Being tasked with formulating a marketing strategy for your company can seem daunting at first, but after analysing the pros and cons to two different methods with a focus on what your end goal is for your brand advertisements, the choice will be much more manageable. These options can be broken down into two distinct and universal marketing concepts; inbound and outbound marketing. These are two of the most common overarching marketing strategies, and they each have distinct applications, benefits and challenges.
There are several main differences between inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing involves proactively reaching out to consumers to get them interested in a product. By contrast, inbound marketing centres on creating and distributing content that draws people into your website. Inbound marketing is usually more subtle and focuses on convincing a particular group of individuals to make a purchase over time, while outbound marketing typically has a more aggressive, wide-sweeping approach, with the expectation that at least some people will convert to customers, even when the advertisements are not tailored to their specific needs. Let’s explore these marketing concepts more thoroughly.
The aim of inbound marketing is to attract customers to your products and services. To achieve this, your best options are searching for products online. Data shows that up to 63% of consumers begin their shopping journey online by searching for products, services, or content. As such, your content should explain how your products or services will benefit them. Be sure to answer key questions that your customers may have or how the product/service will satisfy their needs.
So what mediums are the best to advertise your company with inbound marketing in mind? Some good places to start include blogs, video content, guidebooks, and more. Each of these content pieces can also serve as a way to differentiate your product from the competition. Consider embedding product comparisons, amazing testimonials, competitive pricing, and outstanding reviews into your video content or social media posts. Inbound marketing dictates that prospective customers should receive thoughtful content at various points throughout their buying journey that is varied in material but consistent in messaging. Due to this smaller and more intimate approach it is common for smaller businesses or start-up companies to adopt this form of advertising.
The Benefits/Drawbacks of Inbound Marketing
To help you determine if inbound marketing is right for your company, let’s look at the potential benefits and drawbacks to adopting this strategy:
- Inbound marketing is non-invasive, and prospects can read your blog posts or attend a webinar on their own time.
- Inbound marketing content is educational, as it’s specifically designed for each stage in the sales funnel.
- Inbound marketing is quantifiable, you can tie each part of your strategy to a metric that gets monitored over time.
- Your website and content are continuously being updated, so inbound marketing continues drawing in qualified leads over time.
- Inbound marketing requires continuous maintenance, and so content always needs to speak to consumers’ evolving wants and needs.
- Inbound marketers spend a great deal of time and effort developing and testing out different content that will entice customers to convert.
- Inbound marketing demands a holistic strategy, meaning you’ll need to buy tools to help you implement integrated campaigns across multiple channels.
In contrast, outbound marketing aims to send a message to a massive amount of people in the hopes of making a sale. This strategy is rooted in the thought that the larger the group you message to, the larger the return on investment. Outbound marketing is often associated with traditional marketing and can be implemented through using direct mail, events, billboards, cold calling, newspapers, and radio to draw clients to your brand. Furthermore, outbound marketing can also be applied to more modern technology, like pay-per-click advertising and spam emails.
Frequently, consumers are not even aware of or looking for the product that’s being advertised. Prospects could be watching TV or looking at a website and be interrupted by an ad illustrating why they should buy a certain product and thusly you will have the maximum about of eyes on your product/services as possible. Due to this larger and more general approach it is common for larger businesses that have already become widely known to the public to adopt this form of advertising.
The Benefits/Drawbacks of Outbound Marketing
To help you determine if outbound marketing is right for your company, let’s look at the potential benefits and drawbacks to adopting this strategy:
- Outbound marketing promotes brand awareness, helping you reach people who haven’t heard of your products or services before.
- Outbound marketing can yield immediate results with people interested in your products and services being likely to take action on your ads and make a purchase.
- Older consumers are accustomed to outbound marketing, as they are aware there will be ads in the Sunday paper or on TV and may trust those ads more than the ones presented to them on newer technology
- It’s going to be challenging to make outbound marketing appealing and relevant to everyone due to the generalised nature of mass marketing.
- It’s easy for consumers to tune out outbound marketing, as this is usually found to be an annoying/intrusive means of advertising and many people mute the TV during commercials or immediately throw out or recycle their junk mail.
- It’s challenging to measure the effectiveness of some outbound marketing strategies like billboards or other unquantifiable advertising opportunities.
- Outbound marketing is costly, traveling to trade shows, paying for banner ads, and purchasing billboard spaces add up, which is why it is usually only recommended to implement as a strategy if you run a larger company.
Overall, outbound marketing is all about sending a message at scale, while inbound marketing has a very targeted approach. No matter your marketing strategy, you need a way to keep up with the constantly changing marketing landscape. Consider which of these two styles would best suit your brand and client base, and you’ll have formulated the best roadmap forward to market your company in the most effective way possible. Start unlocking the power of inbound and outbound marketing by contacting us today!
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- How Blogging Can Help Your Business Grow
- Why Long-form Content Is Vital To Your Digital Marketing Strategy
- How Content Production can Transform your Business