Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing: What’s the Difference?


Most businesses are familiar with the concept of marketing campaigns: you pay for advertisements, promotions, or try to get press coverage, so people know about your product or service. But what if there was a way to inspire interest in your ideal customer more naturally and organically without bombarding them with forced advertisements and promotions?

The paragraph above sums up the differences between inbound and outbound marketing. But let’s take the inbound marketing vs outbound marketing question and look at more details of both techniques. We’ll also see how they can benefit your business.

What Is Outbound Marketing?

Inbound-vs.-Outbound-Marketing-What’s-the-Difference-Body-300x200-1Outbound marketing is another name used for traditional advertising practices such as television, radio and print advertising, telemarketing or cold calling, direct mail, and promotions and events. The basic principle that outbound marketing operates on is that the more exposed you are to a product or service, the more you’ll want it.

However, we are now more aware that this is simply not the case. Customers just aren’t responding to traditional, interruptive advertising anymore. In fact, many already know each marketing tactic that traditional marketers use, and are simply over it.

Research and experience have revealed the following about outbound marketing:

  • It’s interruptive. Television ads, door-to-door sales associates, and internet pop-ups interrupt the normal flow of your life to talk about their product. In most cases, this annoys customers and makes them less receptive to hearing about the product.
  • Modern technology allows viewers to skip or mute television and radio ads – an option that users pay good money to employ.
  • Print advertising is becoming more irrelevant as consumers choose to receive their news online.
  • Online ad popups and banners are increasingly blocked by ad-blocking software.
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened.
  • Telemarketing generally has a bad reputation, and do-not-call lists inhibit its effectiveness.

Outbound marketing isn’t sufficient for modern businesses anymore, but inbound techniques offer an ideal alternative.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing focuses on many strategies designed to naturally draw customers in and increase their interest in your business. This is done by producing high-quality content and sharing helpful information, thereby making viewers naturally interested in the product or service. This leads to better brand exposure.

It also focuses on using the internet as a medium to draw potential customers to your business. Because most customers have moved away from traditional information formats, like television and print, they now search online for information about products and services. That’s something any online marketing company knows quite well.

In fact, research shows that over 80% of shoppers research products and services online, read blog posts, and pay attention to various factors before making a purchase decision. All this just shows how important it is to target customers while they are looking for information online.

Some of the aspects that make this kind of marketing more effective include:

  • The buyer’s journey, or sales funnel, which assesses a customer’s needs through each phase of the sales cycle, from Attract, to Convert, Close and then Delight.
  • The permissive nature of inbound marketing. It attracts and informs clients when they are most open and receptive to your message.
  • There’s content marketing included, where high-quality content like relevant white papers and valuable information are used to pull your ideal customers in.
  • Your blog posts, site content, social media, and email campaigns provide actual value to customers, so they want to learn more about your business.
  • Customers come to you, and there’s more of an equal two-way interaction.
  • It occurs through primarily online channels, so it reaches more customers where they’re already looking for you.

As you can likely tell, inbound marketing techniques are the more valuable, productive, and successful long-term marketing techniques in use these days. It’s no wonder that many an online marketing company specializes in it.

If you’re interested in this kind of effective marketing for your business, contact Leads Ngin to see how we can help your business prosper.