Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Poll: Demand Gen Experts Use Equal Mix of Inbound & Outbound Marketing

Posted by Mike Damphousse on Aug 25, 2009 10:37:00 AM

Recently we conducted a poll on LinkedIn where we asked: Inbound Marketing & Outbound Marketing - What is your mix for lead gen?

  • Mostly Inbound
  • Mostly Outbound
  • Both Equally
  • Inbound Only
  • Outbound Only

The target audience was Sales & Marketing job functions, from the industries of Computer Hardware & Software, Internet, IT and Tech Services, Marketing & Advertising. We used the LinkedIn Poll Application to conduct the study, as well as the free distribution of the poll to our network. It is not the results of either poll separately that are interesting, we expected the Outbound mix to lead, but the comparison of both the public (random marketing and sales execs) poll to our private network (heavily demand gen focused professionals) shows a clear trend that those of us that focus on demand gen have more of a balanced mix with “Both Equally” leading the pack at 43% in our network.

The experts balance Inbound Marketing with Outbound Marketing. So the random sales and marketing execs may want to pay attention to a few points:

  • Most companies rely on a mix of Inbound and Outbound Marketing
  • Outbound Marketing seems to have a larger portion of the marketing mix in general
  • Demand Gen specialists balance their mix of Inbound and Outbound 30% more than generalists
  • The mania of Inbound Marketing taking over the marketing mix is either just that, mania, or it is still in its infancy. Don't get caught up in the hype just yet.
  • A balanced approach seems to be the mix of choice with a slight favor to Outbound activities

As a side note, a regular feature of my Smashmouth Marketing blog, which is focused on BtoB marketing and demand gen, are product reviews. So below is a mini product review of LinkedIn Polls:

The application is extremely easy to use, and the ability to promote it free to your network or paid through LinkedIn's systems provides incredible flexibility. We highly recommend using the paid LinkedIn poll feature for two reasons. First, it can be targeted to specific demographics. Second, it randomizes responses in a manner different than if you were to share the poll with your network. One feature missing though, is the ability to embed the poll on other pages (such as a blog, or corporate site). Having this widget capability would be huge.

Topics: marketing, sales, demand, poll, inbound, linkedin, outbound