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Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

  • Manisha Sahu
  • Jul 25, 2021
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing title banner

The evolution of marketing strategy has been significant, and the content creation process has altered as a result of the advent of digital communication and social networks. Companies used to use the traditional technique of sending a message to an audience in order to persuade them to buy their company or product a few years ago.


Nowadays, marketers are a group of people who are either all-in or all-out. When something new comes along, we rapidly abandon whatever we had previously cherished or sworn to be gospel in favor of the gleaming new object in front of us.


You have heard people throw around the terms 'inbound marketing' and "outbound marketing,' if you pay attention to marketing trends, but what do they really mean?


The point is that you are still here, whether you've been forced on (outbound) this blog post or researched and discovered it yourself (inbound).


Firstly, let’s understand the definition of outbound and inbound?



What is inbound marketing?


In recent years the adoption of inbound marketing methods has grown rapidly, driven by success stories with measurable, reliable results.


Inbound marketing is a collection of activities, in which purchasers conduct their research online towards their brands. Inbound aims to connect you with your buyer, where they are seeking, and in ways that are welcome and not ignored, unlike outbound methods that interrupt large audiences.


Inbound marketing, on the other hand, describes how modern buyers choose to make their purchases - to allow them to "inside" and send your message.


Inbound marketing helps you to find valuable information and advice by looking for buyers at a remote location, and adapts your message to the different shopping stages.



What is outbound marketing?


Outbound marketing is the type of marketing in which the platform initiates the interaction and sends the message out to the audience. This is interruptive and it pushes at a public whether the public wants it or not. All of these are exemplary outbound marketing TV and radio ads, telemarketing, banner and display ads, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, cold-calling, pop-up and pop-up ads and contextual ads. 

The image shows the variation of outbound and inbound marketing promotion ads.

What is inbound and outbound marketing/ Source - clariantcreative

Oversaturation, particularly on the Internet, caused people to start ignoring advertising on displays. It is a traditional way of marketing to reach potential customers.


Such practices are called 'outbound marketing' because marketers send out their message in the greatest hope that the needle in the haystack resonates.


(Recommended blog: Holistic marketing)


Difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing


The image depicts the differences between inbound and outbound marketing, examples, definitions, audience engagement, marketing strategies, brand positioning, messaging, distribution, data and attribution.

Inbound vs Outbound marketing

In fact, it is quite straightforward to differentiate inbound from outbound. Inbound means that the customer comes to you, while outbound means interacting with the customer whether or not they want your product.


Inbound marketing promotes your site and business through blogs, optimising search engines, social media, video, infographics, newsletters, podcasts, whitepapers, eBooks, and many more with different forms of quality content. The idea behind inbound marketing is for relevant and valuable customer content to be developed and distributed.


Visitors to your website are drawn by useful content, brought to your brand, engaged and converted to clients as well as true followers. This content is useful. Outbound marketing, by contrast, comprises traditional approaches such as direct mail, cold calling, radio ads, TV ads, trade shows, and telecommunications.

The image shows the common differences between inbound and outbound marketing.

Outbound marketer vs Inbound marketer

Outbound marketing is often referred to as marketing interruption. Anyone who has had a meal interrupted by an unwanted phone call understands this term easily. David Scott argues in a book called "The new rules of marketing and PR" that inbound marketing companies can "earn their way" in contrast to outbound marketing where they "call, beg or bug" (through traditional forms of advertising or through cold calling).


Speaking of marketing techniques, you can also sneak a peek at our blog on B2B Marketing Strategies



The inbound methodology


HubSpot's Flywheel Model is the best inbound marketing strategy.


The flywheel is central to the methodology of inbound. It is divided into three segments – attract, engage and delight. 


Attract and turn strangers into prospects. Engage prospects and turn them into customers. Delight turns customers into promoters... that attract more people from your firm.


Let us look into what is going on at each stage of the methodology and how the outbound approach differs.




The first step in winning a new customer is to attract you to explore your challenges and needs. This is the awareness phase of the purchase process, in which purchasers may try to identify or resolve problems.


In this early stage, it is best to attract these buyers to your website with targeted, helpful contents that provide good advice and replies to questions.


Outbound methods can also introduce visitors to your website by clicking on the banner ads or email links, although their efficiency is decreasing. Buyers have learned to adjust any marketing messages that do not invite them or that distract them from what they do.




The next step is to take them on board once you get a lead. There is an important role for sales and service, but you can also use your marketing materials to guide and lay the groundwork for a longer-term relationship.


The image depicts the flywheel is central methodology of inbound. It is divided into three segments –  attract - turn stranger into prospects, engage -  turns prospect into customer and  delight - turns customers into promoters.

HubSpot's Flywheel Model

The most efficient way to engage potential purchasers at this stage are through thinking leadership pieces and content online. This content demonstrates your knowledge, helps prospects understand their challenges better and guides them to make the best buying decision. The objective here is to demonstrate your product's benefits without a harsh sales approach and how it aligns with its needs.


In contrast, many outbound marketing outcomes often attempt to translate prospects on the spot, rather than to let or even allow purchasers to convert when they choose.


Recommended blog: What is Network Marketing? Types, Working & Examples




Conservation is just as important as, if not more, the acquisition of new customers. For many companies, the majority of revenue is derived from current customers and new ones are much more expensive than keeping one.


Fortunately, inbound marketing must not stop when a customer becomes a leader and can help to make them loyal evangelists.


For instance, you can use constant blogs to provide valuable information on your products and services to existing clients who may have specific queries. Or a chatbot that offers support and customer feedback to get ideas for improvements can be implemented.   


Personalization is the key input technique. The provision of relevant new content to existing customers, the personalisation or keeping of sections of your website informed of key dates and events can all help you to move beyond sales to create repeat buyers and to upsell business and reference business.


On the other hand, the majority of outbound marketing focuses on acquiring new customers and does little to support your existing ones.



Examples of Inbound Marketing


Inbound marketing is based on content, which can be provided by blogs, electronic books, guidebooks, and case studies. A further aspect of inbound marketing is SEO, which requires using keywords that are used when searching for answers on the internet so that you are as close to the first outcome as possible when a customer searches for answers.


PPC ads use the same search principle as SEO, but pay ads do not just have organic content links. Ads pay by click are paid ads. Other examples include social media posts, opt-in e-mails, and the CTAs landing pages (calls to action).



Examples of Outbound Marketing


More traditional forms of commercial and advertising, such as TV commercials and radio advertising, printing (e.g. newspaper advertises, advertising magazines, flyers, catalogs, etc.), trade shows, outbound calls, cold mail/spam, direct mail, billboard advertising, sponsorship, show and online or personal contact are examples of outbound marketing.



Final Thought


Regardless of your marketing strategy, you need a way to live up to the ever-changing marketing landscape. Inbound marketing should be considered the essential foundation of any marketing plan since it aligns with the preferences of modern purchasers, compounds profits, and lowers the cost per purchase.


Outbound marketing can still be effective and fully acceptable as part of a comprehensive marketing mix.Ultimately, marketing input and output can serve a purpose in your marketing strategy. Inbound versus Outbound Marketing is less of a fight to choose the only way and more of a way you spend more time. But it will probably lead to disappointment to depend on them alone for results.


This blog is to reflect the latest inbound marketing strategies information. Look, analyse and decide the way your target audience will best work.

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