Pepsi or Coke? Superman or Batman? Bud Light or Miller Lite? Star Wars or Star Trek? When it comes to these questions, everyone has an opinion. But where do you stand on outbound or inbound marketing? To help you determine which strategy is best for you, you’ll need to understand the basic differences between inbound and outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is a traditional method of marketing where companies are putting out information to gain exposure. It casts a wide net across the market in hopes that someone will be interested. Examples of outbound marketing include trade shows, advertising, brochures and telemarketing.
Inbound marketing is taking in information to gain exposure. Essentially, inbound allows customers to find information about the company on their own terms. Your business is attracting customers naturally by providing them with content that they find of interest. Examples of inbound marketing include posting a blog on social media, developing a how-to guide, or creating a savings calculator.
Outbound vs Inbound
While some businesses praise the success outbound has brought to them, particularly when it comes to creating brand recognition, outbound techniques are getting less and less effective for a variety of reasons. First, your average consumer is inundated with over 2,000 outbound marketing interruptions per day. For this reason, many customers flat-out ignore outbound messages. Second, many traditional outbound techniques are very time-consuming and costly, requiring that you put out maximum effort for minimum results.
Ensuring your marketing plan includes a variety of inbound techniques will:
- Grow your business by building meaningful and lasting relationships with customers
- Position your company as a thought leader within the industry
- Provide your sales team with the tools they need to support customers in any situation or stage of the buyer’s journey
While it does appear that inbound is quickly becoming the ideal strategy for many innovative marketers, there really is no wrong answer when it comes to choosing between outbound, inbound, or a combination of the two. The correct answer will always be choosing the marketing strategy that works best for your company. However, there are definitely wrong answers to the questions posed at the beginning of this blog. The only acceptable answers are Coke, Batman, Bud Light and Star Wars!