The world is clearly divided into two major categories. One with the people following traditional methodologies and one with the tech-savvy people always hunting for new techniques. Marketing, as a business function also follows such categorization commonly termed as inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is the modern advertising method whereas outbound marketing remains the traditional mode of marketing.
Outbound marketing is an ‘outward’ advertising method which pushes the message outside in open to reach out to the audience. It aims to approach everyone whether they are interested or not and therefore it’s an interruptive method that chases the customer. It seeks to attract potential customers using ‘push’ tactics. This includes a number of conventional advertising measures such as print ads, television commercials, outdoor and radio advertising, participating in events, exhibitions and trade shows, direct marketing and telemarketing drives.
Inbound marketing is a relatively new marketing strategy that focuses on pulling in audiences instead of going after them. It aims to seek the attention of already interested audiences and help them with their problems. The idea here is to engage the customers and delight them with interesting content. It includes activities such as search engine optimization, social media campaigns and mainly content marketing where information in various formats including news, video, white papers, e-books, info-graphics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, blogs, etc. is provided to the customers in association with a digital marketing company or an advertising agency.
Outbound approach helps you reach a large number of audiences, build awareness very quickly and get quick conversions. The push tactics can give speedy results as long as your business has the spending capacity. The moment you stop spending on advertising, the benefits also fade away. It is company centric marketing with one way communication, where marketers provide little to no value for their prospects. On the other hand, inbound approach helps you get noticed in the ocean full of competitors. The pull tactics provide value to the prospects at every stage, generates long term ROI and helps creating a lasting relationship between prospects and your brand. It is a customer centric marketing with two-way communication, where marketers provide value for their prospects. Though results may take time to reflect, if done correctly with a concrete content marketing and SEO strategy, inbound marketing can give long term benefits.
Both the methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, but to sum up, outbound approach is a better short-term solution with higher long-term costs, while inbound marketing tends to be a better long-term solution with slightly higher short-term costs. If you are wondering which marketing approach is the best, you can consider adopting an inbound approach for searching new strategies, while continuing with the traditional outbound marketing methodologies as well. Combination of both can give your business the maximum benefits.