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Where Marketers Go to Grow

November 21, 2014 // 6:00 AM

29 Charts & Stats on What Matters Most to Marketers Right Now

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state-of-inbound-marketing-chartsThe best marketers I know are curious.

They're curious about the latest social media update. They're curious about finding solutions to the biggest problems their customers face. And they're curious about how they're performing -- especially in comparison to their peers.

If you consider yourself a curious marketer, we've got a treat for you. Below is a highlight of the main charts and stats from the 2014 State of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot's most recent survey of 3,500 marketing and sales professionals across all company sizes and job titles. If you haven't downloaded the report yet, you should -- it'll give you a whole lot more analysis and insight into the minds of other marketers. 

The 29 charts below will give you a basic understanding of what your peers are up to: who's practicing inbound, what kind of tactics they're focusing, how they're performing, and how they're convincing their boss for more budget. So go on and check 'em out -- I know you're curious about what they say.

Who Practices Inbound?

1) The number of marketers who state they are practicing inbound rose to 85% this year from 60% last year. 

percent_of_marketers_by_practice_inbound

2) 93% of inbound marketers work at companies with an annual marketing budget between $1M and $5M. 

practice_inbound_by_budget

3) Marketing isn't the only department practicing inbound: 25% of sales and 10% of services professionals have also begun to employ inbound practices

which_departments_practice_inbound

What Are Marketers' Biggest Challenges?

4) Larger companies are more worried about strategic challenges, while smaller companies are concerned with tactical ones. 

marketing_challenges_by_comapny_size

5) Practitioners and leaders share the same marketing challenges. 

marketing_challenges_by_role

6) Marketers are most concerned with proving the ROI of their marketing activities.

marketing_challenges_by_role

7) Mobile doesn't seem to be a top concern for marketers: Only 1 of 320 open text answers included the word "mobile."

no_one_cares_about_mobile

How Are Marketers Executing Inbound?

8) While ROI tops marketing challenges, the #1 marketing priority is lead generation (24%) followed by lead conversion (21%). A modest 15% of marketers (across all company size categories) rank ROI as their top priority.

marketing_priorities_by_role

9) North America and EMEA have very similar marketing priorities.

top_priorities_by_geography

10) Both B2B and B2C companies are most focused on projects relating to blogging, growing SEO, and distributing/amplifying content. 

top_inbound_project_by_company_type

11) The highest performing agencies and vendors spend the most time on blogging, SEO, and content promotion -- the activities that drive the greatest ROI.

top_inbound_marketing_projects_high_performers

12) Executives in small companies are more likely to produce content than executives in large companies.

who_creates_content_employee_count

13) Companies that lean on guests and freelancers to create content are more likely to have greater ROI year over year than those that don't.

who_creates_content_by_ROI

14) Half of marketers across B2B, B2C, and nonprofit sectors rank inbound as their primary lead source, exceeding the average of all other channels combined.

primary_lead_source_by_company_type

15) More than twice as many people cite inbound as their primary source of leads versus outbound (45% of respondents vs. 22% of respondents).

primary_lead_source_inbound_outbound

16) Both sales and marketing professionals value inbound channels for lead generation.

which_lead_sources_are_less_important

17) Large companies are placing more emphasis on inbound, and they're catching up to small companies.

which_lead_sources_are_more_important_company_size

18) 84% of inbound marketers (compared to only 9% of outbound marketers) cite organic, top-of-funnel sources (like social media, blogs, SEO) as rising in importance.

which_lead_sources_are_more_important_outbound_inbound

How Does Inbound Affect Marketing Budgets?

19) Companies with an SLA tend to have higher marketing budgets.

annual_budget_by_sla

20) Proving past success with inbound is the biggest driver of locking down additional budget.

factors_influencing_budget_change

21) 74% of B2B companies enjoy the same or increased budget this year.

inbound_budget_by_company_type

22) Having an SLA correlates with higher budgets.

inbound_budget_by_SLA

23) Mid-sized companies with inbound programs tend to have higher budgets.

mid_size_inbound_outbound_budget

What Kind of Results Are Inbound Marketers Seeing?

24) Marketers who measure inbound ROI are 17x more likely to see the same or greater ROI over the previous year.

inbound_roi_impact_yoy

25) All types of companies are seeing greater ROI year over year -- especially nonprofits.

inbound_roi_by_company_type

26) Inbound leads are cheaper than outbound leads for all sizes of North American companies.

average_cost_per_lead_by_company_size

27) Inbound marketers create more knowledgeable prospects than outbound marketers do.

how_knowledgable_are_prospects

28) Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

impact_of_blogging_roi

29) Agencies are more effective than vendors at driving inbound leads, driving almost half (47%) of all their leads through inbound.

primary_lead_source_agencies_vs_vendors

Which one of these charts was most surprising? If you'd like to download them to use in your next presentation, click here.

download the 2014-2015 state of inbound report

Topics: Marketing Data Lead Generation

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