Business

The State of Inbound Marketing in the UK vs. the US


Here in the UK when it comes to fashion, food and TV shows, we often trail behind the US. Us Brits don’t even have WiFi on planes yet like you do in the US – *sigh*.

But how do we compare our inbound marketing techniques? Are we storming ahead and never looking back? Or are we chasing behind the US the way a relay runner chases their team member?

Here we’ll look at how the UK’s inbound marketing techniques stack up against the mighty US of A.

1. Inbound marketing is growing in popularity in the UK

According to a recent study by Hubspot, almost 60% of UK companies surveyed are currently using inbound marketing as part of their marketing strategy, and over 40% are looking to improve their inbound marketing techniques and spending in the coming year.

Customers in the UK are buying and behaving in the same way as in the US. Prospects are now much more likely to research and review products and prices before taking the plunge and they are actively engaging with brands through social media. So it makes sense for companies to hop on the inbound marketing bandwagon.

Whilst inbound marketing is growing quickly in the UK, there is still a way to go before they catch up with US companies. Companies should be looking to align all of their marketing practices to ensure the same strategy is behind used across all communication.

2. Companies’ in the UK are more open to inbound marketing than in the US

The 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Europe Report as mentioned above, also found that the UK had a higher level of internal support for inbound marketing.

36% of those companies surveyed stated that inbound is fully integrated within their overall strategy, as opposed to 35% in the US. On top of this figure, 44% of UK companies said that inbound marketing was partially part of their strategy. This means that 80% or 4 out of 5 UK companies are actively using inbound marketing.

Here in the UK, although we were slightly behind the US in the uptake of inbound marketing, we have used this to our advantage. We have seen how the US manages their inbound, and we have learned from their mistakes. We have then used this knowledge to create a great strategy. This also helps with our internal support. Managers and senior staff are likely to co-operate if they have seen the strategy in action somewhere else first.

3. UK marketers focus on the top of the funnel, US focuses on lead nurturing

Priorities for our friends over the pond differ slightly to ours in good old Blighty.

23% of UK marketers said that ‘reaching the right audience’ was their top priority, followed by converting more leads to customers. As reaching the right kind of audience is the first challenge of inbound marketing, it makes sense that UK marketers would work on this issue first.

In the US, marketers are more focused on pushing leads through the conversion funnel, and as their marketing strategies have been in place for longer, this makes sense that they are concentrating on the next stage.

4. UK marketers need to align their marketing with the sales team in a more efficient way

The report also found that fewer UK marketers are interlinking their sales and marketing teams. 22% of UK marketers had an agreement between their teams, compared to 25% of US marketers.

An agreement between the teams can really boost conversions. Marketing generates leads for sales to work on, and sales create more ammunition and profit for the marketing team to use. The teams must work together as one cannot be in place without the other.

5. US marketers test strategies more than UK marketers

In the UK, a whopping 49% of business do not test their website for optimisation either A/B testing or otherwise. This compares to 44% of US companies who do the same.

This could explain why US websites convert at around 10% compared to UK websites which convert at around 5%.

If only companies would take time to test their websites, they could see a huge jump in conversions as users have a better experience and are more likely to buy.

Conclusion

Whilst the US and UK are very similar when comparing some of the metrics, it highlights areas in which the UK can grow and learn more about inbound marketing.

The biggest lesson that UK marketers can take away from their study is optimising websites for user gratification. If the user cannot use your website, then they will not buy from you. Fact.

The UK will always trail behind our biggest allies, but we shouldn’t doubt ourselves or feel bad about that – the US will implement both good and bad strategies and we will learn from them.

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