Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

There is some debate on which marketing strategy is most effective, or rather, whether or not outbound marketing is still relevant. New age marketers are quick to point out that inbound marketing is far cheaper compared to outbound marketing, and the leads generated from inbound marketing tactics are more likely to convert to sales. Before joining the argument, let us first take a closer look at the two marketing strategies.

Inbound Marketing

The premise of inbound marketing is to attract prospects to come to you of their own free will by rousing their interest in your product, service or brand through helpful information. It is a two-way communication that makes use of various media available on the internet with the goal of educating or entertaining your target market and providing them with the information that they want.

As a marketing tactic, inbound strategies rely much on the internet, which isn’t at all an inconvenience in this day and age where everyone’s instinct whenever they want to know something about anything is to “google” it. The same holds true for consumers. When a consumer wants to purchase something, the initial instinct is to look for reviews and comments about it on the web.

Inbound marketing makes use of websites, SEO, inbound telemarketing and an active social media presence. An informative and engaging content marketing strategy which includes blogs, podcasts, white papers, vlogs, ebooks, and attractive infographics is created to entice your target market to come to you.

For this marketing tactic, you have to make sure that your online presence interprets your brand as reliable and informative. And if you really want to keep attracting more leads, you have to keep it entertaining as well. As long as they know that you can provide them with what they need, your target market will keep coming back to you, and if they wish to purchase, your brand will be on the top of their list because they know they can trust you.

Outbound Marketing

This marketing strategy can be considered as mainly “traditional.” Outbound marketing normally makes use of paid advertisements, TV commercials, huge billboards, outbound telemarketing through cold calling, email marketing, direct mail and trade shows.

Although considerably more expensive compared to inbound marketing, outbound strategies are more effective in generating lead volume, providing a greater quantity of leads for filling the top of the pipeline. Also, by utilizing behavioral analytics on target markets, this marketing tactic can actively seek out and appeal to specific audiences. It is also able to reach a wider audience within a short span of time, as in the case of billboards and TV commercials.

Outbound tactics are mostly used in B2B marketing. Unlike B2C companies, B2B companies don’t have the luxury of leads who actively seek out their products and services as most of their leads already have them. It is the goal of outbound marketing to show these leads that there are better products and services than the ones they are currently using.

Inbound marketing is able to provide quality leads for a cheaper price, but quality without quantity can never sustain a business, and it is outbound marketing who is able to provide the required numbers. In the end, the best marketing strategy is to combine the best of both in developing your own marketing plan to generate as much qualified leads for your business.
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