Survey Says: Marketers are Shifting from Outbound to Inbound

SurveyA survey of digital marketers revealed that there is a significant shift to reliance on inbound marketing techniques and away from outbound marketing techniques.

The survey, conducted by research firm Marketing Sherpa, asked 1,530 marketers which methods they had used more, and which less, during the previous 12 months. An astonishing 94 percent of the marketers reported that they are relying more on SEO. There are similar, though less dramatic, increases for other forms of inbound marketing.

Techniques that are being used more, by percentage of marketers who report an increase in usage:

Social Media
94 Percent
85 Percent
79 Percent
68 Percent
54 Percent

All of these are examples of inbound marketing, except email, which is taking over from traditional direct mail. Direct mail is on the list of techniques — all of them examples of outbound marketing — that pros are using less:

Techniques that are being used less, by percentage of marketers who report a decrease in usage:

Direct Mail
Trade Shows
79 Percent
77 Percent
72 Percent

The reason for the switch is obvious: email is significantly cheaper than traditional direct mail. Another advantage that email has over traditional mail is that it lends itself better to targeted campaigns.

Does your marketing strategy reflect these trends? The Marketing Sherpa post describing the survey also has a worksheet that you can use to calculate the importance and effectiveness of your lead sources.

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