A Quick Guide to Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Written By Team DME

DME are a team of B2B Marketing experts who help business to develop and execute an effective inbound and account-based marketing strategy. A strategy which aligns marketing, sales and service teams around attracting the best high value "good fit" accounts and systematically converting those accounts into customers.
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10th May 2020

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What is the difference between Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing ? The simple truth is that traditional outbound marketing is becoming very outdated with the message your are broadcasting designed to interrupt your prospects and force your message on them, this is a costly method and yields much lower ROI than Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is the process of creating and sharing relevant and valuable content to prospects who are looking looking for information to solve a specific problem.

According to Forbes, the average person is exposed to around 4,000 – 10,000 ads each day which, as you can imagine, is rather annoying for both the consumer and you as the seller – the consumer doesn’t want to be inundated with useless information, while you wish to bring in new leads and generate sales, and not push potential customers further away from your brand.

With all these adverts and modern technology, it’s now easier for people to ignore and only focus on the messages they wish to engage with.

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing:

Outbound Marketing relates to the old traditional methods of marketing, these methods actually disrupt and obstruct any potential customers as messages being pushed out via businesses are intrusive and often impersonal to the customer.

HubSpot definition of outbound marketing: a traditional method of marketing seeking to obstruct potential customers. Outbound marketing includes activities such as trade shows, seminar series and cold calling. It is costly and the ROI (Return On Investment) is much lower than inbound marketing.

Methods include:

  • Trade shows
  • Telemarketing
  • Seminars
  • Cold calls
  • Email blasts

These methods are classes as outbound marketing as marketers using these techniques are pushing their message as far as they possibly can, hoping that it will resonate with someone, somewhere. These messages are broad and generalised so they don’t necessarily cater for an individual’s needs, and with so many options out there for us as consumers, it’s easy to simply ignore messages.

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But these methods no longer work. Why?

Well, as already mentioned previously, people are inundated with thousands of messages and emails every day and it’s become far easier for us to just block them out via spam, or people can simply just opt to unsubscribe to annoying emails, unless it’s a brand or product we are actually interested in. This is also just as easy with cold calling, the use of caller ID on phones has allowed for us to identify exactly who is calling, and if it’s someone we don’t recognise, we tend to simply ignore the call. If those calls continue to obstruct and disrupt us – we can simply block numbers.

As far as consumers are concerned, it’s now also fast, easy and cheap to search for things via the internet. If a consumer has a problem or pain point, they can simply search for answers on the internet which will then present a whole world of possibilities through search engines, blogs and social media. Without even leaving their house, their answers are presented to them so quickly, and this is where you come in…

Why you and your business should adopt an Inbound Marketing mindset:

If you’ve never heard of, or come across inbound marketing, then you may be asking yourself “what is inbound marketing?”

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

With inbound marketing, you are putting the customer at the centre of everything that you do, you are attracting customers like a magnet. Rather than pushing out your message and disrupting potential leads, you’re using your industry knowledge as a way to pull these potential customers in by attracting your best prospects who are out there looking for solutions to their problems.

Buyer Centric Flywheel

How you can do this:

Your website should act like a hub for your industry, not just shouting about what you do as a business or what your products offer, but by utilising content, such as blogs, to answer any potential customer questions. That way, you are nurturing them through their buying process and by the time they get to the all-important decision stage, they are left with no questions and both yourselves and the customer will know that they are ready to make that purchase.

Why inbound marketing?

  • More cost effective
  • Make use of content such as blogs to draw customers in
  • Draws 3x as many leads as traditional outbound methods
  • Build trust between you and the customer by providing knowledge and answers to their questions/pain points
  • Engage and interact with your audience/customer

So now you understand the difference between inbound marketing vs outbound marketing – which are you going to master and focus on ?

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