Inbound Marketing Effectiveness Benchmark Report

Resource Overview

This report presents the findings of our Inbound Marketing research, providing all marketers with a useful set of benchmarks to compare their use of these approaches.


Related Resources


Are inbound marketing tactics alone adequate to grow a business? This study’s goal was to find out.

There is no shortage of research and opinion about the efficacy of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing activities are designed to attract a prospect to your destination, offer or experience whereas outbound activities rely on the company reaching into the market to engage with prospects who may not know about the company yet. Over the last decade, marketers have enthusiastically embraced the term “inbound,” and have reaped its benefits. The popularity of inbound marketing may lead some to conclude that outbound marketing is not as effective. Marketers, whose resources are often challenged by where to best invest their budgets: in inbound marketing, a strategy whose fortunes continue to rise, or in outbound, the more traditional strategy that holds it weight in performance. This study provides insights into what marketers say they’re doing and where they’re investing.

To get these insights, Demand Metric and Act-On Software partnered to field this study’s survey. The approach to this research was not to take a view that inbound and outbound strategies and tactics were on opposite sides of a political divide, or that one was right and the other wrong. The research did not attempt to ascribe qualities or benefits to either approach, but simply measure them. The goal was to inventory the tactics in use, the proclivity to use one, the other or both, and to understand the investment and performance of each. This report presents the findings of this research, providing all marketers with a useful set of benchmarks to compare their use of these approaches.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Executive Summary
  3. What Drives the Business?
  4. Importance and Performance
  5. Tactics in Use
  6. Analyst Bottom Line
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Appendix - Survey Background


Research Methodology

This 2016 Inbound Marketing Effectiveness Benchmark Study survey was administered online during the period of October 21 through December 2, 2016. During this period, 154 responses were collected, 131 of which were qualified and complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. Only valid or correlated findings are shared in this report.