Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing – Which is best for your business?

Guy standing in New York - image showing number of ads we are exposed to in a day. Blog post image for inbound vs outbound marketing

According to Forbes, we are exposed to a minimum of 4,000 advertisements each day. The high end of that scale reaches 10,000 ads in a single day! This statistic alone should get you thinking about the most effective forms of advertisement. Surely you don’t remember or even recall all 4000 ads you saw yesterday, possibly not even the last 10. There are several factors that need to be considered when putting your marketing strategy together to make your ads stick out over the thousands of others that will be seen that day. 

Although messaging is extremely important, we would recommend you shift your focus to placement. Companies hire teams of people to strictly focus on the next best tagline or the best visuals for their strategy, neglecting to realize that it doesn’t matter how well put together your advertisements are if they do not get seen by the right people. Enter the topic of inbound vs outbound strategies. Before we dive in, let’s make sure we are on the same page of what the difference between these two strategies are. 

Outbound marketing, simply put, is when you push your messaging OUT to the public. The company is initiating the conversation and hoping to spark your interest so when you are in the market, if you are not already, their brand will be top of mind. Inbound marketing on the other hand, is when you draw your customer IN and only show your messaging once they are actively seeking out the product or service you offer. 

When people think outbound marketing strategies, they typically think of TV, Radio, and Billboards. There are other outbound methods you may not realize are outbound such as social media marketing and email marketing. These are both extremely effective forms of marketing when the messaging is right, the audience is defined and executed properly. The ROI on digital outbound strategies like social media are more in line with the ROI for your typical inbound strategies. The outbound world has been forced to expand with the rest of the digital age. When combined with inbound digital strategies, outbound strategies can thrive. For example, say you are a dentist running a social media branded campaign on Facebook. Someone sees your ad offering a discount to first time customers then a week later finds themselves with a toothache. If that customer doesn’t automatically recall your offer, they will likely turn to search engines for help. If your paid ad shows up in a google search result for “emergency dentist near me”, that customer will remember seeing you on Facebook and boom, you get the click and gain a new customer with the opportunity to shine your customer service and gain a residual customer. 

Inbound marketing strategies start much further into the purchasing process funnel than an outbound strategy does. While you can get much more specific in your targeting through digital outbound strategies than you used to, inbound strategies ensure that your ad is being seen by someone who needs what you have to offer right now! A great example of inbound marketing is Google Pay Per Click. If someone searches for a “2019 Red Ford F150 XLT” and you have one to sell, how much would you be willing to pay to have that person see your ad in that moment? That is a customer who has already done their research and knows exactly what they want. That is the game of Pay Per Click. When done properly, inbound marketing is a cost effective way to grab customers who are ready to buy. It is also extremely easy to track both performance and results so you know exactly what is working and what is not.

So, which is best for your business? Our answer is …both! Different industries require different levels of both inbound and outbound methods, but more often than not, both are necessary. Even if you are a fully digital, ecommerce business, remarketing to previous customers via email blasts and pushing products through social media can be just as effective as gaining new customers and traffic through inbound efforts.

At Klout9 we are skilled in both inbound and outbound marketing efforts! For a full list of our services, check us out here!

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