The Web has empowered consumers in many ways, giving them new methods for finding, researching, and buying products. Marketing communication as a two-way dialogue emerged in response to these changes in behavior. People no longer rely solely on TV/newspaper/magazine ads, billboards, direct mail, email, banner ads, and other traditional outbound marketing channels to learn about new products. These methods are now viewed as too intrusive, especially among younger consumers who regularly tune out the tactics. So what’s the difference between inbound and outbound marketing, anyway?
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on consumers finding you. This approach is attractive to marketers because it zeros in on people who are already actively searching for a product or service and generates more qualified leads. The components of this method are fairly simple: Create fresh, relevant, targeted content specifically designed to reach a distinct audience. Online research is now routine for consumers, who have embraced daily pre-purchase analysis in huge way. Inbound marketing is significantly less expensive than outbound marketing. Strategies include:
- Social media marketing
- Blogging and content marketing
- White papers
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay per click (PPC) advertising
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing focuses on paying to broadcast your message to find consumers who will listen to you. It’s a shotgun-blast approach to promotion — the campaign is broad-based and distributed as widely as possible to a large and diverse audience in hopes of generating the greatest number of sales. It’s a value-driven numbers game: The more billboard ads or banner ads you pay for = the more people see your product = the more sales you’ll make. Outbound marketing strategies include:
- Print ads
- TV ads
- Banner ads
- Trade shows
- Cold calling
- Press releases
- Trade shows
- Email marketing
- Direct mail
This infographic highlights the differences between inbound and outbound marketing
This infographic from Voltier Digital pits inbound marketing against outbound marketing — can you guess which one is winning?
Some interesting stats:
- 44% of direct mail is never opened, so it’s a waste of time, postage, and trees.
- 86% of people skip through television commercials.
- 91% of email users have opted out of company email that they had previously subscribed to.
- 84% of 25-to-34 year olds have left a favorite website because of an “irrelevant or intrusive ad”.
- The cost per lead in outbound marketing is 62% more than for inbound marketing.
Check out the image below and let me know what you think…