If you have been marketing and trying to promote your business in the modern world, you have probably taken part in Inbound or Outbound Marketing. This issue about which is better has come to a peek in recent months as the power of social media and the internet continue to grow exponentially. If you have done much research on the subject, you will find that most people are saying to discard Outbound Marketing all together and go all in for Inbound. However, I think some analysis is in order. Don’t throw out Outbound marketing quite yet…
What are Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
It is important that you understand what the terms mean before we start weighing out the pros and cons. Inbound Marketing or New Marketing is any kind of marketing that attempts to earn business instead of buying it. Some examples of this kind of marketing are SEO, blogs, social media, infographics, or videos. Your goal using this method is to give the user content and earn their trust and business when they are searching for your business or content.
Outbound Marketing or Old Marketing is advertising in an attempt to show potential clients your business and buy their sales. This kind of marketing includes things like billboards, television ads, newspaper ads, trade shows, PPC, and cold calls. Mainly, outbound tries to interrupt the client and cause them to become aware of the business.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Outbound Marketing
Outbound can be an effective advertising method. It can target a specific niche and get their attention without the consumer actually looking for or knowing they need the product or service. It also can greatly increase business exposure and simply make potential customers aware that your business exists. Cold calls, television ads, billboards, and the like can generate sales. Sometimes this kind of marketing can be annoying to the consumer, but it is a faster way to receive leads than Inbound Marketing. It also generally takes less time to actually create the advertisement and sales than Inbound.
The problems with Outbound Marketing are that it irritates most people and is more expensive for fewer overall sales. 200 million Americans are on the do not call list and 86% of people skip commercials. Trade shows, direct mail, television ads, and billboards are expensive, as I am sure you know if you have ever tried marketing this way. Another issue with the Outbound Marketing system is that it offers no direct way for interaction between the client and the business, which is a big problem in the social society in which we live.
The Pros and Cons of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing is relatively new when compared to the old system, and it can offer great benefits for business. The best thing about this form of advertising is that it is relatively inexpensive. On average, Inbound Marketing costs 62% less than Outbound; that is very significant! Because the goal of it is to earn customers, Inbound Marketing focuses on sharing content and useful information. This will also include a social media presence that interacts with clients, a major benefit and step in gaining trust, and, eventually, customers. Another great thing about Inbound Marketing is that the leads that are generated are more qualified: the people who find you are looking for your service, usually. So, with SEO and blogging, you can draw hot leads to your site and create sales.
Unfortunately, Inbound Marketing is not quite perfect. This form of marketing takes time. Social media, blogging, and SEO all require attention, more attention on average than Outbound. Inbound Marketing also needs development. You cannot make a Twitter one day and expect to have 50,000 followers the next. Social media and web presence must be cultivated to make them popular and generate leads and sales. Inbound Marketing also cannot target people who do not know they need the product or service. Even if you can be found on a search engine, what about the people who could be targeted with cold calls that are not looking for you?
Which Method Should Be Pursued?
Your business should pursue both methods of marketing. Their is merit in both systems and with experimentation you can find what things work best for your business. I would say that in today’s world, Inbound Marketing should be used more readily, but that does not mean that there is no place for TV ads and trade shows and the like. May your endeavors be profitable!