Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Outbound_Marketing_Strategy

Where do you stand with inbound and outbound marketing?

Inbound and outbound marketing – when clients ask us about the differences between them I certainly understand their concerns. They need to know whether inbound or outbound marketing will deliver the most for their marketing dollars and which will achieve the most qualified leads. Being a long-time observer of the many changes in marketing trends and as a marketing practitioner, I’m more than happy to share the ins and outs that I’ve learned over the years.

To figure out if you’re coming or going, you first must understand the differences between inbound and outbound marketing, so as to get the most from either.

InboundOutbound_GraphicThere are two-sides to every story, here’s side one

Inbound marketing is a means of promoting your company through online content such as blogs, video, podcasts, eBooks, electronic newsletters (like this one), articles, and whitepapers. To get these forms of content in front of the right folks they need to be combined with SEO and social media. When done effectively, they can attract visitors to your website and hopefully be converted into leads and eventual sales.

InboundOutbound_GraphicAnd here’s side two

As the name suggests, it’s the opposite of inbound marketing. With outbound marketing, businesses find customers through various paid marketing efforts, including direct mail, telemarketing, tradeshows, seminars, email, phone calling, and other traditional forms of advertising like magazine and newspaper ads, TV and radio spots, and billboards. They work, but they’re more costly and results can be difficult to track.

Why outbound marketing shouldn’t be put out on the curb

Before the low cost of inbound marketing blinds you to the merits of outbound marketing, it must be said that creating quality content comes with a cost of both time and money. It’s also important to know that not all outbound marketing methods come with a hefty price tag. Nor are all inbound methods less expensive. In fact, phone calling, emailing and traditional direct mail can be done at a fairly minimal cost.

Where does this discussion lead us?

When it’s all said and done, what we really want from our marketing efforts —whether  they be inbound or outbound— are leads.  No, make that qualified leads. Sure, inbound marketing will get folks coming to your website, but you won’t know much about them. The lack of knowledge makes them visitors, not leads.

On the other hand, by its very nature, outbound marketing allows you to perform thorough list research and planning. With this level of pre-thought, you can choose the industry you want to zero in on and the size of the companies in it, as well as contacts within those businesses by job function and title. The pre-qualification that outbound marketing offers helps you bring in the most qualified leads possible.

In, out or both? The latter might be the best choice for you

Inbound and outbound marketing both have their pluses and minuses. But when combined, they can provide you with a one-two punch your business will surely benefit from.

Best of Days to You,

Audrey Ferrante
Ferrante & Associates, Inc.

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