Are you tracking revenue results from your inbound marketing activities? Are you minding the gap?

Marketers putting too many eggs in the inbound basket are coming up short. They’re learning that for all the great ways marketing automation, SEO, SMO, social and blogs impact the funnel, it’s not quite enough. The gap between an enterprise’s revenue needs and what inbound can achieve is big enough to matter, and needs to be minded well.

Studies show (The Bridge Group) that the realistic potential of inbound in achieving revenue goals is not enough. A well-run inbound program delivers 35% of the leads an organization needs to meet its numbers. Impressive, yes, but clearly additional tacks are needed to generate the rest. 

One such addition to the mix is nurturing. Nurturing those same inbound leads using a multi-touch, multi-media (phone, voicemail, email), multi-cycle approach boosts the lead rate an additional 11%. With results this significant it’s surprising that relatively few marketers—just 35% according to MarketingSherpa—have nurturing programs in place. Working existing leads more and longer is far less costly than starting from scratch.

Even with nurturing, there is obviously still a shortage. There’s a need to include significant traditional marketing as part of the total—including outbound—to mind the gap completely. Proactive reach and the resulting engagement is what it takes to generate the additional 54% of new business needed to achieve revenue goals.

The RING formula helps marketers understand and diagnose important information about each activity’s contribution their inbound programs are making to the bottom line:

Revenue desired (or required) minus revenue expected from Inbound marketing minus revenue possible from Nurturing inbound leads equals the Gap, or the shortfall that needs to be addressed.


Inbound marketing delivers, but it’s vital to measure cost-per-lead and conversion rates to truly understand this marketing mode’s contribution to the bottom line. You’ll find that the cost to qualify an inbound lead is double the cost of a qualified outbound lead—key data points to factor into the calculations that determine marketing mix. Careful analysis reveal gaps that clearly show inbound’s not a stand-alone tactic.

Understanding the realistic potential of inbound, nurturing and outbound is necessary to achieving your revenue goals. Taking a look at the numbers takes the guesswork out of determining the best marketing mix for your enterprise.

If you’d like to learn more about RING (and gain broader understanding of how numbers above were derived), take a look at PointClear’s just-published whitepaper, Mind the Gap: Can Inbound Do it All?

About the Author

FDan McDade is President and CEO of PointClear, LLC, a prospect development firm that helps B2B companies drive revenue by nurturing leads, engaging contacts and developing prospects until they're ready to purchase.


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