It’s the age-old question in the world of marketing; which is better, inbound or outbound? Both forms of marketing have their strengths and weaknesses, some more than others. However, when it comes to finding out which one is best for your business it can be tricky.
Outbound marketing is on the decrease with companies and for good reason too. It just isn’t getting the results that it used to. When it’s time to watch something that you’ve recorded on TV, 85% of people will fast forward through the advertisements. 45% of the direct mail that gets sent through people’s letterboxes is never opened and thrown straight into recycling. It’s clear that as people spend more time online, outbound marketing is becoming less popular.
But before you decide which type of marketing will suit your needs the best, you need to know all the facts and that is where we come in to help.
Out with the old…
Outbound Marketing is the type of marketing that we are all very well acquainted with. It was all we ever heard on the radio when the stream of songs would be interrupted by local businesses. We saw it when we drove by massive billboards, trying to capture our attention at 60 mph. As well as this we had the digital version of outbound. Being bombarded with spam emails and banner ads that slowed down our computers wasn’t fun.
In conclusion, outbound is old school. It’s all about pushing your message onto people in the hopes that they will respond. It just isn’t working in the digital age that we’re in now. The outdated tactics of interruption marketing via TV ads, newspaper ads, radio ads, cold calling, direct mailing and hard selling need to be replaced with something else.
In with the new…
And that is where Inbound Marketing steps in. It is often described as creating quality content that will pull people in to want to buy the product you are selling. The idea with inbound is that you turn strangers into visitors of your business, convert these visitors into leads, nurture the leads into customers and then build relationships with these customers.
Nowadays, nearly everyone is using one or more social media platforms to connect with the world and with businesses also. If they want to find the closest locksmith to them, all they need to do is look it up on the internet. The best results will be staring back at them.
Inbound marketing may be an indirect way compared to the direct marketing of outbound, but it has proven to be more effective and efficient in the long run.
What are their main differences?
- With outbound there is no way of knowing if your marketing efforts are being seen by your ideal target audience. A clear majority of people who do see your billboards, open your emails or letters and are exposed to your message may not even be remotely interested in what you are offering. This means that all the hard work you’ve done and put into a marketing campaign was for nothing. On the other hand, with inbound marketing you can choose your audience by selecting the right age, gender and even location. People who are interested in similar services will be able to see your product. With inbound you will save yourself a lot of time, money and effort when it comes to getting your product seen.
- Nobody really likes the old outbound tactics. They are all about interrupting what people are doing, pushing a product or service onto people who really don’t want to be harassed with emails, letters and digital advertisements that they’re not interested in. It will just push them away from you. Inbound looks to pull people in by offering them content and information that has value to it. This will often include blog posts on dedicated websites, social media posts and mobile apps. All of this will make the experience fun for potential customers and bring them to you.
- The biggest difference between the two forms of marketing is the way in which they communicate with the world. Companies that use outbound marketing will shout out their message through mass media, praying that there are people who will hear it. However, there is no way for people to interact with the message. Inbound marketing can do what outbound can’t, and that is to allow potential customers to engage with them directly using tools such as social media. If they see a blog post that is interesting they can leave a comment showing their views on the subject. Or maybe they have seen a relatable quote that you posted on twitter and want to share it with their own followers. Not only will it gain you a wider audience, but allowing yourself to be visible on social media shows that you are trustworthy. To conclude, outbound marketing applies a shotgun approach, in that they hope to hit the right people with their advertising. Whereas inbound marketing is laser targeting their audience with content that is specific to them.
What will you choose, Inbound or Outbound?
We are in a world that is ever changing. The internet continues to evolve to help you find new products to buy and to interact with brands that you know and trust. For companies it is shaping the way they find new customers. You’ve now seen the differences between outbound and inbound marketing. What would you say will suit your company or brand the best? Looking to increase your engagement, reduce marketing costs, and generate revenue? Your answer should be inbound.
We know that change can be scary. While inbound may seem like a risk, it is one that has proven benefits. So, what are you waiting for?
Join the world of inbound marketing today!