Inbound vs Outbound Marketing – Which Is More Effective?

by | Sep 9, 2021

9 min read

We dwell in a world filled with choices, isn’t it?

Black or white, heads or tails, inbound or outbound! What to choose?

The inbound vs. outbound debate has been fuming for ages. Although both outbound and inbound marketing have their plus and minus, you have to choose one for your business anyway.

When a choice has to be made between inbound and outbound marketing, most businesses feel giddy. Let us explore a little and construe what’s better for your business.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy that utilizes a variety of pull marketing techniques such as content marketing, blogs, events, search engine optimization (SEO), social media promotion, and a lot more—to generate brand awareness and attract new customers. It focuses on advanced methods of marketing that strive toward creating awareness, developing relationships with prospects, and generating quality leads. Examples of Inbound Marketing include blogs, social media campaigns, Ebooks, Search Engine Optimized (SEO) website text, videos, Web-based seminars (Webinars), and more.

The inbound marketing strategy is based on some non-invasive techniques which help brands to:

Attract more visitors and organic traffic to their websites through ads, videos, blog, social media promotion and more.

Push those visitors to turn into customers who are probably interested in converting and try to establish a long-term relationship with them using lead flows, lead management, conversational bots, etc.

Automation of the marketing process to make conversions time-effective using smart content and email marketing.

Data has it, 45% of direct email messages go unnoticed. So, inbound marketing is praised as it focuses on gaining attention, rather than buying it.

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is traditional marketing. It leverages mass media to broadcast your message to a large group of people, expecting them to be interested and buy the product.

Newspapers, TV and radio podcasts, telemarketing, banner and display ads, billboards, newspaper and magazine, and contextual ads are all outbound marketing examples.

Outbound marketing doesn’t take the buying process into consideration. Probably that is the reason it is falling out of favor for many. Although, it has several benefits and that’s why many businesses still use this strategy.

Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing

Inbound and Outbound marketing are opposite concepts, though both have a common goal.

Outbound marketing uses “push” marketing tactics whereas inbound marketing uses ‘pull” marketing tactics. Thus, outbound marketing is intrusive and works to seek attention from the audience. On the contrary, inbound is permissive and it tries to draw people in instead of forcing them.

So, inbound marketing concerns drawing people in and building a relationship with them. On the other hand, outbound marketing seeks customers’ attention through one-way communication.

  • Audience Engagement: Interruption-based vs. Permission-based

Outbound marketing is an interruption-based strategy whereas inbound marketing is based on permission.

Outbound marketing finds a medium with the mass following and approaches them with disassociated ads, hoping that some percentage of the audience will give it the due attention and become a customer.

Inbound marketing communicates via only those mediums wherein the audience has permitted them to communicate. Although the audience is smaller in number, it converts at a 750% higher rate as compared to interruption-based marketing. It is because the audience has already given you a green signal earlier.

  • Brand Positioning: Being a Footnote vs. Being the Main Story

In outbound marketing, you are no more than a footnote. You have to stick around the main content like a leech and mostly get ignored. It works to grab attention rather than value. As per a survey, 29% of TV commercials are not seen by viewers.

Inbound marketing puts you to the main story. It concerns creating attractive content to gain more audience. It’s about communicating with your audience and answering their queries. It concerns attracting, educating, and engaging the audience in a transparent manner.

  • Marketing Strategies: Linear vs. Holistic

Outbound marketing strategies are linear while inbound marketing strategies are holistic.

Outbound marketing strategies have avenues like radio, TV, cold email, cold-call, and more in hand. You can assess the medium which most accurately addresses your target market. Outbound marketers allot higher percentages of budget to the mediums with a better reach, create a message for all mediums, and it’s done.

In this context, inbound marketing strategies are more complex and holistic than outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is holistic.

  • Messaging: Complicated vs. Educational

With outbound marketing, the message is often duplicitous and general. Getting very little space to work with, be it in a newspaper or a podcast on the radio or the television, the goal of outbound marketing is just to grab attention.

