Marketing isn't free. One of the core challenges for marketers is understanding how to allocate limited marketing funds for maximum return on investment. New data released by Focus.com , a website that connects business thought leaders, paints an interesting picture about the future of marketing investment. In its Focus Research Study Marketers' Benchmarks 2011 , Focus uncovers some interesting data around present and future best performing marketing tactics.
Inbound Marketing on the Rise
Inbound marketing, which focuses on generating new leads and managing and nurturing existing leads, is one of the top areas for investment in 2011. With an investment by 32 percent of marketers, inbound marketing is far ahead of other marketing tactics like marketing automation. In looking at the top areas of investment -- social media monitoring , web analytics, and email marketing software -- it is clear to see that investment in inbound is even growing far beyond its 32 percent line item, given that those three category leaders are some of the key components to a successful inbound marketing strategy.
B2B Marketers Jump on the Content Bandwagon
Remarkable content is the center of any successful inbound marketing strategy. According to this study, it seems that B2B marketers are slowly starting to wean themselves off email and print marketing to focus on a more robust inbound marketing strategy that uses content and social media. Case in point: social media investment has more than doubled and online content has experienced a double digit gain in investment.
Mobile Becomes Viable for Marketing
Focus asked marketers to project their major areas of investment for the next 12 months. Some of the results were expected, with social media, online content, email, and search engine marketing leading the way. However, the most interesting data point can be found a little further down the chart, with marketers indicating a 17 percent investment in mobile compared to 6 percent in the previous 12 months.
It isn't too late. Marketing investments are shifting, and it is important that you assess your current strategy and budget allocations to determine the changes needed to compete in an inbound marketing world. Look at the data from the Focus report and compare it to your current investments. Inbound marketing works in both top of the funnel (ToFu) tactics like social media and search engine optimization and middle of the funnel (MoFu) tactics like email marketing and lead nurturing for a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy .
Do you agree with the data in this report? Will you allocate your marketing budget differently in 2012?