In recent years, the idea of inbound marketing has increasingly gained traction amongst industry professionals. With its growing popularity challenging the previously dominant paradigm of outbound marketing, it has reshaped the marketer’s strategic approach. As a result, inbound vs outbound marketing is now the talk of the town. But what exactly is inbound, and how does it differ from outbound or traditional marketing?
The following article clears up any confusion about the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.
What Is Outbound Marketing?
The central aim of outbound marketing is to deliver a message to a large group of people with the ultimate goal of making a sale. This is generally achieved through “traditional” marketing channels such as email marketing, direct mail, and print and broadcast advertising. Oftentimes these messages are unsolicited and therefore delivered to people who may not even be considering making any purchases.
Outbound marketing is being used less often today for several reasons. Firstly, the development of technology and consumer rights makes it easier for the general population to avoid advertisements. Ad blocking applications are an excellent example of this.
Secondly, the general nature of outbound marketing is rendering it as increasingly ineffective. The scattergun approach might reach more people but conversion rates will be minimal. This is because of a lack of targeted messaging or personalization, key components for success in the modern landscape.
What Is Inbound Marketing And How Does It Differ?
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, shuns this “push” dynamic of intrusive marketing. Instead, the focus is on getting the attention of interested parties. These people are actively looking for the solutions your company offers but may not specifically know you by name. Inbound is achieved through highly effective methods such as search engine optimization and content marketing. These processes help to direct potential customers towards relevant content.
Instead of advertising campaigns, inbound marketing is very content-focused. Here marketing teams develop blog posts, articles, videos, and other content-types that consumers find useful. It is a much more subtle marketing approach that does not include a direct sales pitch. The objective is to progressively move prospects down the sales funnel. This is done through informative content that increases brand awareness and drives engagement until they are ready to buy.
Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing: What Is More Effective?
The battle of inbound vs outbound marketing leans heavily towards inbound as the more effective strategy. The targeted nature of inbound makes it a lot more efficient. For starters people who are targeted by inbound marketing have typically shown a genuine interest in the respective communications. Additionally, the consumed content adds clear value in one way or another, which makes it the better tactical approach.
Where outbound marketing speaks to intrusive, one-way communication, inbound marketing helps to foster a constructive dialogue. When content adds value, the people engaging with it are far more likely to comment and share it with others. It not only boosts brand awareness thanks to the power of social media but is also a foundation for brand loyalty for prospects. This is key when the time to make a buying decision comes.
With such clear benefits, outbound marketing is now taking a few pages out of the inbound methodology. Cutting-edge technologies like pixel-based retargeting and contextual ads allow social media platforms and search engines to have more target adverts. This demonstrates how outbound marketers are learning lessons from their inbound counterparts regarding meeting consumers need and providing value.
Ultimately, the answer to inbound vs outbound is not a simple one. It entirely depends on your company’s circumstances. A combination of the two can also deliver great results. However, if it comes down to one over the other, then inbound marketing is the strategic marketer’s choice for the reasons outlined above.