B2B Articles - May 31, 2017

Inbound vs. Outbound: Statistics That Make a Difference

While many organizations use a combination of inbound vs. outbound marketing. tactics, recent 2017 statistics show that the majority of companies are finding success in inbound.


inbound vs. outbound globally Source: HubSpot's 2017 State of Inbound Report


But first, what is the difference?

Outbound Marketing includes tactics such as ads, direct mails, trade shows, seminar series, email blasts, cold calling, etc. Think of marketers pushing their message out with the hopes it will bring people in. These tactics are difficult to target and measure.

Inbound Marketing uses tactics such as content marketing, blogging, and social media to bring people into your organization with helpful content and targeted strategies. An inbound marketing strategy is measurable and digital since tactics target a specific audience online (instead of throwing a wide-casted net at everyone.)

As tools, strategies, and training for inbound marketing become more available, the gap of what's effective is widening.

Here are 2017 statistics about inbound vs. outbound, based on HubSpot’s State of Inbound report.

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Statistics on Inbound vs. Outbound

  1. Inbound marketers believe in their efforts more than outbound marketers. 68% of inbound marketers and only 48% of outbound marketers classify their marketing efforts as “effective.”  What’s more, is that 52% of outbound marketers say their marketing efforts are “ineffective” (only 32% of inbound marketers report that).
  2. Inbound gives higher ROI. 46% of marketers reported that inbound marketing gave a higher ROI, while only 12% reported outbound did. However, 41% of respondents could not answer or did not know — making a case for better measurement in marketing.
  3. Inbound produces higher quality leads for sales. When asked which marketing tactic provides higher quality leads for the sales team, 59% of marketers responded inbound, and 16% reported outbound. (Self-sourced leads account for 26%.)
  4. Inbound lead generation has improved over the past year. When asked which marketing tactic provides higher quality leads for the sales team in 2015, 52% said inbound marketing. In 2016, that number grew to 59%, showing an increase in the success of inbound marketing. In terms of outbound, in both 2015 and 2015, 16% of respondents said outbound marketing tactics produced those leads, showing outbound marketing is not growing.

When asked which marketing tactic provides higher quality leads for the sales team, 59% of marketers responded inbound and 16% reported outbound.

Why Inbound Marketing Works

Inbound marketing is taking over as the go-to tactic to generate quality leads, increase sales, and engage consumers. Here are eight statistics that prove how well inbound marketing works.

  1. Companies that published over 16 blog posts per month received roughly 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 blogs per month.
  2. B2B companies that blogged over 11 times per month received 3X more traffic than B2B companies that blogged 0-1 time per month.
  3. 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of the company’s content before talking with a sales representative.
  4. 96% of B2B buyers want content that has input from industry thought leaders.
  5. Content consumption on Facebook grew 57% over the last two years.
  6. Buyers from Pinterest spend 20% more than buyers referred from non-social channels, including search.
  7. 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media after only six hours of week dedicated to social media marketing.
  8. 80% of companies not meeting their revenue goals receive 10,000 monthly website visitors or less.

Outbound is Heading Out, While Inbound is Staying, Well, In

32% of marketers say that “print advertising (print, outdoor, broadcast)” is the most overrated marketing tactic. And one-third of marketers say outbound marketing is the most overrated tactic and a waste of time and resources.

It’s clear that marketers see value from inbound marketing tactics, while outdated outbound tactics head out the door. Marketers who want to bring in qualified leads — instead of general traffic — use inbound to attract people that want their product.

Outbound marketing tactics can help push vanity metrics such as total traffic, but these tactics do not convert to real customers. Since marketers must prove their worth and calculate their ROI to gain a higher budget, inbound tactics will continue to prevail.




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