In the past, marketing was purely up to chance. It was like throwing a hook with bait into the water and hoping you would reel in a large amount of fish. In the business world, this approach has a name: Outbound Marketing. It is a traditional marketing practice that aims to reach the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time – regardless of who the target audience is.
While outbound marketing still exists, it has become outdated compared to inbound marketing which narrowly targets people who are already – or have a strong potential to be – interested in what you sell. The two approaches differ greatly from various angles. Below are some of the differences between inbound and outbound marketing:
Though there are exceptions, outbound marketing mostly takes place offline as opposed to inbound marketing, which is mostly online. Examples of outbound marketing are print, TV, radio ads, or telemarketing. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, involves ads on social media, ads on search engines, or SEO-related reach.
While outbound marketing attempts to reap as much attention as possible, inbound marketing aims to target those who are – or potentially would be – interested in the brand’s products/services by personalizing the consumer journey. To give an example, if your brand is selling a sports-related item, outbound marketing is putting an ad on a billboard, waiting until it intrigues someone so much that it pushes them to the shop, where they will also contemplate a purchase. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, narrowly targets online users who are already interested in sports, highering the chance of a purchase from a first glance.
Traditional or outbound marketing can hardly be described as cost-effective. It involves paying a ton of cash whether for a billboard, a TV commercial, or the salaries of telemarketing representatives, all in the hope of making a sale. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is very focused in its targeting, increasing the likelihood of reaching a potential consumer and ultimately securing a sale.
4. Return on Investment (ROI)
With the traditional methods used by outbound marketing, it becomes rather difficult for a seller to measure their profits against marketing and advertising costs. Conversely, the near-accurate statistics and insights into the audiences’ behaviors and demographics of inbound marketing make it possible to measure your brand’s return on investment (ROI). This enables the seller to know which marketing methods are most effective, which in turn saves both time and money.
In A Nutshell:
Though the comparison may seem in favor of inbound marketing, outbound marketing still has its advantages. These include the ability to reach a wide audience in a short amount of time as well as its effectiveness in establishing a presence.
Sometimes both methods are combined for more effective results. In the end, factors such as brand goals, audience, and resources together dictate which marketing approach you should be employing.