"Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart." -Joe Chernov
In today's digital world, it's hard to miss the importance of marketing. From new startups to enterprises, local stores to eCommerce companies, from brand names to lifestyle stores, whatever the type of business, be it B2B or B2C, all are into leveraging different types of marketing. Marketing has become so significant that no matter how good your product or service is, if you are not implementing the best marketing strategy, you are not doing any business.There are also great chances of being ignored by both your prospects and customers if you are not marketing your product effectively.
All marketing can be classified into two categories: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Read on to understand the concept of inbound and outbound marketing, know their respective advantages and disadvantages and learn which marketing strategy is ideal for your business.
What’s the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a marketing approach to attract your potential buyers through helpful and insightful content, before they speak to your sales representative. As per a popular study, a buyer does 70% of online research on a product or service before he gets in touch with a company.
Outbound Marketing is the traditional form of marketing in which a company initiates sales pitch to its potential customers through various channels like TV commercials, radio ads, billboards, print media advertising, etc.
|Inbound Marketing||Outbound Marketing|
|Permission-based approach||Interruption-based approach|
|Pull marketing tactics||Push marketing tactics|
|Two way communication||One way communication|
|Customers come to the marketer||Customers are sought after|
|Channels: Blogs, Social media, Search engines, Email, Referrals||Channels: TV ads, Print ads, Radio, Billboards
|Produce quality leads and establish credibility||Grow brand awareness|
Few Examples of Inbound Marketing
- Blogging: As per HubSpot, B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more b2b leads than those that don’t, and receive 97% more links to their website.
- Social Media: Any business can get great results from social media if it is strategically planned. As per Adweek, by using Facebook's boosted posts, Dacia had placed ads about their Logan, Sandero and Stepway models. By including data from its past activity, the company made sure that a wide variety of ad testing was done, essentially optimising the advertisement’s impact based on where their customers were in the buying cycle.
- Email Marketing: Email newsletters are an excellent way to keep in touch with a business’s audience and turn interested prospects into loyal customers.
Few Examples of outbound marketing
- Commercials: Commercial advertising allows your business to build its customer base by taking your message directly to consumers.
- Direct Mail campaigns: A direct mail campaign can help increase your brand awareness and get interested prospects to look up to you.
- Cold Calling: You can get amazing results if you have a well planned B2B cold calling campaign without causing the inconvenience to anyone.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Inbound marketing
Advantages of Inbound marketing
- Content creation and publishing on different channels like social media, websites, blogs, etc., does not cost much as compared to outbound marketing.
- “What gets measured, gets managed.” – Peter Drucker. Campaigns through inbound marketing is easily measurable. A performance (visits, high-value leads, conversion, customers) of an inbound marketing campaign can be measured through web analytics tools.
- A high quality content (blog, thought leadership article, social post, video, etc.,) gather readership attention and will continue to drive relevant traffic, generate more conversions, as times goes on to.
- As some industries are saturated with high-quality social media posts, blogs, it's extremely challenging to stand out.
- A blog, even if it is well written and is of high-quality, it may take a lot of time and might not immediately result into increased revenue.
- One needs to understand the target audience very well to develop a winning content marketing strategy for them, as with inbound marketing, you are attracting your ideal audience instead of seeking them.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Outbound marketing.
Advantages of Outbound marketing
- If one has a good investment, initially it can drive lot of sales to business.
- It provides much faster results and can reach a wide range of audience quickly. For example, once you buy or place an ad, it can quickly be seen by your target audience
- One can pick and choose exactly whom they are sending the ad, email or message etc
- Most of the outbound marketing campaigns can cost more compared to the inbound marketing campaigns. It’s quite expensive to launch a TV commercial as compared to a blog, which you can be written for free.
- Measuring outbound marketing ROI (Return-on-investment) can be daunting task.
- An advertisement of your brand, if designed poorly can turn more people away than it can attract.
- An advertisement is also stopped as soon as you stop paying for it, but a quality blog can be on your website forever.
Is it Inbound or Outbound Marketing that is right for your business?
Which is Better?
Now that you have a good knowledge of both the sides of marketing strategies and the useful tools to market your business, it’s time to take the decision. But before that, answer the following questions to have a clear idea:
- Do your prospects need to be educated about your products or services before they purchase from you?
- Does your sales team have a tough time to connect with prospects?
- Does your product or service have a longer sales cycle?
- Do your prospects research your industry before they make a decision to purchase?
- Do you find traditional advertising like print, billboards, TV commercials, yellow pages giving you declining returns?
If you answered “Yes” to the questions above, the ideal choice will be inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the clear winner for generating qualified IT leads, winning customers and closing sales.
Today, inbound marketing is not only the most useful marketing strategy your business can use, but it is also more cost effective than outbound marketing. You can measure the results, track it, and the efforts can also be improved.
So now you know if you want to keep up with your competitors and customers, it’s time to implement inbound marketing.