Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing:

Which One Is Better for Your Marketing Strategy?

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When planning a new strategy for meeting your marketing goals for the next year or a new product or service, the debate between outbound and inbound marketing comes up. Unfortunately, businesses and marketers get caught up in comparing the two and thinking about which one is better. But, the more important consideration between the argument of outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing is which one your business needs for a particular situation. Of course, to make the best decision for your business, you need to understand outbound and inbound marketing and this is what this article aims to help you with.

Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing The Key Difference

The initiator of the encounter is the key factor that determines whether a marketing strategy is outbound or inbound. An outbound marketing strategy proactively seeks the attention of your audience and pushes your message to them to prompt them to take action. On the other hand, inbound marketing involves creating content that is interesting and relevant to your audience and using tactics to increase the chances of them finding it when they are looking for it.

As you can see, the business has a more active approach in outbound marketing while it takes on a passive stance in inbound marketing. Both of these methods can create results for your business and complement the other to improve the results you get from your marketing campaigns.

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What You Need to Know About Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing strategies are the oldest methods of marketing a business and its products or services to its target market. It has gained a negative reputation because of its repetitive and interruptive nature. But, this does not have to be the case (especially with how its digital counterparts are targeted towards a relevant and interested audience). Outbound marketing channels are still a profitable and worthwhile investment for businesses. In some cases, it might even be an essential part of your marketing mix.

What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing is any marketing strategy that involves the business “reaching out” to its customers. What you would call traditional marketing is what you think of as outbound marketing. These include cold calls, sales calls, radio and T.V. advertising, flyers, events, trade shows, door-to-door sales, and press releases. However, digital marketing also has its outbound marketing strategies in digital advertising, cold emailing or messaging, text message blasts, content syndication, influencer outreach, media outreach, and some forms of email marketing.

Reasons to use outbound marketing

Helps boost your brand awareness

Outbound marketing remains the best in increasing people’s awareness of your brand. Well-designed ads can catch people’s attention and those interested or qualified are more likely to act upon your offer. With digital methods, your outbound strategies become even more effective since you can work with influencers, websites, and publications that have a similar audience as you do.

Creates more immediate results

You are taking on a proactive approach with outbound marketing. Therefore, it is not surprising that outbound methods create results faster. In some cases, traditional and digital advertising is the best, if not the only, method for specific marketing tactics. For example, if you have a limited time or a very compelling offer, advertising it on the relevant channels will get you the best results.

Faster to implement

Outbound marketing strategies do not require the same time investment that inbound marketing does. You do not have to invest in creating a significant amount of content on social media, video-sharing platforms, or your website before you can see the results of your efforts. You also do not need to wait for the turnaround time for search engines to find and rank your site or for social media algorithms to push your content to a relevant audience.

Some methods can be measured

Although traditional methods of outbound marketing are not trackable, this is not the case for digital methods. Different forms of digital advertising can track the number of clicks and impressions it gets from your target audience. Some marketing automation tools even let you see their collective actions after reaching your landing page.

Disadvantages of outbound marketing

Dependent on how much you spend

Outbound marketing can get expensive. There is an associated cost for every ad, influencer content, and third-party publication. Moreover, the costs will scale if you want to reach more people and get more clicks or impressions on your advertisements. This is the same for traditional forms of advertising since the more prominent ad spaces have a higher cost.

Some methods cannot be measured

Traditional forms of advertising are focused on sending out a message to your audience and nothing else. Although there are estimates on viewership for TV and radio and foot traffic for billboards, there is no way to get an accurate figure on how many are taking action on the call to action of your ad after seeing it. This makes it difficult to determine if spending on a particular ad space has a good return on investment.

More resistance from your audience

Outbound methods of marketing are interrupting your audience’s experience wherever you place them. Because of this, your audience has a good chance of tuning out your ad when they come across it on their day-to-day, on the TV or radio, or the internet. This is also the case for influencer marketing since their sponsored content and ad spots have the lowest engagements.

How Inbound Marketing Can Fit Into
Your Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing strategies came into prominence when the internet introduced new methods of marketing for businesses. People can search for information online that answers their questions or educates them about their interests. This gave businesses a way to engage an audience that is actively looking for their offer. Moreover, with video and social media, businesses can engage their audience in a more relatable manner through their pages or the content of other influential figures online.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is strategies that create platforms for a target audience to find the content they want. This content could be in the form of information that answers their questions about your industry, product, or service, or it could be in the form of entertainment that appeals to your audience. As for the platform, this can come in the form of a website you own, or third-party websites like social media, YouTube, and TikTok. Although some of these platforms are free, inbound marketing still requires some investment. You can’t just post content on your website, social media, or video-sharing websites and expect your audience to find and see it as valuable. You need to find out what interests them and create a way to lead them to your platform. This is where SEO, content marketing, social media marketing and management, video marketing, and other inbound digital marketing strategies come into play.

Reasons to use inbound marketing

Attracts an interested audience to your brand

Inbound marketing strategies do not interrupt their time browsing the internet. When they encounter your brand, they want to be there. As a result, they are more receptive to the information you provide. This includes the information that speaks favorably of the services you offer.

Moreover, some segments of your audience have a pressing need for the product or service you offer. They have a good chance of hiring, purchasing, or inquiring from you as long as they can find you and you provide them with a better offer than their other options.

Higher return on investment

Since inbound marketing attracts an audience that already has an interest in what you offer, it has a better rate of conversion than outbound methods. Because of this, the cost for each new lead or sale is lower than outbound methods.

Enables you to build a stronger relationship with your customers

Inbound marketing, particularly social media, helps you connect with your customers. Your interaction with them goes beyond your posting content and them viewing it. They can also interact with you through comments, tag you in their posts, and post on your wall or profile. These interactions will not only help you in converting them into customers but also into loyal customers and followers of your brand.

Disadvantages of inbound marketing

Requires a significant investment

Inbound marketing strategies cost a lot in terms of time and money. You need a wide variety of skills to attract your target audience to your website or social media, and to create valuable content for them. You will need to learn this yourself, hire the right people, or outsource it to an agency or a few freelancers.

Takes time to see the results

It will take time before you can see significant results from your inbound marketing efforts. You can’t build an organic following on social media in an instant and it will also take some experimenting to figure out the content that works for your audience. The same can be said for your website since SEO takes time and requires consistent content publication.

Competing against other brands and content creators for attention

When it comes to inbound marketing, you are not only competing with businesses that offer similar products or services. You are also competing with other websites that target the same keywords and other profiles or channels that produce the content on the same platform. This does not make it impossible for you to attract your audience’s attention. But, it does require you to have a unique voice and content that will stand out from what others offer.

Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing: You Should Use Both!

From reading about the different inbound vs outbound marketing examples, you have probably realized that the only way to go about it is to use both methods in your marketing mix. It should never be a choice between the two since using them both will give a better advantage to your business than confining yourself to only one between inbound and outbound marketing.

This applies regardless of the type of business you have. B2C businesses require a balance of both strategies for your marketing to be sustainable and effective. As for B2B, inbound vs outbound marketing are both effective in attracting the relevant decision makers of your target clients.

Get Started with

Inbound and Outbound Digital Marketing

From this article, you have learned a lot about what is inbound and outbound marketing in digital marketing. But, there is more to it than simply knowing what they are for you to implement them in your business. This is where Big Market Solutions can help you.

With our free marketing consultation, you can find out how the various digital marketing strategies can apply to your business. Whether it’s inbound marketing, content marketing, or digital advertising, we can help you with it. So, contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

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