More than 40% of companies still struggle to prove ROI

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 12 September 2016

Inbound marketing business Hubspot has revealed research into the current landscape and found only half of respondents felt their sales and marketing teams were aligned.

Hubspot's eighth annual 'State of Inbound Marketing' study, which polls 4,500 people from the industry globally and 800 from APAC, also found that 43% of companies identified proving the ROI of marketing activities as one of their biggest challenges.

Speaking with AdNews, APAC marketing director for HubSpot Ryan Bonnici says many businesses have been relying on the previous sales status quo and companies need to realise to achieve real business growth the two functions need to work together.

“It doesn’t matter how good your marketing is, if your sales team isn't utilising inbound tactics that are attractive and consultative with your consumer – rather than cold calling and list buying – it doesn't help your business grow,” he says.

“Sales means nothing, marketing means nothing if the business isn't growing.”

Hubspot wants businesses to embrace a new way of working and a new term – Smarketing – with the firm believing a relationship between the two disciplines produces the most measurable results. The report also found that 47% of companies are still identifying the need to improve the efficiencies of the sales funnel, which Hubspot says makes the need for “synchronicity between the two essential arms of business more than ever need to work hand in hand to drive results for the company.”

When it comes to ROI, Bonnici outlined that brands using traditional channels such as direct mail and outdoor mainly for their marketing struggled more with ROI, with the report highlighting companies that described themselves as using primarily outbound tactics also seem to have more trouble with proving ROI (56% versus 43%) and securing budget (32% vs. 25%) compared to their inbound marketing peers.

Bonnici also flagged it can be an issue in the digital landscape, saying a big issue in the space is that businesses aren't properly tracking all their touch points – whether they're traditional or digital.

“The fact they're still focusing on that top line measure of ROI really points to the fact that businesses don't have that ability to go deeper,” he says.

“Under the surface of ROI, a business can't really prove ROI if the leads that you're being generated by marketing aren't good, if they're not good, you're not going to be able to get down to which sources are better than others if they're all bad.”

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