5 steps to prove to your CEO that Inbound Marketing can generate ROI

By Uri Bishansky
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Inbound Marketing ROI


Persuading top level management to adopt Inbound Marketing can be a challenge. They want hard numbers. They want bottom line forecasts. And they are not wrong to inquire why exactly they should give you an inbound budget. To get the buy-in from top-level executives you need to show that inbound marketing can generate ROI.

Here’s how.

1. Arm yourself with numbers that tell your current marketing story

Get relevant data and compile a report that shows your current marketing ROI. This will provide you with a starting point to entice a discussion as well as give you a baseline that you can use to set goals. Is your company even tracking marketing ROI in the first place? Use your company goals as a lead-in to the role Inbound may play going forward.

2. Bring in the statistics

You won’t have your own inbound statistics until you get the opportunity to adopt it, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t share industry data. In fact, this may be the quickest route to a buy-in. Your boss doesn’t want to be left behind when every other company jumps on the inbound train. 
Here are a few key stats to start you off:
  • Companies that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t.
  • Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.
  • Content Marketing Institute reports that 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles vs. an advertisement
  • 77% of CMOs at top performing companies indicate that their most compelling reason for implementing marketing automation is to increase revenue

How To Create An Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy Call to Action

3. Get the social proof

Back up the validity of stats with real life examples and testimonials. Find real case studies and testimonials on inbound software and inbound consulting sites. Find a case of a company in your industry getting ROI from Inbound Marketing; it may be just what your top execs need to see.

4. Discuss Inbound/Outbound differences and offer a cost-benefit analysis

Explain that outbound marketing involves paying for ads, telemarketing, or direct mail in hopes of getting a response, while inbound allows you to build a sales funnel and have leads engage with your content and start a conversation with your brand because they want what you have in the first place.

In other words, outbound marketing is an expense because ads only attract attention as long as you pay for them. Inbound is an investment because you are creating valuable content that your target audience will appreciate again and again.

Read more about Inbound Marketing:
-How Can I Reach My Target Audience Using Inbound Marketing
-Inbound Marketing Vs. PPC

5. Show bottom line projections

Make estimates based on your experience, current data and Inbound ROI goals and compile a forecast detailing implementation timeframes and costs as well as revenue estimates. How will your leads increase if the company implements your Inbound strategy? What will the cost per lead be? How will your revenue grow? (Don’t forget to mention that it takes time and effort to produce results).


To convince, your CEO or board to adopt an Inbound marketing strategy, you will have to do some homework.

  1. Get current marketing ROI data.
  2. Prepare a list of Inbound stats
  3. Offer social proof
  4. Put together a cost-benefit report and compare Inbound and Outbound methodologies
  5. Show real projections to give you top-level execs something to sink their teeth in

If your found this useful, and you're curious to learn more and find out how to create a long lasting inbound marketing strategy, we invite you to download our How-To guide for creating an Inbound Marketing strategy.

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About Uri Bishansky

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Uri is the co-author of the Amazon no.1 Bestseller "The Smart Marketer's Guide to Google AdWords". He has been programming since he can remember himself. He lives by excels and numbers, rides bikes, loves dogs and a keen self-educator. Uri has a degree in finance and has been a google partner since 2013.

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