Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

What’s the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing and is one more effective than the other? Well, the average person is exposed to around 4,000-10,000 marketing messages each day, but we often don’t notice the majority of them because we have become so good at tuning them out. There is a staggering amount of competition for prospective customers’ attention, which makes marketers question the best way to get customers’ attention and interest in their product or service.

There are two main categories these messages fall into—inbound marketing and outbound marketing.

WHAT IS OUTBOUND MARKETING?

Outbound marketing is the traditional marketing method that involves one-way communication where marketers promote products or services to customers, typically focusing on features and benefits. In this method, the marketer simply tries to sell its brand, and it is usually a mass marketing approach where the biggest budget wins. Despite being costly, and often ignored or perceived as spammy, outbound marketing can actually be an effective way to raise brand awareness of new products or companies. They can also be faster to implement, relatively easy to track, and can work well in content-saturated markets.

 

OUTBOUND MARKETING

  • Cold Calls
  • Direct Mail
  • TV/Radio Ads
  • Print Ads
  • Paid Search
  • Door-to-door Sales

PROS AND CONS OF OUTBOUND MARKETING

In outbound marketing, the marketer clearly tries to sell its brand, and it is usually a mass marketing approach where the biggest budget wins. Despite being costly, and often ignored or perceived as spammy, outbound marketing can actually be an effective way to raise brand awareness of new products or companies. They can also be faster to implement, relatively easy to track, and can work well in content-saturated markets.

WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING?

Inbound Marketing is a method of marketing that involves drawing customers in and building trust by putting out valuable content tailored to specific audiences before they are even ready to buy. Using this method, marketers are focused more on delivering value rather than selling their company, with hopes that someone will become interested and subscribe to receive a newsletter, then eventually buy. This method has grown in popularity in the last decade and has proven to be successful for many companies. Inbound marketing is less obtrusive and can draw in higher quality leads because people are opting in to receive messages. Inbound marketing is also typically less expensive and more targeted than outbound marketing. Some downsides to inbound marketing are that it can take longer to build momentum, results are difficult to track, and it’s highly competitive in some industries.

 

INBOUND MARKETING

  • Educational Content
  • Blogs
  • Earned Social Media
  • Search Engine Optimization 
  • Newsletters
  • SEO and Organic Search

PROS AND CONS OF INBOUND MARKETING

Inbound Marketing is more focused more on delivering value rather than selling, with hopes that someone will become interested in following a company’s content, then eventually buy. This method has grown in popularity in the last decade and has proven to be successful for many companies. Inbound marketing is less obtrusive and can draw in higher quality leads because people are opting in to receive messages. Inbound marketing is also typically less expensive and more targeted than outbound marketing. Some downsides to inbound marketing are that it can take longer to build momentum, results are difficult to track, and it’s highly competitive in some industries.

WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Generally speaking, outbound marketing is becoming less effective due to the number of marketing messages that consumers receive and ignore. With inbound marketing, you are getting found by people already learning about and searching for your industry. As Hubspot puts it, “you need to set your website up like a ‘hub’ for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, blogging, and social media.”

However, many companies use a blend of both marketing methods, which can be highly effective. For example, ensuring that your ad shows up during a relevant Google search (Outbound) can increase traffic to your website, while the quality and value of the content on your website (Inbound) draws customers further into your sales funnel.

Inbound marketing is especially important for companies with offerings that require a lot of consideration from prospects, and therefore need a lot of leads coming through the funnel, such as with B2B companies with complex products or services where it takes a lot of research to make the right purchase decision. If you’re not getting what you need with your old-school marketing efforts, consider building an inbound marketing plan as inbound has a higher ROI than traditional marketing methods.