What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?

Inbound vs. Outbound MarketingIn today’s business world the way we attract customers is changing rapidly and people with careers in commerce need to understand the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. Internet technology has made a huge impact on industry and the way we sell goods. While people still take out newspaper ads and corporations pay millions of dollars for Super Bowl advertising slots, the trend is away from that type of marketing.

What is Outbound Marketing

Outbound marking is also called “Intrusive Marketing.” It is advertising by taking your message to the consumer on billboards and telephone campaigns as well as newspaper ads, flyers and direct mail. It is the way we have always advertised and, in some cases, it is effective. The problem is that today’s consumer has become savvier and has learned how to block TV commercials and unwanted telephone numbers from their homes. According to the website Mashable, two hundred million people placed their names on the “no-call” list which imposes fines on advertisers that call the listed numbers. Eighty-six percent of people replying to a survey admitted sleeping through TV commercials. Nearly half of all direct mail advertising is never opened. That amounts to a lot of advertising money spent on people that are never even reached.

Related Resource: Mobile Marketing

What is Inbound Marketing

The website, Boldthink, describes inbound advertising as “content-based.” Inbound advertising relies on the consumer coming to the service. Advertisers post useful, creative content online and that content leads the customer to investigate the product. Marketing blogs and articles use SEO (search engine optimizing) techniques in their content to make searching for the products easier. Advertisers also make use of social media sites like Facebook , Twitter and Linked-In to get their message to consumers. One inbound marketing technique is to offer free eBooks to consumers, causing them to see the advertising while reading the book. Landing pages are another successful tool of inbound marketers. The page offers free products if customers sign up for a company newsletter. The webpages allow customers to comment on services and products and that demonstrates the concern of the business for customer satisfaction and allows companies to make improvements in their businesses.

Which Marketing is Best for Most Companies

While inbound marketing seems to be the new wave of business advertising, traditional marketing still has a place. Companies that have the resources to invest in a Super Bowl commercial or a series of billboards reach more people. Outbound marketing is more expensive. Inbound marketing does not reach as many potential customers, but it is less costly. Social media ads target thousands of people every day, and costs little in comparison to TV air time. Of businesses surveyed in 2010, 61 percent planned to spend more money on inbound advertising in 2011. Most of the companies (83 percent) said Facebook was critical to their business. Two-thirds attributed their success to their company blogs. The answer as to which method is best depends on the company, but inbound marketing is certainly the plan of the future.

The difference between inbound and outbound marketing may come down to the factor of Internet technology. People like being connected to services and products, but on their own terms. Inbound marketing lets consumers search anonymously, investigate at their own pace and buy securely, and buying is the endgame for both the seller and consumer.