Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing
The topic of having an inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing strategy might be one of the most exciting discussions that marketers can have. Which strategy works best? Which strategy costs the least? Which strategy even works for your organization?
The fact is, that high performing marketing departments are using a dual strategy when it comes to inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing.
Historical Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing – How has this historically been defined? Well, it doesn’t really have a historical definition because it is a relatively new concept that has emerged. About a decade ago, buyers realized they could choose their own journey when it came time to research and discover products they were interested in. Rather than relying on vendors for information, buyers turned to the internet to conduct their own research.
If we absolutely had to provide a historical definition, the closest comparison we can draw is something along the lines of Peer-to-peer referrals, because at its core inbound marketing is about getting your customers to come to you. And before our buyers had access to the internet and were able to look up reviews, they talked to people they knew and trusted to obtain an opinion about a particular product or service.
Mondern Inbound Marketing
But now we can define inbound marketing as activities that are designed to attract the attention of customers and prospects with the purpose of giving them a reason to come to you. In the context of comparing inbound marketing vs outbound marketing – inbound is commonly referred to as pull marketing and outbound is push marketing, because you are using a number of tactics and great content to pull the attention of your prospects to your brand. You are essentially giving your prospects the freedom to determine their own path to purchase, but you are leaving breadcrumbs or markers along the way that allow them to find you. While many businesses use inbound to build brands and improve customer retention, it’s used most effectively as a top of funnel tactic.
And it’s no wonder inbound is one of the hottest trends in business today – it’s a great concept! You create a lot of value around your brand and compel customers to come to you. What’s not to like? And according to a stat by the Earnest Agency – 9 out of 10 buyers say that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. And Inbound marketing at its core is all about making it easier for your prospects to find you.
Historical Outbound Marketing
Outbound in the past has always been about pushing your message to mass audiences. It’s sort of this one-size fits all approach that really represents the Mad Men era of marketing. You spent enormous amounts of money on one campaign message and pushed it to as many people as you could trying to get the most exposure possible. It has been referred to as “interruption marketing” because the message didn’t have any element of personalization or relevance to your prospects and some of the tactics like cold-calling interrupted the lives of your prospects.
Unfortunately, this has given outbound marketing a bad reputation but with the infusion of technology, the tactics for this strategy have evolved and so has the way we can define it
Mondern Outbound Marketing
Today we can define outbound marketing as a push of relevant messaging to known personas that address their pain points and interests, so you stay top-of-mind in the decision making process. See the difference? Using behavior profiling and activity history, marketers now, more so than ever have the ability to create personalized messages with relevant information, and can reach their prospects on a more personal level.
So let’s give this a little context and use emails as an example. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving an email that doesn’t apply to you. It clogs up your inbox, it sucks up precious seconds of your day having to hit delete, and you become frustrated. But it becomes a completely different story if they are sending you information that is relevant, timely and interesting. For instance, if I download a whitepaper on a website and receive an email from the organization thanking me for the download and suggesting other pieces of content that relate to what I’ve just downloaded, I am much more likely to view tMarketingional content then I would have if I was just getting a blanketed promo message for content that has nothing to do with my interests.
Inbound Marketing and Outbound Markeing: Activate Your Dual Powered Marketing
View an on demand video here in which we disucss how to effectively integrate both inbound marketing and outbound marketing strategies into your marketing plan.
During the video, we discuss:
1. Modern definitions of inbound and outbound marketing
2. Best practices and benefits of each strategy
3. How to integrate both strategies into your marketing plan
4. How to measure success
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