Outbound and inbound marketing existed even before the internet existed. Every business needs to identify the allocation of its marketing budget between the two. This article will simplify outbound and inbound marketing for you and help you decide what works for your business.

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound Marketing refers to the direct approach of marketing such as advertisements, TV and radio commercials, emails, telemarketing, etc.

What is Inbound Marketing?

This is a subtle form of marketing which does not approach the audience directly. You see it in the form of SEO optimization, blogging, social media, ambient advertising, etc.

Should you use Outbound Marketing?

–          Attention Grabber: The greatest advantage of outbound marketing is that you are assured that your audience will look at it. Whether it is a large billboard or TV commercial, your audience will see it because of its large font or because it is on the channel they are tuned on. However, this sort of advertisement has also been called as ‘interrupting advertisement’ because the audience is forced to take a break from something they prefer doing and view your advertisement.  

–          Expensive Option: To follow an outbound marketing strategy, you need to have substantial funds to post advertisements publicly. Advertisements like billboards, TV and radio commercials, print ads, etc would cost you quite a lot.

–          Wide Audience: Outbound marketing stretches its reach to the whole public, so it is very good if your brand is looking for wide range of customers.

Should you use Inbound Marketing?

–          Power of Subtlety: Inbound marketing is very subtle. Unlike outbound marketing, it does not forcibly grab the attention of audiences. This generates more interest in today’s audience and they are more likely to drop by your website and find out about you.

–          Inexpensive Option: Inbound Marketing is perfect for the internet. It does not require a lot of financial input. SEO optimisation, blogging, setting up social media accounts can be done for free or minimal costs.

–          Target Audience: Through inbound marketing, you can reach the correct audience in a better and more efficient way. While outbound marketing relies on luck to stumble upon a potential customer, inbound marketing relies on utilizing the correct channels such as tags, keywords, etc. to get in touch with those who are most likely to be interested in your brand.

If you have the funds, you can efficiently use a mix between the two. Outbound marketing is great for creating brand awareness and building up an image, while inbound marketing is great for maintaining contact with potential customers and translating it into a sale.

Outbound marketing solely depends on loudness – flashy and shinny ads, big fonts, vibrant colours, etc, while a lot of inbound advertisements depend on content – e.g. blogging, social media posts, SEO optimisation are all content related efforts.

As a brand, your budget and popularity will decide whether you will use inbound or outbound advertisements. Outbound advertisements are especially useful when you have just started out and need to become more popular. Once your brand has some level of popularity, you can switch to inbound advertisements. If your budgets are low, you can conduct all your marketing activities in the inbound fashion. It’ll work, but it’ll only take a little longer to get you the same level of popularity.