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This post originally appeared on the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute's blog. The Marketing AI Institute was created and is powered by PR 20/20. 

For over a decade, savvy professionals have used inbound marketing to grow. Inbound marketing consists of creating and promoting content that addresses customer needs. The goal is to attract, convert, and close more qualified leads by being helpful to consumers. Today, companies use inbound marketing methodologies to market more effectively and cost-effectively.

Marketing automation company HubSpot has defined much of modern inbound methodology. That methodology looks a little something like this:

Source: HubSpot

Says HubSpot:

“Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.”

To achieve these goals, inbound marketers rely on many tools. They include marketing automation software, content management systems, and email marketing systems. They also include CRM systems, content creation tools, and content promotion tools. These systems comprise the inbound marketing tech stack. That tech stack can make inbound marketers more productive, personalized, and performance-driven.

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This post originally appeared on the Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) blog.

Unlike the traditional marketplace, modern corporations cannot survive on brand and historical relevancy alone. In fact, research from Innosight estimates that 75% of today’s corporations on the S&P 500 index will be replaced by 2027.

You must constantly fight complacency to change the status quo. 

This forces marketers to answer a vital question. Should you continue traditional marketing efforts to face inevitable irrelevancy? Or, should you adapt and align your technology, talent and strategy to effectively reach consumers in this shifting marketplace? 

This changing landscape can be intimidating and overwhelming, but the decision to go digital and embrace inbound is clear. 

Learn from organizational change agents who challenged their businesses to think differently and are seeing the return.

At the latest Cleveland HubSpot User Group (HUG) event, PR 20/20 founder and CEO Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) led a panel of inbound marketing champions who discussed their role as organizational change agents. Panel members featured include:

  • Jorge Solorio (@JorgeLubrizol), the Americas Industrial Business Manager at Lubrizol.
  • Chris Schmitt (@ChrisSchmittEsq), the Global Marketing Director at Pentair (formerly ERICO).
  • Evan Dean (@InBoundEvan), a Principal Channel Consultant at HubSpot, who works with organizations to activate the HubSpot platform and helps advocates prove the value of inbound marketing. 

Read on to learn four key insights from these business leaders, all of who made a case and won company-wide support for inbound marketing implementation.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year: conference season.

It’s up to proactive marketers to stay on top of emerging trends and best practices— or risk falling behind. What better way to come together with fellow marketing individuals than during industry conferences? 

But, how can you truly ensure you are getting the most out of your time away from the office? Conferences can often be costly and time consuming, so it’s critical to find ways to truly apply what you’ve learned.

I recently attended Content Marketing World (@CMIContent) where I sat in on a valuable session presented by Content Marketing Institute employees. The session, A Content Marketing World Review - What to Do Next After a Week of Learning, presented by Lisa Dougherty (@BrandLoveLLC) and Michele Linn (@michelelinn), discussed how attendees can truly take away value from conferences. 

Below are a few ways to get the most out of your next conference, based on key points from this session and other best practices.

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Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2013, and was updated in August 2017 per latest best practices and data. 

Why do we need a blog? What is the ROI of social? What if we get sued? I want to review this before it’s published. Who will own this?  

Sound familiar?

At times, working in a marketing department can feel like being on trial. You’re constantly defending programs, proving value, fighting for dollars.

HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound Marketing annual report asked marketing teams about their top challenges. While only 7% cite executive sponsorship as their paramount challenge, 40% indicated that the most common challenge—proving ROI—points to a crucial need to drum up and perpetuate internal support.

My own experiences echo these findings. The primary reason I’ve seen inbound marketing programs get squashed is not lack of resources, lack of data or lack of success, but lack of buy-in. 

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We originally published a blog in 2015 listing 40+ inbound marketing resources. We’ve added even more to the list, so read below for an update with even more resources for marketers.

As marketers, we spend hours researching the top trends and tactics to prove top-notch ROI and success. But what happens when you hit writer’s block, need to find the latest tech or are searching for best practices for campaign recommendations? You know the drill: You turn to the top content marketing influencers, blogs, publications and resources for a reinforcement. 

So, what marketing resources do you turn to on a daily basis? That’s the exact question I asked my PR 20/20 peers.

Check out the round up below to learn what the PR 20/20 relies on as the industry’s best marketing resources.

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The following is a guest post by John Hall. John Hall
 (@johnhall) is the CEO of  Influence & Co. , a keynote speaker, and the author of " Top of Mind ." You can book John to speak  here .


If I asked you to close your eyes and picture the two people you trust most in the whole world, who would you see? I see my wife and my mother. Years of offering wise counsel, challenging me to grow, and teaching me something new have fostered an incredible bond of trust and respect between us.

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Marketers face more pressure than ever to deliver real ROI on their marketing efforts. The good news: it’s the best time to be a performance-driven marketer. The tools, technology and talent available to build, execute and measure high-impact campaigns have never been more widely available.

But with the opportunities come obstacles from the sheer number of available courses of action. In a sea of available metrics, which ones are actually important? And once you determine that, what do you do with them?

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The year is drawing to a close, which for many marketers means it’s the perfect time to clean out the inbox, tackle that reading list, and set shiny new goals for 2016.

So curl up by the fire—or in your cubicle—and enjoy the must-reads on PR 20/20’s blog.

How did we select them?

In short, you did. We pulled posts with the highest pageviews in 2015, excluding any posts with an average time on page less than two minutes. After all, we’re looking for the most read posts—not the most clicked titles.

Note: If you’re curious which posts were most successful in garnering clicks (on search engines and social media), check out Sandie Young’s (@sandiemyoung) “How to Write More Clickable Headlines in 3 Easy Steps.”

The Most Popular PR 20/20 Posts in 2015

According to our readers, here are our 15 most popular posts in 2015. Enjoy!

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You’ve embraced inbound marketing or you’re considering it. And now, you want to talk results.

After all, whether you’ve been inbound for months or years—or want to know what that looks like—the million-dollar question is: How do I prove the ROI of my internal inbound marketing team or external agency partner?

Put another way: How do I know that inbound will pay off? Put simply: Many other businesses have used it to increase traffic, leads and sales. More than 92% of companies that use inbound increase their traffic; 40% increase their traffic by 75%. And 84% of companies increase their leads within seven months.

There are serious considerations that owners, executives and marketers must know about proving inbound ROI. This post details those considerations and shows you how to prove that your inbound marketing is driving bottom-line results.

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I’m huge music fan, and it wasn’t long ago that everywhere I drove, I’d have the music blasting in the car. But now, I can’t remember the last time I listened to music in the car.

What replaced the music? Podcasts.

I’m not the only one. Podcasts have taken off over the last couple years (or have seen a resurgence depending on who you talk to). Just take a look at some numbers from the Pew Research Center State of the News Media 2015 report:

  • Listeners of a podcast in the last month have almost doubled since 2008 - 17% (up from 9%).
  • One-third (33%) of all Americans 12 and older have listened to at least one podcast.
  • Podcast awareness has more than double since 2006 - 49% (up from 22%).
  • Publicly available data indicate a steady rise in number of active podcasts and number of download requests over the past three years.
  • Mobile devices are the preferred way to listen to podcasts.
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