Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

There is a lot of talk about inbound and outbound marketing these days. Many businesses are moving their marketing practices towards Inbound Marketing and away from Outbound Marketing in order to reach, potential customers more cost effectively. However, what is the difference between inbound and Outbound Marketing?

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing (also called content marketing and pull marketing) is the process of bringing potential customers to your business by going where your potential customers and customers hang out, engaging in conversations with them and drawing them to your website, blog or brick and mortar store.

Inbound Marketing is about providing content that is interesting to people who want to learn about the subject you are addressing. It is about sharing your knowledge and message in a variety of forms to readers and engaging them in conversations.

Inbound Marketing tactics used by businesses to reach potential customers and current customers include blogs, articles, newsletters, twitter, facebook, webinars, podcasts, videos, social networking sites, and websites just to name a few. The key to Inbound Marketing is integrating a variety of methods to reach readers.

Pros of Inbound Marketing:
• Inexpensive
• Can be handled by one person
• Effective for all size businesses
• Levels the playing field
• Reaches targeted buyers
• Build credibility and loyalty
• You know that prospects are interested because they have engaged in conversations with you

Cons of Inbound Marketing:
• Time consuming
• Can be overwhelming
• Can be slow to produce results
• Learning curve can be long and confusing
• Can be difficult to measure results

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound Marketing (also called interruption marketing and push marketing) is the process of pushing potential customers toward your business by interrupting potential customers and customers with your message in places where they hang out. Outbound marketing is about telling listeners about your product or service and pushing them toward your website, blog or brick and mortar store.

Outbound Marketing is about telling the people who are listening what you think is important about your product or service. Outbound Marketing is about reaching the masses and telling talking to them, interrupting as many people as possible in order to find potential customers.

Outbound Marketing tactics used by businesses to reach potential customers and current customers include cold-calling, commercials, post-cards, direct mail, radio spots, trade shows, just to name a few. The key to Outbound Marketing is reaching as many people as possible to attract enough people to purchase your product or service.

Pros of Outbound Marketing:
• Reaches the masses
• Effectiveness can be measured
• Offers tried and true results
• Potential customers are familiar with Outbound Marketing methods

Cons of Outbound Marketing:
• Expensive
• Conversions rates are very low, usually 1-3%
• Harder to get prospects to listen to messages
• Prospects are turned off by interruption messages
• Prospects are less trustful of outbound messages
• Does not engage prospects

Should you choose one method over the other?

The answer to this question depends on the type of business you operate, your objectives and budget. A good marketing plan will encompass a combination of inbound and outbound marketing to reach prospects and current customers.

Your Turn:

What are your thoughts?

In what ways are you using Inbound and Outbound marketing effectively?

What I want you to do next:

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2 Comments to Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

  1. [...] Hubspot surveyed 3339 marketing professionals in 128 countries about the current state of inbound marketing. [...]

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  2. [...] Inbound and outbound tactics you could use: [...]

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