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Outbound vs Inbound Marketing - Strengths & Weaknesses

Seagull Advertising February 25, 2019 | 4 min read

Marketing is vital for all businesses. Without a sustainable lead generation funnel it is very difficult to thrive in today's competitive market. It is the job of your marketing team to build a lead funnel that provides you leads on a consistent basis.

A marketing team's core responsibility is to generate the highest quality, sales ready leads necessary to produce a solid ROI through all marketing efforts.

This can be achieved in numerous ways and is often the combination of activities from both the inbound and outbound marketing perspective that produces the best results. Developing a strategy to maximise your marketing efforts effectively requires understanding the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.

 

Let’s start with knowing both outbound and inbound marketing and also their strengths & weaknesses:

 

outbound speaker

What is Outbound Marketing?

The idea of “outbound” comes from the fact that your company is constantly “out”, advertising aimed at your audience. Outbound marketing is aimed at everyone. It interrupts and chases the customer. This is an advertisement that you receive regardless of whether you were interested in that subject.

The aim of outbound marketing is to reach as many people as possible, whether or not they are actually interested in your product/service offering.

In general, outbound marketing tends to market to a larger volume of less-targeted people, using tactics like:

  • Commercials
  • PPC ads
  • Print media ads
  • Billboards or Hoardings
  • Cold-calling
  • Direct email marketing
  • TV ads
  • Radio ads

Strengths & Weaknesses of Outbound Marketing

 

It is a traditional marketing strategy that talks at the customer and this type of marketing can give speedy results as long as you have the spending capacity. It is company-focused marketing.

Strengths = Reach a large number of audience, Build awareness very quickly, get quick conversions or customers (depends on the amount you are ready to spend)

Weaknesses = Huge spending capacity required, reaching irrelevant users as well, benefits stop as soon as you stop advertising/spending.

 

inbound magnet

What is Inbound Marketing?

The process of approaching your audience, attracting the attention of your prospects via curated content creation, before they are even ready to buy. This is inbound marketing!

The aim of inbound marketing is to bring potential customers to your business who are actively looking for solutions to their problems which you can solve with your product/service offering.

With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media. If you do your homework and make them really happy with the service and information you continue to offer them, they will end up being the best promoters of your products & business.

Typical inbound marketing tactics include:

  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Content creation
  • SEO
  • PPC

According to HubSpot’s report in 2018:

  • 40% of companies that have a blog reported a positive ROI.
  • 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
  • 77% of businesses that market directly to consumers have acquired a customer with Facebook
  • Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute, 2017) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

Strengths & Weaknesses of Inbound Marketing

 

Inbound is about getting found when your prospects are searching, rather than forcing your message on people who may or may not be interested. It is a customer centric process.

Strengths = provides value to prospects at every stage of buyers journey, generates long term ROI, creates a lasting relationship with your brand.

Weaknesses = results take time to start showing, needs a concrete content marketing and seo strategy, requires higher investment upfront.

Final Verdict: Is outbound better or inbound?

 

inbound-vs-outbound infographic(source: www.vieodesign.com)

 

To sum up inbound marketing vs outbound marketing, and which one is better - NEITHER

 

Inbound Marketing attracts and has a permissive approach whereas Outbound marketing Pulls and is mostly focused on interruptive tactics. Inbound and outbound marketing are two separate approaches that can be used effectively on their own or even together. Each one has its unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • Outbound is a better short-term solution with higher long-term costs.
  • Inbound is a better long-term solution with slightly higher short-term costs.

The major difference between inbound and outbound marketing and why people are favouring inbound marketing more these days is because consumer behaviour keeps changing rapidly and such behaviour can be tackled in a better way using inbound strategies.

 

Final Verdict - The strategy businesses find most effective is to use both inbound and outbound marketing, while maintaining an inbound approach.

 

It is clear that evolution in social world is marketing and it is constantly changing on a fundamental level as the internet continues to revolutionise how we consume brands, products and other services.

The new age of inbound marketing is about providing added value and earning consumer loyalty instead of pushing a message on to the consumer, like aiming a shot in the dark and hoping it sticks.

 

At Seagull, we go beyond conventional marketing tools to enable brands to talk to their customers across digital platforms. If you too want to grow your business using the inbound way, do connect with us!

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