Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Insights

You might have heard people using the terms “inbound marketing” and “outbound marketing”. But what do they really mean? 


Outbound Marketing 

Outbound marketing involves trade shows, seminars, internal cold calls, telemarketing, and advertising. Simply put, outbound marketing pushes a brand’s message out far and wide and hoping that it sticks.  

In general, outbound marketing aims for quantity, not quality when it comes to audience, using strategies like: 


  • Commercials 
  • Pay-Per-Click ads 
  • Print ads 
  • Billboards 
  • Cold-calling 
  • Direct mail 


Generally speaking, outbound marketing is becoming less successful over time for two major reasons.

Firstly, the average consumer is barraged with literally thousands of outbound marketing schemes a day and is learning more and more creative ways to avoid them: 


  • Caller ID 
  • spam filtering 
  • Tivo 
  • Sirius satellite radio
  • Netflix
  • Paid ad-free services like YouTube Red 


Secondly, the time cost associated with learning something new using the internet (search engines, blogs, learning websites, social media, etc.) is now so low that people are much less likely to go to a trade show or sign up for an in-person seminar. 


What is Inbound Marketing? 

Inbound marketing is more tailored to the modern consumer who does the bulk of their research on a product on their own, usually online.   

Typically, inbound marketing tactics include things like: 


  • Blogging  
  • Social media 
  • Email marketing 
  • Content creation 
  • Lead magnets 
  • SEO 


Although much newer, this strategy in marketing is on average much more successful at reaching customers, mostly because it reaches consumers who are ACTIVELY looking for the product or service you provide. 

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