How to Use Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing [Complete Guide]

Should I use inbound or outbound marketing? Where do you find that balance between outbound and inbound marketing to maximize and grow the flow of leads? What should you consider when concocting a synergic marketing mix to include both? To answer all these questions, let’s start by understanding each of the marketing techniques, its strengths and weaknesses.

What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing can be simply described as a straightforward business exchange proposition. “Hey there, want to buy my thing?” is your basic message and approach of outbound marketing. It’s the oldest and most fundamental part of any marketing strategy, and is also what non-marketers assume marketing is all about.

Examples of outbound marketing include telemarketing (“cold calls”), paid mailings (both electronic and “snail mail”), advertising (banner ads, radio ads, billboards, etc.) and even door-to-door sales. It’s all about reaching out and pulling the prospect in.

Strengths of Outbound Marketing
Not only is it the older and better polished set of techniques, outbound marketing generates sales leads almost immediately. It goes beyond saying that it’s no magic wand, but when it comes to “sealing the deal”, your go-to tools are those in your outbound toolbelt.

1. Easier to measure ROI

2. Quicker to show impact

3. Potentially Personalized

Weaknesses of Outbound Marketing
Many businesses and brands love outbound marketing for its quick and easily measured results. However, they equally hate the cost and too often the reaction of the target audience, which can easily manufacture a negative sentiment toward the brand.

1. Intrusive

2. Expensive

3. Ineffective on its own

What is Inbound Marketing?
In short, the idea of inbound marketing is to create a pull effect to bring in pre-qualified leads instead of pushing intrusive messages.

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Inbound marketing activities include opt-in email marketing, content production and promotion, social media, and search engine optimization efforts (SEO), among other things.

Using this method, a type of funnel is created with leads coming in at the top of the funnel (TOFU) and being “nurtured” down the funnel with marketing messages tailored to the stage that the lead is in until they are “ready” to be approached with a message directed to start the purchasing process.

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