Inbound marketing is a more personalized way of marketing. It conveys a message that is appropriate and specific to the target audience. The message has quality content that educates and engages the audience. It is meant to resolve the customer’s queries through a two-way lane.

  • Distribution: Renting vs. Owning

With outbound marketing, you have to rent your distribution. In the advertising world, your worth is judged on the basis of your campaign or your last media buy. If it works and sales get a spur, it’s on to the next campaign. If it doesn’t work, then your next campaign may be at risk.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you have full control over your distribution. Although it diminishes, not like a castle of cards into dust at once. It depreciates gradually like an asset. You, at first, prepare your subscription-based email list, earn a high rank on product-related keywords and then gradually build a following on social media. It’s like building an asset. There is a cost in creating the content, but it has a long-span utility too, which diminishes gradually with time.

No doubt, this is the type of marketing strategy that most digital marketing agencies opt for, to keep up the pace with this ever-evolving world.

  • Data & Attribution: Immeasurable vs. Quantifiable

With outbound marketing, measuring success becomes an arduous job. We can take reviews from our prospects as to how they got to know about us, but overall the results are undependable. This is a big loophole that is inherent within the outbound marketing model of marketing. The measurement of outbound marketing results isn’t really feasible and thus doesn’t pour solid outputs.

Inbound marketing strategy is quantifiable and highly measurable. There are no loopholes in the result analysis. There are complex algorithms that can track if your marketing strategy is effective or not. It can check if the strategy is converting the potential customers into regular clients. It can analyse every aspect from the ROI per distribution methods to the ability of the CTA button to attract customers.

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Switching from Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing

The world of marketing is changing dynamics with each passing day. With consumer behavior that is ever-evolving, inbound marketing is the most effective way of online marketing. Marketing agencies are getting away from traditional marketing efforts and moving towards inbound marketing to keep up with consumer needs.

Inbound Marketing is all about engaging the prospects with quality content, using A-grade content to convert them into leads, and implementing marketing strategies to nurture leads until they are sales-ready.

If you are still stuck with traditional outbound marketing, the switch to inbound marketing may seem like moving a boulder up the hill.

With these three simple ways, you can start implementing inbound marketing to attract visitors to your website and generate leads.

  • First of all, stop wasting your money.

If you’re spending too much money on traditional marketing such as email and telemarketing and not allocating enough of your budget towards informational marketing materials such as PPT, infographics, ebooks, and developing a social media presence, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities to engage the consumers.

Consumers have now got the power to control the extent and kind of marketing they are subjected to. They rule out marketing that doesn’t interest them. Thus, your traditional marketing efforts are most likely being ignored.

  • Develop a Social Media Presence

As they say , “you should be where your audience is”. You can find almost everything and everyone online.

Social media encourages two-way communication that is much required these days. Consumers can communicate with you, probe questions, and prove feedback online, which helps you get insight into choices and expectations. Such information not only helps you in the sales process but also reports to the marketing team as to what type of content consumers are seeking. It is expected that the number of social network users in the U.S. would reach 257.4 million by 2023.

Holding a solid social presence allows your company to build strong relationships with the customers and increases the chances of being found by those who are still unaware of you. Your social media visibility and repo have a lot to contribute to setting your worth.

Remember! You must choose the right social media platform for your company, one that makes your presence felt.

  • Invest in an Inbound Marketing Agency

Having an Inbound Marketing Agency can allow your company to increase its sales at a rapid rate and communicate with current and prospective customers.

At Dintellects, we become an extension of your marketing team. We offer our clients a complete suite of inbound marketing services to ensure that the consumers easily spot you and communicate effectively.

Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency can help you make the transition from outbound marketing to inbound marketing in the blink of an eye.

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Key Takeaway:

After reading the above, it wouldn’t be hard for you to draw conclusions. Yet, to sum it up, Inbound marketing always has an upper hand over outbound marketing. It is organic, cost-effective, personalized, and most importantly- effective!

Kshitij Chaudhary