All of us see a lot of ads around us every day, the number of ads may vary based on our access to digital media, mobile apps, TV, newspaper, social media, radio, outdoor banners, and brochures. Now if you are a marketer, you sure have a whopping number of competitors lurking in the shadows. Saying the right thing to the right audience with the right zest is crucial in sales and marketing. So, how do you make a difference amidst these ads? What do you say to your niche audience when they see you? The two distinct ways B2B marketers can use to get their brand or business noticed are Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing. Now being in the digital realm, you would have come across these terms often. But have you really figured out what do they exactly mean?
Inbound and outbound marketing doesn’t just revolve around words and creative ads. They are a crucial concept of how marketing works on different platforms, and together they form the perfect formula of an epic marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at these two backbones of marketing:
What is Outbound Marketing?
The heart and soul of Outbound Marketing are ‘The Old Classic’.
It is a traditional form of marketing where the content is pushed towards the audience whether the audience wants it or not. It basically is a sales tactic where marketers get an ad reach a large number of people. People are not segregated based on their preference and many of whom may not even be actively searching for the brand or product.
Outbound marketing is more like advertising the product, its value, and the reasons why people should buy it.
The classic example of outbound marketing is television advertisements. They have their own appeal, undeniably.
Since the inception of inbound marketing and digital marketing, outbound marketing has lost its flavor. Various internet platforms have made people overlook display advertisements.
Examples of outbound marketing include cold emails, cold calls, banners, TV ads, radio announcements, direct mails, events, posters and pamphlets, and press releases.
Why is Outbound Marketing Losing its Charm?
There is one huge problem with outbound marketing: it is very generic. In order to appeal to a large number of audiences, it becomes impossible for traditional marketing to be relevant and personalized to address specific problems and needs.
The biggest drawback that outbound marketing faces now is that people are skipping it. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and similar ad-free video streaming platforms have made people skip TV entirely. Because of constant cold emails and calls, people have started to unsubscribe from such features.
Digital music services like Spotify have made it easier for listeners to avoid radio altogether.
People have stopped opening direct mails, and the average banner ad response has come down to 1/10th of 1 percent.
What is Inbound Marketing?
The heart and soul of Inbound Marketing are ‘Content’.
A relatively new marketing concept, inbound marketing is a way of attracting customers with interesting and relevant content. The content can be anything between blog posts, infographics, social media captions, tagline and emailers, news clips, viral content, white papers, case studies. That’s why this is popularly known as content marketing.
If you click on a blog just by reading its headline or title, a marketer will be happy somewhere for his marketing strategy worked. Inbound marketing can be tricky but highly effective. It’s a long-term play, but extremely dynamic, long-term play.
Content marketing works on the idea: Let’s not send general messages to an uninterested audience. Let’s rather identify our real customers, those who are actively looking for us, and offer them solutions via content.
Inbound marketing is providing help, guidance, education, and information directly related to what audiences are searching for. It is, in a way, exploiting audience to take actions.
Content marketing consist of three stages:
- Stage 1: The beginning, where the customer gets familiar with solutions for their problems.
- Stage 2: The mid, where the customer compares a set of potential solutions.
- Stage 3: The end of the journey, where the customer takes the final decision, i.e., making a choice.
Different types of contents or topics are used to align these three stages. You offer customers content via blog or video, and you ensure that your information satisfies the needs of the customers at all stages of their journey.
Examples of Inbound Marketing include website content, blogs, vlogs, SEO, white papers, social media ad campaigns, webinars, eBooks, surveys, studies, research reports, and infographics.
Why Inbound Marketing Works Better?
Here are a few facts collected from the Demandmetric’s infographic about content marketing.
- It is inexpensive. It costs 62% less per lead when compared to outbound marketing.
- Content marketing can generate 3X more leads with the same amount spend on one outbound marketing.
- An average user spends 20% of their time viewing online content.
- 70% of people prefer learning about a brand or business through content than traditional advertisements.
- The audience considers the information offered in content marketing as high quality, relevant, and valuable.
Difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
In a nutshell, the differences between Inbound and outbound marketing look like this:
|Inbound Marketing||Outbound Marketing|
|Targets a niche audience||Targets everyone|
|Specific, relevant, and customized content||Generic content to appeal to everyone|
|Written from consumers’ needs and problems point of view||Written from the products’ point of view|
|Draws consumers in||Reaches out to customers|
|It is part of the bigger picture||It is the beginning|
|Contemporary approach||Traditional approach|
|Uses all digital channels: Blogs, websites, email campaigns, app notifications, social media, video streaming channels, etc||Uses traditional means: display boards, banners, brochures, cold-callers, TV, magazines, etc|
|Affordable and hits the right target in less time||Expensive, no specific target, and no TAT|
|Hard to scale||Easy to scale|
|Creates brand awareness and provides value||Gives hard sales|
|Taps untapped potential||Incorporates inbound strategies to appeal|
Which Proves Effective – Inbound or Outbound Marketing?
- Both, truth be told.
- Both should be part of your marketing mix.
Let’s give you an example to make our point effective.
You own a library with thousands of informational books that are useful for students, scientists, teachers, artists, journalists, and historians. How do you market this to your readers?
Inbound Marketing: Make your library attractive; place books in order, alphabetically or categorically, such as history, science, development, IT, literature, biology, history, media and so on; hire staffs to greet the visitors and show them around the library;direct potential readers to the right category; make the library amicable and easily navigable; add more books every now on then and position them at the entrance; provide contest alerts and free giveaways.
Outbound Marketing: Send brochures and pamphlets about the library to the locals; call each newspaper company around and promote your library, visit schools and universities and let them know students can use your library, share ads on TV and radio.
Outbound marketing is the beginning, the foundation, and inbound marketing takes it further. While the former makes people curious and come to you, the latter brings them closer to you, appreciate you, recognize you, and ultimately buy from you.
Both have their own drawbacks, but both are essential to bringing a balance between advertising and retaining, appealing and associating, and short-term goals and long-term goals.
Please contact us to know how NeuroTags technology helps brands strengthen marketing strategy.