What is the Difference Between Outbound & Inbound Marketing?

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What is the Difference Between Outbound & Inbound Marketing?

One of the top goals for businesses is to generate leads. And the best way to do that is through marketing. Unfortunately, many companies do not use all of their marketing potential for their campaigns. They do not consider the myriad other strategies and techniques available to them; resulting in ineffective marketing campaigns and the dreaded question, “Where are my leads?” echoing into the void. 

As a B2B lead generation agency, we at BizDev Communications have a responsibility to assist our clients in securing excellent leads for a visible ROI for their marketing efforts. In this article, we will briefly explain two marketing strategies – inbound & outbound – that have distinct deliverables but are motivated by different reasons and utilize different modes of persuasion. Both will work on their own but will be far more effective when used in tandem.

Opening the Door for Leads

Imagine a business building with two entrances and one greeter at each door:

  • The greeter at the first entrance – labeled “Outbound” – opens the door outward to greet every passerby, touting the reasons why they would be interested in the business’s products, and exclaiming the great deals and exciting offers available to those who walk in. Curious and eager parties walk through the door, while others walk by unaffected or actively skirt around the loud greeter.
  • After the outbound greeter has concluded his pitch, the second greeter at the “Inbound” door places an attractive display of the business’s products with relevant and exciting information. The greeter walks back through the door and waits inside. Interested parties stop by to learn more. They are curious about the products and decide to walk in through the door that the greeter has pulled open for them. Consumers uninterested in the display walk by without a second glance. 

Which door is the most effective at bringing in leads? Well, that question has plagued businesses for years. 

Outbound Marketing

The first and oldest marketing strategy is of the outbound variety. Marketing products, including billboards, TV ads, radio spots, banner ads, BOGOs, and paid ads with a contact form are all under the outbound marketing umbrella. This promotional strategy pushes consumers onto a predetermined path that goes from advertisement to conversion.

Although outbound was in-vogue for decades, it seems to be falling out of favor in recent years. This change is not only a result of consumers becoming desensitized to the bright lights of Times Square and the jewelry ads on Facebook, but because outbound is a B2C strategy that targets a specific type of consumer, and consumer preferences and actions are historically challenging to read and predict. 

  • The “outbound” greeter went out into the world with a target audience in mind and pushed those who met the criteria onto the buying cycle. All others were ignored.

Inbound Marketing 

This type of marketing has gained popularity recently, but it is much more difficult to glean actual data that proves its true effectiveness. Inbound is a more passive and educational approach to marketing.

Companies with inbound campaigns seek to pull consumers in with educational blog posts, infographics, and other content deliverables with CTAs and attractive offers that entice them to find out more. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is also a form of inbound. These businesses are trusting that their target markets will find them. Inbound is exceptionally useful and is geared more towards B2B because successful companies are always looking for ways to improve. 

  • The “inbound” greeter was only interested in people who knew something about the products but wanted to know more. Anyone who was not initially interested walked by without even knowing the display was there. 

The Left & the Right Hand

So, which strategy is best? Neither – or both. 

On their own, outbound and inbound are relatively effective. However, if you try to use only one of them, you are bound to struggle. Instead, businesses must try to find a balance to create a sustainable, extended campaign that both replenishes leads and tracks and pulls existing leads into the fold. 

With the professional assistance of a lead generation company like BizDev Communications, we can make the most of your inbound and outbound marketing, opening both doors simultaneously to produce more sales opportunities for your business.

Contact us today to learn more!