Marketing is one of the most integral parts of any business. What’s the point of manufacturing a product if you cannot sell it? Over the years, marketing has evolved and there are multiple ways to get your message across to your consumer and convert leads into sales.
Perhaps the most important questions a marketer asks are “How do I reach my target audience?” and “What can I say that will encourage them to purchase my product?” Now, you can get your message across to audiences in two ways. You can either build your brand, story, and product and make it really attractive so people come to you. Or, you can create multiple messages and push them out to your target audience.
Differentiating between Outbound and Inbound Marketing
Keeping in mind the above, marketing can be divided into two distinct strategies. ‘Inbound Marketing’ and ‘Outbound Marketing’, the latter being the more traditional form. Here’s examining each in detail.
What Is Outbound Marketing?
The main aim of outbound marketing is to spread the word about a product or a service to attract consumers. Relying on word of mouth, outbound marketing looks to push messaging out to potential customers. It could include traditional marketing activities like trade shows, seminar series, or cold calls. Outbound marketing can get expensive and it has a slightly lower return on investment (ROI) than inbound marketing. Outbound marketing also relies on general media advertising as well as in-person contact. This could include TV ads, face-to-face meetings, or mass emails. Each outbound method generates sales leads, and these leads are followed up by sales executives.
Advantages of Outbound Marketing
Creating and sharing content over relevant platforms to create a buzz around your brand is great, but sometimes you need results fast. Outbound marketing gets the message across to a huge audience. For the 2020-2021 TV season, there were 121 million television-equipped homes in the U.S., according to Nielsen. If your ad seems interesting enough, people will pay attention. Remember Apple’s iconic 1984 TV ad? Television and other outbound mediums have always played a huge part in bringing brands to your bedroom.
Send Targeted And Strategic Messages
Through an outbound marketing strategy, you can bring your messaging to the target audience of your choice, whether they are searching for your products and services, or not. This becomes a great way to supplement your inbound marketing efforts. Thanks to PPC (pay-per-click) ads, you can now choose your demographic and their interests and target them with ads in a precise manner. Some social media networks like LinkedIn allow you to target your ads via job title or company. This allows you to show ads to exactly the people you want.
High Brand Recall
If your messaging is on target, your brand can become iconic with a single ad. This list, since 2013, has ranked each year’s most emotional and heart-felt ads from around the world. Advertisers are always looking to elicit emotions in or entertain their target audience, because the more people feel, the more they are likely to buy. Over the years, Coca-Cola and Amazon have taken out some emotional ads that have scored highly with audiences.
What is Inbound Marketing?
A more modern form of marketing, inbound marketing does not interrupt a user’s content with advertising. It has become so popular that it is now the approach of 74% of marketers worldwide. Simply put, inbound marketing is content with the purpose of adding value and information, rather than content for the purpose of selling. Inbound marketing as a strategy depends on connecting with potential consumers through experiences and information. Relying on channels like blogs, social media, and others, inbound marketing aims to entertain and inform viewers with tailored content that helps to solve a challenge. Inbound marketing is all about forming connections While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.
Advantages of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing relies heavily on building a brand story. Rather than bombard potential consumers with constant spam, as a marketer, your aim should be to build your brand or product in such a way that consumers flock to you. Outbound marketing campaigns might exist only for the duration of said campaigns, but inbound marketing campaigns don’t expire. Content will always be there and can be accessed via a wide range of channels. The only disadvantage of sustainability is that it takes time to build.
Get Relevant Leads
Brands can forge priceless business contacts and marketing leads using inbound marketing. As a brand providing informational content, you are attracting prospective consumers to your website and social platforms, persuading them to take action and get in touch with you to learn more about your product and what it can do for them. Consumers are entering the sales funnel on their own terms. This makes them happy as they have more control over the sales process. They align with the content they want to follow, and this makes inbound marketing quite effective.
This is a huge advantage because ideally as a marketer you want maximum results for minimum cost. A website and a blog are all you need to start. If you want to conduct strategic inbound marketing, an email marketing platform can help as it can help you generate and nurture leads if they opt into your email list. Inbound marketing requires a team to run campaigns, however, once they’re set up they can essentially run on their own.
While both inbound and outbound marketing may rely on different schools of thought, brands should look to utilize both. You cannot spam customers with emails nor can you sit and write a brand story and expect people to discover your product. A clever marketing strategy makes use of both methods to help generate sales. In the end, what matters is maintaining a fine balance between the two. Read our blog on the evolution of content marketing, to learn how to craft a clever brand story so your product or service becomes irresistible to consumers.