As marketers, we’ve probably all heard a variation of the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
While this might oversimplify the scope of our work (we do plenty of important things that can’t be easily measured, right?), a lot of what we do boils down to results, analytics, and return on investment.
But just as important as being able to measure the effectiveness of tactics is the ability to look at the facts, figures, and unmeasurables to determine the best course of action. That’s where conducting an inbound marketing assessment to take an in-depth look at your overall marketing strategy to provide valuable insights.
Content Marketing Institute's (CMI) "B2B Content Marketing-2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends-North America" reveals that a whopping 88 percent of B2B organizations use content marketing. By any objective standard, there is a lot of inbound marketing going on out there.
The same report notes that only 30 percent of those organizations using content marketing feel that they are effective at it. Why is there such a disparity between the percentage of organizations using inbound and the percentage of organizations feeling that they are getting the most out of inbound methodologies?
The need for a plan
The answer to that question lies in the clarity of purpose B2B organizations have regarding their inbound strategy. Among the most effective marketers, 79 percent have clarity of vision regarding an inbound strategy. Conversely, among the least effective marketers, 77 percent confess to lacking clarity about what effective inbound marketing looks like.
As with any other kind of marketing, inbound marketing requires a clearly-defined plan. That being said, how can you ensure that you have a plan that will work? How can you see positive ROI for inbound strategies? And what would be the best way to measure your ROI?
>> An inbound marketing firm can partner with you to help establish a plan and reach your goals. See what you should look for when hiring an agency: Download our free eGuide, The Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency.
How an inbound marketing assessment helps
Inbound Marketing for Dummies notes under the heading of "Why You Should Perform an Inbound Assessment":
"Performing an inbound marketing assessment is your strategic starting point. It serves as the foundation for the next step, your strategic inbound plan. In other words, with inbound marketing, you need to learn your starting point before you determine where you're going."
That makes sense. Crafting an effective plan is always dependent on a certain amount of research and preparation. An inbound marketing assessment provides you with the kind of information you need to design an inbound marketing plan that will net a positive ROI and get your marketing efforts aligned with your overall organizational goals.
Things an assessment will tell you
Inbound marketing assessments can vary from a simple analysis to in-depth, comprehensive analysis and design plan for your inbound strategy. The level of assessment you choose depends upon the level of results you want to see.
Here are some things that a good inbound marketing assessment might cover:
- a thorough analysis of your current website
- a comparison of your website with those of competitors in your market
- an in-depth analysis of conversion rates
- an analysis of your SEM and SEO
- a look at areas of friction in the user experience of visitors to your site
- a measurement of the effectiveness of your CTAs
- a measurement of your current ROI
Why are all these things important? The answer is clear. Knowing where you stand with your current inbound strategy will enable you to see where there are gaps in your plan. An inbound marketing assessment reveals what your organizational needs really are.
Using the valuable information gleaned from an inbound marketing assessment, you can clearly see where your current marketing plan needs tweaking, and where you are already doing well. When you consider the value of this analysis, failing to perform an inbound marketing assessment is akin to throwing your marketing dollars away indiscriminately.
5 ways an assessment helps your business
A professional, in-depth inbound marketing assessment helps your business in a variety of ways. Here are some benefits your organization can receive from an inbound marketing assessment:
1. Your business receives an impartial review of your website.
2. Your business receives a deeper understanding of how the websites of your competitors compares to your own.
3. Your business profits from a deeper understand of your current conversion rates, which may suggest areas of improvement for your marketing efforts.
4. Your business receives a comprehensive measurement of ROI, which in turn may lead to increased budgetary allocation for inbound efforts.
5. Your business can take the opportunity to work with a professional, skilled inbound marketing agency to optimize your website and craft killer inbound campaigns that will increase revenues.
If you are using inbound marketing methods, it is essential to have an inbound marketing plan to reach organizational goals. The logical first step of that plan is to assess your current strategy. An inbound marketing assessment gives you the information you need to map a forward course for your inbound efforts.
If you are ready to receive valuable insight into the effectiveness of your current marketing strategies and chart a course for further revenue growth, contact us to get a free inbound marketing assessment today.
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