Inbound Marketing VS Outbound Marketing. Which one is best for you?

Over the years, marketing has changed its definition. Today, marketing is about the customer’s experience at every touchpoint, building relationships with the customers and adapting new digital ways of marketing. Marketing is done across multiple channels to reach different customers. In a way, marketing nowadays is personalized.

At present, all marketing strategies fall under the two types – Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing.

Inbound marketing is about attracting potential customers through content marketing. It refers to pull marketing strategy where potential customers are directed towards your website or mobile application through blogs, social media and search engines. People search what they want and providing them with that will bring them to your website even without marketing the brand or the product. The main aim here is to get discovered by the relevant customers.

Now before moving further, let us first understand the inbound marketing methodology.

There are four phases of inbound marketing. The first one is to attract the audience. For this, the content should be made available on the various platforms such as social media and the internet. Blogging is one of the ways to attract new customers to the website. SEO can help to increase presence over the Internet while social media can be used to share valuable information about the company and the products.

The second phase is to convert. This can be done by engaging the visitors in some of the activities on the page such as filling the subscription form, liking a particular page, webinar forms etc. Once the conversation starts, there are chances of converting visitors into leads.

Next comes the close phase. Once the conversation has started with relevant customers, a follow-up process will help to convert those leads into customers. Tools like email marketing and CRM software can be useful in such tasks.

The last phase is to delight the customers. It is very crucial to provide a remarkable experience to the customers. A customer can be goodwill for the organization and the relationship with the organization will be longer if he/she is delighted with the product experience. Hence, it will help in retaining the customer.

This is how inbound marketing works. There are various platforms available to assist the process of inbound marketing. These tools automate the marketing process and are known as marketing automation. These tools perform the process of sending emails, scheduling social media posts, setting the time for publishing the blogs and many more things. Examples of such platforms are:

    • HubSpot

    • Marketo

    • CallidusCloud

    • Act-on

    • OutMarket

    • OracleMarketing cloud

    • InfusionSoft

Some of the reasons why inbound marketing is so popular are:

    • Inbound marketing is very cost effective. Generating leads is less costly in inbound marketing as compared to outbound marketing techniques. A report by HubSpot says that inbound leads cost 61% less than the outbound leads. Therefore inbound marketing is preferred for small budget marketing.

    • This type of marketing not only informs customers about but products but also educates them. This increases brand awareness among the audience and hence creates brand value.

    • A large number of audience can be reached using inbound marketing strategies. Informing people about products or services becomes very easy and new markets can also be explored with less efforts.

    • A positive impression about organization prevails for a long time as data is always available to support it. Customer reviews and product/service recommendations play a vital role in creating a positive impact.

    • One to one communication with the customers can be made using social media and the Internet. Thus, marketing efforts reduce to a great extent with inbound marketing tactics.

Outbound marketing, on the other hand, is the nothing else but the traditional marketing. This includes:

  • Cold calling to customers

  • Sales filers

  • Direct mail

  • Advertising on televisions and radio, etc.

Here, the marketers search for the potential customers to create brand awareness about their product/service. This is the push kind of marketing strategy. These strategies are generally designed to target the mass audience. The facts and figures used in these type of marketing are taken from various sources and overall implementation is quite expensive than the other one.

The major difference between the two is that inbound marketing is driven by customers while the latter is driven by marketers.

Both the strategies are necessary and required to retain and expand the customer base. The promotions and door-to-door selling of the products/services needs to be done to tap the untapped market. Inbound marketing covers a wider customer base but not the whole of it. Which strategy to focus on more, depends upon the business objectives of your organization.

The target market for every business is different. The study of the market is essential to determine which strategy will work effectively. If the audience is more active on the Internet, going with inbound marketing is beneficial. Otherwise, traditional ways will work better. Apart from this, the goal of marketing and brand value also plays a significant role in determining marketing strategy for an organization.

Hence, both the strategies are required hand in hand, to create a high brand value of the product/service.