Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing What’s the Difference

Marketing is a business concept in which marketers tend to do everything in their power to grab their audiences’ attention. You come up with a variety of strategies. Often, you must mix some of these strategies and experiment to see what works well with your people. Some strategies might seem to resonate with your audiences, while others need to be tweaked. In the wide arena of business, outbound marketing and inbound marketing have found a new place at the heart of the marketing strategy.

Experts say that outbound marketing refers to the traditional process of marketing but with a fancier name. For many players, inbound marketing is an entirely new concept introduced by new-gen marketers. However, for any business to survive, regardless of being the conventional type or otherwise, both these concepts play a vital role in pleasing the customers. In this article, we will define both these concepts, examine their major differences, and help you understand the best choice for your business.

Inbound marketing

Content is always an important part of any online business. We create content in various forms for our businesses. Inbound marketing stems from content creation for blogs, whitepapers, email newsletters, and social media marketing. Inbound marketing can be considered a non-intrusive form of marketing where you use content to solve people’s problems and even help them make decisions that add value to their lives.

In inbound marketing, by means of value-added content, you are accompanying your customers through their user journey. The content used in inbound marketing includes keywords that people search for most often. Rather than invading people’s time and space with frequent ads and pushing them away, inbound marketing uses problem-solving content to attract people.

Using blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, videos, and others, you are driving people’s attention by providing them with solutions to their problems. When a business offers value-added content, people start following and trusting that business, which helps in enhancing the credibility of the brand.

Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing covers various marketing tactics, starting from cold calling, traditional advertising, such as radio, TV, to targeted email marketing, social media advertising, and pay-per-click ads. Outbound marketing intends to reach out to targeted audiences in hopes of pitching sales.

Earlier, outbound marketing used to be advertisements distributed or broadcast via radio, TV, or newspapers. Today, outbound marketing exists as spam emails.

Outbound marketing is limited only to getting the business message to potential clients, regardless of whether they want to receive it or not. One-way communication, such as outbound marketing, happens to be costly, and no value-addition is offered to the audiences.

According to experts, there is no guarantee that outbound marketing techniques can succeed at attracting audiences. However, inbound marketing works wonders at driving audience attention.

Let us look at the major differences between outbound marketing and inbound marketing:

Outbound marketing:

  • Attacking users with ads, regardless of whether they want it or not
  • Selling products is the main intent
  • Communication happens only one way
  • Outbound marketing occurs in various formats:

    • Cold calls
    • TV ads
    • Radio and newspaper ads
    • Billboards
    • Spam emails
    • PPC ads
  • Disrupting the content

Inbound marketing:

  • Attracting users with value-added content
  • There is no hard selling involved
  • Two-way communication is ensured
  • Inbound marketing occurs in the below formats:
    • Blogs
    • Vlogs
    • Videos
    • Podcasts
    • Social media
    • E-books
    • Newsletter
  • There is no content disruption

Outbound marketing will help you reach customers who have never heard of your business or brand. Outbound marketing will yield results instantly because people who like your ads are likely to act immediately and purchase from you.

Some or most of the outbound marketing techniques that we discussed earlier take time, effort, and money to bring results. However, inbound marketing techniques will always find a way to reach out to the target audiences.

If you are among the marketers who spend over 90% of their efforts on outbound marketing while spending as little as 10% of your efforts on inbound marketing, it is time to up your game.

Focus your efforts on inbound marketing and see what happens.

You can use inbound marketing to create content that offers specific solutions to a user’s journey.

  1. During the initial stages of their journey, people are familiarizing themselves with their problems and looking for assistance
  2. As they near the middle, they have a set of solutions; however, they are figuring out which one will help fix the problem
  3. By the end of the journey, due diligence is being done for decision-making

Their experience throughout the journey matters because a satisfied or delighted customer will turn into a promoter or advocate of your brand.

Wrapping up

Regardless of the marketing technique you choose for your business, make sure it aligns with the changing face of the marketing landscape. There is no one right marketing strategy for any business. You will have to constantly change tactics when reaching out to your people. What works for one business might not work for another. You need to experiment with new ideas and see what your people are attracted to.

You can even try mixing both inbound and outbound marketing techniques and see how these resonate with your people before you find the one that actually works.

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