What’s the Difference Between Outbound and Inbound Marketing?
When it comes to product marketing, an effective marketing strategy can raise profits and further your customer base. For introducing their products, two separate approaches that sales teams use are outbound and inbound marketing.
Having more understanding regarding these marketing strategies and how they differ among themselves will give you better insight into when and why to use each.
We’ll explore the distinctions between the outbound and inbound types of marketing, then examine the principles of each.
Defining outbound marketing
Outbound marketing is a tactic used for advertising where brands start the initial contact with potential leads. In outbound marketing, brands strive to be heard by as many leads as possible during an active campaign, not waiting for the audience to discover the brand themselves. Rather, brands take a more active approach, using outbound marketing methods including:
A primary illustration of outbound marketing is the emailing of marketing content to leads who could be potential customers. This email material might be sent randomly or to those who previously engaged with the company and may consist of discount offers, product ads, or limited-time specials.
The outbound marketing approach using cold calls consists of sales reps directly calling leads in an effort to increase sales. As with emailing strategies, cold calls are geared toward increasing profits through offers, deals, and limited-time specials. A sales team can also use cold calls to target former customers, with the goal of turning them into repeat customers by inquiring about their previous shopping experience and recommending new items based on their selections.
Direct mail is one more technique for outbound marketing. Though much like email and direct calls, direct mail offers a little more opportunity for transitioning leads to sales by its ability to send direct offers to a lead’s physical mailbox. Though a cold call’s attempts may prove unfruitful as the lead ends the rep’s call, a coupon through direct mail is a tangible reminder of the deal long after the mail was first opened, which might encourage a purchase.
Defining inbound marketing
Marketing teams use inbound marketing to build brand awareness by drawing new consumers. Through pull marketing, the endeavor to boost demand for a good or service, marketers develop as many ad promotions as possible to motivate consumers to make a purchase.
While outbound marketing might involve radio or TV ads or sales calls, inbound marketing aspires to target consumers in an informal capacity. For instance:
As a form of inbound marketing, blogs focus on visitors who might have interest in a product associated with their tastes. For instance, a brand might compose and publish a post detailing their hiking gear to transform outdoor enthusiasts from leads into purchasers. An in-house employee might publish posts for a brand’s blog, or the brand might designate out-of-house writers or popular influencer bloggers to write a sponsored advertorial.
Social media is another inbound marketing method for marketers seeking to guide consumers to their brand. As with blogs, social media enables businesses to display details in a manner that can speak to numerous potential customers. Marketers can accomplish this through the brand’s social media account or as a sponsored post from an influential personality with a popular following. Posting through social media allows a company to present its products and offers to potential customers in a natural way as these customers browse content corresponding to their interests.
Another form of inbound marketing is search engine optimization (SEO), which aspires to grow the number of visitors to a site from a search engine. Through refining keywords and other parts of content, enabling pages to have higher search engine ranking and visibility, a brand can publish details of what it offers using web pages, blog articles, and social media posts. SEO can help possible customers find a brand’s products more easily if it pertains to items they’re seeking through an internet search.
Contrasting the differences between outbound marketing and inbound marketing
Although outbound marketing offers a more direct route to a potential buyer, it might not attract the customer as effectively as inbound marketing. Outbound marketing reaches a consumer straightway, no matter the customer’s current circumstance, who might find it inconvenient to discuss a product purchase at the time, disregarding the offer.
Inbound marketing tries to reach visitors during engagement with their interests and hobbies through blog or social media posts or as they browse the internet. This method can make the ad more appealing, being connected to their interests and appearing at a moment when they are currently interacting with content.
Outbound marketing focuses on selling a product or service through direct customer contact. This kind of sales needs alternate approaches and means to be successful. Inbound marketing focuses on selling a product or service by presenting an ad so alluring that the consumer reaches out to the business. This results in the customer making the research effort to learn about the brand and what it offers, instead of the brand making the effort to reach out to the customer.
As outbound marketing aims to connect with leads who may become buyers, the strategies for outbound marketing may take different tactics than those used for inbound. Sales calls, email campaigns, and direct mail advertising may try to reach consumers through brand interest, shown by having given the brand their phone number, email address, or mailing address at a previous time. Outbound marketing can apply to both prior and potential customers.
Inbound marketing focuses on an audience’s interests, hobbies, or preferences while searching the web. Through a brand’s blog and social media post advertising, companies can present products in line with a customer’s current wants or needs, increasing the odds of a sale. For instance, a clothing brand might advertise a new line of footwear on a popular fashion blog.
While outbound marketing uses a more proactive, wide-sweeping approach in reaching out to consumers to encourage sales, inbound marketing focuses on creating and publishing marketing content that subtly attracts targeted visitors to your brand for an eventual purchase.
With the ability of modern smartphones to detect and filter sales calls before even answering, computer ad-blockers to block pop-up ads, and people in general prone to being desensitized to banner ads, traditional outbound marketing has lost some of its effectiveness. Keeping this in mind, many brands choose to use a fusion of outbound and inbound marketing to reach today’s audience. Businesses can develop brand awareness and audience engagement through inbound marketing while presenting the hard sell to another consumer group through outbound marketing.