Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing Strategies

Posted by Ken Semple

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The inbound marketing kangaroo knocks out the old and tired outbound marketerOutbound marketing is the old way and inbound marketing is the new way. But why? What’s the difference? Let’s take a look.

Outbound marketing pushes your message into peoples face through old fashioned style commercials and advertisements in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. These messages are often pushy sales messages to a wide audience, most of whom aren’t interested in what you have to offer.

Inbound marketing focuses on ensuring you are found by your customers when they need you. Inbound marketing is a well defined process which ensures you are found, and once found, works people from strangers to leads to customers by engaging with them and providing what they need when they need it as they proceed through their buying process.

Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing

Outbound marketing

Inbound marketing gets you found by the people who need you, when they need you. Both when searching for you, your products and services and when researching their issues and problems

Outbound marketing sprays messages to various outlets to a wide audience hoping enough people will take notice and contact you when they need you

Most people now use the Internet to research a purchase. Both B2C and B2B

You won’t get found when people research on the Internet

People actively seek out your educational content

People actively try to avoid your advertising. Mute and fast forward TV Ads, switch radio stations to avoid the Ads. Screen telephone calls or go on the do not call list. And, really, who buys the newspaper anymore or reads the Ads in magazines

The inbound marketing process recognises that not everyone is ready to buy now. People are “nurtured” or guided through their buying process so they buy from you when they’re ready to buy

Outbound marketing requires people to see your message when they’re ready to buy in order for you to be considered, meaning you need to continually send your message through often expensive media outlets.

With Inbound marketing you target search keywords

With outbound marketing you target particular channels like industry magazines and journals or direct mail to a selected audience

You build content assets which continue to work long after they’re published

Your marketing disappears at the end of the campaign and produces no more results for all the work done in creating the campaigns

Works better for larger purchases which require research

Works better for small impulse purchases

Your audience continually builds allowing interaction, referral and up selling long after the initial purchase

Your messages are only heard by whomever is listening as they’re broadcast

Most people now search online before buying. The proportion of people over 55 searching the internet is lower

If your target audience is over 55 you may get better results through outbound marketing


The cosmic shift in how people buy

Over the last couple of years there has been a cosmic shift in the way people buy.

Where people used to pick up the Yellow Pages and work their way through it looking for the right solution, they now search the Internet. In most households today, the yellow pages sits on the shelf all year until the new one comes in.

This change was fairly progressive from around the year 2000 until a few years ago when the change moved exponentially to the point where now more than 80% of people start they buying process online.

The saturation of smart phones now means people have the Internet in their pocket wherever they are. When they need an answer to something, they just search for it.

Inbound marketing makes the most of this change in buyer behaviour, becoming more and more effective over time whilst outbound marketing is becoming less and less effective.

Inbound marketing works better for...

Inbound marketing works better for some businesses than for other businesses. What makes an ideal business for inbound marketing?

  • A product or service which people generally research before making a buying decision

  • High lifetime client value. The initial purchase might be a low value, but they keep coming back

  • Understand the concept of a lead

  • Have a sales process

Inbound marketing involves developing a lot of content. Your business must have the capacity to develop this content or be able to outsource it’s development

Stick to outbound marketing if...

You sell something people buy on impulse or generally go down to the local shopping centre for, stick with outbound marketing.

Your business doesn’t define what makes a qualified lead or doesn’t have a sales process, stick with outbound marketing.

You have a turnover of under $2M you most likely won’t have the capacity to run an effective inbound marketing strategy.

Key takeaways

Inbound marketing is the optimal way to market most businesses today because it taps into the way people buy today.

Inbound marketing isn’t right for every business and, in most cases, you shouldn’t put all your marketing eggs in the inbound marketing basket. Ask an expert for a free Inbound Marketing Assessment where you’ll find out whether inbound marketing is right for your business.


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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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