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In order to develop an effective marketing strategy for your business, it’s important to understand the concepts of both inbound and outbound marketing. After all, a synchronized partnership between your inbound marketing and your outbound marketing will create a lead-generating machine that can't be stopped. It's important to know exactly what these two strategies mean and how they differ from each other.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the strategy of using relevant, valuable content to attract leads, inviting them to your website, and assisting them down the buying funnel. It works to ensure your website is among those listed when consumers turn to search engines to ask a question, solve a problem or make a decision. Inbound marketing uses online content, calls-to-action, email marketing, social media marketing, and more to generate lead flow...guiding prospective customers into an online relationship with your business, leading them down the buying funnel, and helping them self-convert to the point that they raise their virtual hand and ask for a salesperson to contact them. 

It is a highly effective form of marketing because it allows the customer themselves to actually seek out the content. Information in the form of pillar pages, blogs, videos, webinars, ebooks, infographics, quizzes, and more are created to specifically address prospects’ interests and needs.


Some common examples of inbound marketing in action could include the following:

  • Customer-focused digital content is designed to provide the information that consumers are searching for.
  • The message itself is tailored to consumers’ needs at all stages of the buying funnel.
  • It is a multichannel strategy that fuels all aspects of a business' marketing.
  • It is easy to measure ROI with digital marketing software, which gauges its effectiveness for your company.
  • There is no hard sell with inbound marketing. Instead, it often provides unique helpful content like eBooks or videos to solve a problem.

Benefits of Inbound Marketing

There are many notable benefits of inbound marketing. A few of the most impactful are outlined below:

  • Why-fuze32-ebookInbound marketing is non-invasive.
  • Inbound marketing content is educational.
  • Inbound marketing is quantifiable in terms of results and effectiveness.
  • Inbound marketing solves consumers’ needs.
  • Inbound marketing is interactive.
  • Inbound marketing is helpful.
  • Inbound marketing produces leads.

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is the more traditional of the two marketing methods. It is a variety of marketing that pushes the message of a brand out to potential customers, hence the name “outbound”. It is the customer-facing interactions your salespeople or business development team have with prospects. It includes everything from sales meetings, trade shows, seminars, networking events, cold calls, and more. 

Outbound marketing is "interruption-based marketing." Outbound marketing depends on salespeople to find, qualify, present, and close prospects. In a world where people are finding more and more ways to hide from direct face-to-face interaction, salespeople are struggling with diminishing closing ratios, less effective prospecting methods and being ghosted by prospects at the point of close. Salespeople compete for a prospect's attention and must stand out among millions of other interruptions to a consumer's world on a daily basis. Plus, since outbound marketing channels are limited to a linear strategy, it is often difficult to measure the effectiveness of physical advertising.

Challenges of Outbound Marketing

There are tremendous benefits to outbound marketing as for many companies, salespeople are an indispensable way of finding and closing new business. However. there are many challenges associated with direct sales in today's digital age. The following are some of the most notable problems associated with outbound marketing for modern businesses:

  • The outbound marketing process is more generalized, instead of being personalized or focused on a customer.
  • Consumers are easily turned off by outbound marketing and its often intrusive nature.
  • The effectiveness of these marketing strategies is much more difficult to ascertain or measure with any certainty.
  • The cost of using outbound marketing for your advertising can be significant.
  • Outbound marketing often disrupts whatever a consumer is viewing or enjoying, which isn’t usually pleasant.
  • It is a one-way communication, not a relationship between the consumer and the brand.
  • Outbound marketing is most simply written to sell products or created for that purpose, not for customer engagement or education.
CTA - How to Generate More Leads Through Your Website

The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing

The fact is that inbound marketing and outbound marketing are two sides of the same coin, though they are very different in how they approach the customer. Therefore, there are several main differences between these two marketing approaches. The following will look at the most significant differences:
  • An outbound marketing strategy usually involves actively reaching out to consumers to get their attention, while inbound marketing creates and distributes content designed to attract visitors to come to them.
  • An outbound campaign aims to reach a lot of people, while inbound campaigns are designed to aim for and then reach a very specific audience. In other words, it’s the difference between quantity and quality.
  • Outbound marketing utilizes traditional advertising methods of pushing a message out to a broad audience. It usually consists of non-digital content that is created to capture the attention of consumers. On the other hand, inbound marketing instead targets relevant audiences with online content designed to pull them into the sales funnel.

Inbound Marketing with Outbound Marketing

Today’s consumers are not thrilled with interruptions. They also enjoy researching and educating themselves on a variety of matters. For this reason, inbound marketing works better to attract modern consumers as something like 87% of all buying decisions now start online. Rather than picking up the phone, buyers go online and enter their requests for information into a search bar. 

Most buyers today have shown a propensity to engage more with brands that commit to offering quality content. They have also shown brand loyalty when said brands work to build trust through engagement and consumer/brand interaction. 

If you are relying solely on your salespeople to bring in revenue, here are some frustrations you may be having: 

Reasons why inbound marketing

All of these are solved by enhancing your outbound efforts with inbound.

In short, inbound and outbound marketing are perfect dance partners that make your overall ROI much higher. 

Today’s consumers are simply different, relying on their own research to make buying decisions. They are making decisions before a salesperson even knows they are a prospect. In many cases, the salespeople aren't even getting invited to the table. Inbound marketing is a good way to bring your company up to date and address a new audience of consumers who are ready and willing to hear all about your company within the right format, without intrusive interruptions.

Modern customers also don’t want to be “sold.”  Inbound marketing allows consumers to seek out their own information and to learn what they want to learn about a brand without feeling pressured into making a purchase. There is no forced “sell” or hard push with this form of advertising, which is a big advantage of inbound marketing for today’s independently-minded consumers.

Inbound Marketing Will Make Outbound Marketing WAY More Effective

Inbound marketing offers solutions and engages customers through relationships online, making it a much better fit for today’s consumers. Not sure how to get started? Let us help you create an innovative new way of reaching consumers through modern inbound marketing strategies that are focused on achieving quantifiable results.

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