is more important than the old approach in marketing that said you have to tell people WHY they should be interested in your brand.
  • Nationally, most current data suggest 75% of all adults in the U.S. are online, and report they are spending more than 3 hours per day on average. (See BlogHer, April 2011, Pew Research, May 2010, US Census Bureau, May 2011).

The buzz in marketing today is “earned media,” defined as “favorable publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising.” Folks historically involved in advertising are shifting gears to adapt — that’s the grinding sound you’re hearing in your ears when it comes to small talk around their water coolers.

B2B marketers are shifting resources from outbound advertising to inbound campaigns in whopping numbers.

  • In a Marketingsherpa study, October 2010, respondents said they are increasing their budgets spent on social media by 69%, and by 60% the amount they are spending on search engine optimization. All other categories, including public relations, direct mail, trade shows and advertising are in decline.
  • More recently, a Hubspot State of Inbound Marketing Report, 2011, discovered over half (54%) of marketers increased their spend for inbound marketing budgets.

We’ve confirmed what most sources are reporting — inbound marketing is a lot more cost-effective than traditional, outbound marketing.

What do we mean by “a lot?” Hubspot, 2011, estimates the cost is $373 for an average outbound lead, and $143 for an average inbound lead!

There can be little doubt based upon the most recent data that inbound marketing efforts are bearing fruit with all the tools available today. The data suggest this is a growing phenomenon that cannot be easily dismissed. With constraints on budgets, any reduction in cost is welcome.

In subsequent posts we’ll discuss the realities of optimizing your inbound campaigns, some of the “hidden costs” and how to avoid the pitfalls.

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