When it comes to the world or marketing, there are two main branches of activities that businesses can employ to drum up more business. These two categories are inbound marketing (where the customer comes to you) and outbound marketing (where you reach out to the customer
Outbound marketing techniques tend to be more popular in the world of B2C marketing, and inbound marketing tends to dominate the B2B sector as a general rule of thumb. This a bastardised and simplified way to present the debate, but we will go into more depth soon.
In reality, it is important to get a nice mix of both. Outbound marketing tends to be riskier than inbound marketing. But often that element of risk is what helps a business grow.
Inbound Marketing Explained
Inbound marketing is about helping your customers. By researching your customers and providing them with useful resources, you are able to bring them into your fold. Inbound marketing activities may include writing articles, blogs and white papers.
In the current digital world, this type of marketing is increasingly relevant. Outbound marketing can alienate audiences, as they may not be ready for the message or hard-sell when it is put in front of them. However, inbound marketing suffers none of these disadvantages. If you are consistent in being helpful, you will customers will come looking for you. However, inbound marketing does have it’s disadvantages too, however, as it can be slow to see a return and harder to measure
Outbound Marketing Explained
Outbound marketing is all about the hype! It is what you probably think of when you imagine marketing and advertising. It is typically employed by non-established businesses to build awareness and engagement with their product or service. Paid advertising is on search engines or display ads is a good example of modern outbound marketing.
Traditional advertising, such as radio advertising and commercials fall under this category. A lot of effort recently in the field of outbound marketing has been put into creating personalised, data-driven advertising campaigns. After all, disruptive advertising seems to have had it’s day. Consumers now want products put in front of them, only when it benefits them.
Which Should My Company Employ?
Both. Don’t get dogmatic about your approach to marketing. Outbound marketing should be used to reach wider audiences. The most important element of your outbound marketing is to measure, so that you can estimate an accurate ROI.
When it comes to inbound marketing, beware of relying too much on blog posts and proper SEO to draw in customers. Whilst progressive advertisers may argue that inbound marketing allows more two-way communication and is less interruptive, often there is so much information that you may not be found.
We recommend that you audit your existing marketing activities and see what you are doing more or less of. Try to diversify your marketing activities as much as possible if you can. Outbound and inbound are two pillars that hold up your business.