CAMBRIDGE, MA: Inbound marketing is seeing a wave of growth in Latin America, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) faced with financial pressures.

Writing on the Harvard Business Review site, Nataly Kelly, vp/marketing (localization) at HubSpot, an inbound marketing specialist, outlined regional findings from a global study on the state of inbound marketing which included a survey of 2,700 marketers in Latin America.

Most there (86%) were familiar with the practice of capturing customer attention with content discoverable through social media and organic search. And 60% reported practising it.

Kelly quoted Roberto Madero, CEO of Mexican marketing agency GROU Crecimiento Digital, who said "Financial pressure is forcing companies to become more efficient, and more Latin American executives have started shifting some of their marketing dollars to search engine marketing".

"It's more measurable, targeted, and effective than traditional advertising," he explained.

In fact, Kelly reported, those companies in Latin America that are using inbound techniques spend 63% less to acquire new leads than those that do not.

Some businesses have even gone so far as to re-engineer the entire marketing function in response to this trend. One such, Brazilian video hosting company Samba Tech, reported that as a result it had closed four times more clients than in the previous year.

The greater cost-effectiveness of inbound marketing, Kelly stated, was being emphasised by the costs of other types of marketing, such as paid search, creeping steadily upwards.

"Even though the price hikes have been gradual so far, budgetary constraints are causing more businesses to move toward less costly inbound approaches," she said.

And that was certainly the experience of one Chilean agency which reported: "we have found that our clients do significantly better when we complement it [paid search] with content, social media, and other tactics."

Data sourced from Harvard Business Review; additional content by Warc staff