Tim Rooney

Are the terms inbound and outbound marketing flying around your workplace? Are you wondering: what’s the difference between the two? The main difference between inbound and outbound marketing is that outbound is the older, less effective style of marketing and inbound is the new, more effective style. Today, many businesses are taking a digital, inbound approach to their sales and marketing strategies.

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If you’re an entrepreneur or small business looking to start a marketing campaign, inbound is a much more cost effective and successful means of acquiring prospects. Inbound is also better at generating more high quality and sales-ready leads that improve your business’s ROI.

Here are some explanations to help you better understand the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.

What is Outbound Marketing

Think of outbound marketing as traditional marketing in which businesses actively initiate the conversation with potential customers. Outbound marketing techniques are usually seen as intrusive and unwelcome. This is because they tend to interrupt a person’s daily activities.

A marketing campaign consisting of outbound strategies will typically include media such as radio ads, TV commercials, print advertisements (newspaper, magazines, flyers, etc.), billboards, and cold calling. These forms of advertising, however, tend to be less effective than they once were. People have become experts at tuning out noise. For example, TV commercials can be fast-forwarded, radio channels switched, junk mail tossed, and calls go unanswered from caller ID. Not only that, but many of these mediums are being replaced. TV is being replaced by Netflix, Radio by Spotify, and mail is going paperless.

In addition to all this, outbound marketing also tends to be more difficult to track. It’s hard to determine how much of your target audience engages with a billboard ad, watches your broadcast commercial, or listens to your radio ad.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy for both introducing and enticing prospective customers to products and services through content creation and digital marketing. In particular, inbound marketing may involve strategies such as content marketing, social media marketing and management, and search engine optimization (SEO). Strategies of inbound marketing typically try to target web users who are actively searching for answers to a problem or question.

A notable difference between inbound and outbound marketing is that inbound does not interrupt people’s daily lives, but rather aims to produce content that is relevant and helpful to prospects. The idea? Potential customers are already searching for your business by either directly seeking out your product or service, researching the industry, or seeking answers to issues that your business happens to serve. By capturing the attention of users already interested in what you have to offer, you are much more likely to acquire leads and turn those leads into customers.

Inbound marketing typically tries to bring in new prospects by creating quality content that pulls people into your landing page and company website. Inbound marketing attracts qualified leads by creating content designed to specifically address the concerns and needs of your prospects, which in turn builds creditability. The aim is to generate content that your target audience cares about, and filter that content through social feeds and search listing.

Go with An Inbound Marketing Campaign

As the marketing landscape changes, so should your marketing plan. More marketers working for small businesses and startups are moving towards using inbound strategies because of its profitability, ability to track conversions, and overall effectiveness. Instead of using old outbound techniques for your campaign, consider an inbound marketing strategy.

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Tim Rooney

Tim is a Sales Optimizer at Rooney Earl and has been helping businesses accelerate their growth and build sustainable sales processes for the past 10 years. As a high impact sales coach and consultant, Tim has worked as the CEO of several high profile companies in Canada, Brazil, and South Africa. His CEO background means that he rapidly reads the big picture of his clients' situation and quickly makes the right recommendations for success. Tim represents the highly acclaimed Sandler Sales System that helps his clients form lasting, productive relationships with their customers. In addition to his training and coaching, Tim is a sought-after speaker and facilitator on a variety of topics that include “How to Run a Successful Change Management Program” and “Leadership & Team Motivation for the 21st Century.”
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