Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Working on a new project often involves discussions and talks about marketing strategies. You will probably hear terms like inbound and outbound marketing and debates about which could be more effective. The internet contains explanations, descriptions, and advice on which marketing strategy you should use. But if you want to learn about inbound and outbound marketing and decide on your own which is more suitable for a project, you are in the right place.

The basics of outbound marketing

Let’s start by examining the basics of outbound and inbound marketing. As you might have guessed by the name, outbound marketing focuses on reaching your potential customers and trying to get them interested in a product. TV ads, video ads, billboards, and similar tools are all a part of outbound marketing.

Outbound marketing is also known as push marketing. It means businesses and brands will do their best to push the message to the consumers. This type of marketing, especially magazine ads and online popups, could trigger the opposite reaction. It explains why almost everyone uses ad blockers right now.

But this doesn’t suggest outbound marketing shouldn’t be a part of your strategy. It can still be very successful when done in the right way. Remember that sometimes less is more, and your goal is to make your product seen, not annoy potential customers with the frequency of your ads.

The basics of inbound marketing

On the other hand, inbound marketing is all about creating compelling and attractive content that will draw people to a particular website. Marketers use informative and educational blog posts, social media posts, mailing lists, and newsletters to attract future customers.

The strategy based on inbound marketing aims to cover several channels and produce educative content. The goal is to attract the audience by solving their problems. Of course, you don’t have to be completely direct and market your product or services to them. Instead, come up with valuable content such as webinars, eBooks, Instagram carousels, etc. Also, including testimonials, reviews, and price comparisons is always a great idea. 

59% of consumers research products online before they make a purchase. Therefore, don’t miss an opportunity to introduce them to your products or services. Follow their journey and introduce the prospective shoppers to different content, depending on the stage. 

The difference between outbound and inbound marketing

Now that we have covered the basics of outbound and inbound marketing, it is the perfect time to compare them. Outbound marketing is undoubtedly “louder” and doesn’t shy away from buying email lists and advertising on various websites. Even though this might seem like the way to go, remember your ad will be seen by people who are not even slightly interested in your brand. You are essentially wasting resources to push your products or services to people who will never click on your link. Not to forget, they might be annoyed after seeing your ad so many times.

Inbound marketing offers a more “natural” approach. When you produce content related to a particular niche, users will find you through search because they are currently interested in what you offer. It allows you to nurture a relationship with your customers from the very beginning through educational content.

It is worth noting that outbound marketing is present in both the online and offline worlds. These marketing campaigns will include both large billboards and website banners. Inbound marketing relies solely on online content.

Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing – Which one is better?

Providing a final answer to this question is impossible. Both outbound and inbound marketing come with unique benefits. It depends on the goals of your marketing strategy. Do you want to reach potential customers both online and offline? Then outbound marketing is an obvious choice. 62% of marketers say their outbound marketing strategies are effective, and that’s not a bad number.

But if your target audience is Millennials and Gen Z, inbound marketing will deliver results. Many consumers research online before deciding to purchase a product or service. Furthermore, inbound marketing is way cheaper, meaning that smaller businesses can afford to promote their products this way. It all comes down to the goals of your brand and the budget you currently have.