When it comes to marketing, there often seems like a magic mix of materials, tools, and such to which only a relative handful of top marketers have access. These marketers seem to consistently rise head and shoulders above the rest as they help to draw in lead after lead, helping sales to seal the deal time and again. The trouble is that this is a major misconception. There is no secret tool chest that these marketers are using. They simply know the correct way to spell success. And now, thanks to HubSpot and Inbound 2015, we all know just what it is that these leading marketers are doing to be so successful!

Automate Your Marketing Process

Let’s face it. The more time you spend on having to handle each little part of the marketing process is that much time lost. This time could be better spent doing everything from refining campaigns to digging deeper into the market to identify new potential client personas. Why would you NOT want to get this time back and put it to better use?

According to the State of Inbound Marketing 2015 report from HubSpot, this is one of the areas where leading marketers differentiate themselves. They have found the ROI that marketing automation software offers and willingly embrace it. Not only does this free them up from the mundane, being able to show the ROI of automation has shown to lead to consistently larger budgets! Respondents to HubSpot polls have indicated that they have rarely received lower budgets after instituting marketing automation software!

Get Involved

Now that you know that using marketing automation is effective, it’s time to clue you in on another major habit of leading marketers. They are involved in the selection process for sales software as well! Polling has shown a positive correlation between the collaboration of both sales and marketing in the software selection process and an increase in ROI and budgets!

It only makes sense when you really think about it. How much more likely is your sales department going to be when they understand the marketing process including the software used? At the same time, how much more effective will your marketing team be when they know exactly how their software feeds into the sales funnel? Top marketers have actually reported a 13% increase in positive ROI when involved in selecting sales software. At the same time, they have reported an 11% increase in budgets as well.

The bottom line is that when sales and marketing work together as a true team to decide on the marketing and sales software they will be using, great things happen!

It’s All About The Metrics

How often are you checking your numbers? Knowing your metrics is a must and is definitely something that top marketers make a priority. In fact, those marketing teams who check their metrics more than three times each week have seen a 20% increase over the previous year. What does this tell you? It’s really pretty simple. Simply put, you can’t fix what you don’t know. When you’re not watching closely, it’s hard to identify those trends that can lead to failure. Marketing teams who are keeping a close watch on their numbers know when campaigns are not as effective as they could be and can adjust accordingly.

You’ve Got To Have It To Get It

One of the more telling statistics to come out of HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2015 report concerns marketing budgets. Turns out that 31% of their respondents with budgets under $25k for the year saw no increase or decrease, and 43% even saw slight increases. However, more than half of those with budgets above $25k saw increases across the board!

Are you starting to see the big picture here? Automating, working as a team, showing results, increased budgets… all things related to being a leading marketer, right? But there’s more to it…

Show Me, Don’t Tell Me

The real secret to getting those bigger budgets approved is not so secret. It comes down to ROI. Being able to show the powers that be a true positive return on investment is a must when it comes to getting that signature for next year’s budget increase. And how do you show ROI? Hint: You remember that marketing automation software? How about the sales software you helped to select? Numbers have shown that by consistently showing positive ROI you have double the chance of having your budget increased. If having a larger marketing budget isn’t important, then don’t worry. Simply ignore reporting and you are guaranteed to lose any hope of an increase. You may even face a decrease in budget.

It All Comes Back To Teamwork

One of the biggest points to come out of the State of Inbound Marketing 2015 report is one that we should all have known from the start. It’s all about the team. Top performing marketers will be those who have completely embraced the team mentality. No single marketer or marketing department can go it alone. Without working hand in hand with an effective sales department, marketing efforts would be wasted. There are no two ways about it. If you want are looking to become a leading marketer, then you should begin seeking ways to increase the level of cooperation between yourself or your team and the sales team.

One effective way to do this is through the implementation of an SLA (service level agreement). By having a well-defined SLA in place, both departments can better understand their responsibilities as well as the expectations of the entire team. Remember, teamwork can increase efficacy which in turn can positively affect ROI, thereby leading to budget increases and the opportunity to add to your team.

The Big Takeaway

Are you looking for what you can do to become a top marketer or marketing department? The first place to start is by implementing the below strategies.

  • Use Marketing Automation Software
  • Get Involved With Your Sales Department In Selecting Software
  • Check Your Metrics at least 3x per week
  • Track Your ROI Closely To Secure Budget Increases
  • Put An SLA into play in order to increase your ROI (and in turn your budget and departmental headcount!)