What exactly are the differences of inbound vs outbound marketing? Here’s an explanation that I trust will help your understanding and help improve your own marketing efforts.
Inbound marketing is based on attracting potential clients and customers during the research phase of their buying cycle. Put another way, inbound marketing is all about getting in front of buyers when they are looking for answers. Essentially, as the inbound theory goes, the best way to capture anyone’s attention is if when they happen to be looking for you! Not when you are actively looking for them.
Conversely, outbound marketing represents old school intrusive marketing tactics. These include interruption style advertising such as TV ads, newspaper and magazine ads, radio and the most intrusive of all – direct marketing (telemarketing, direct mail, etc). Each of these is designed to get your attention while you’re doing something else – checking the mail, cooking dinner, taking a nap, etc. Overtime we’ve refined our senses to tune these messages out. We ignore practically all outbound media. Yet this doesn’t mean we aren’t going to buy those products or services, it just means our purchase process has changed.
Inbound marketing practices puts your products and services inside the new purchasing methodology. That starts with creating content about the service you offer that is not simply a direct sale. It means if you happen to sell fences you create content about the best fences to install if you have a dog or typical cost per foot one should pay for a fence. All of the information that goes into making a decision about a fence is exactly what potential buyers are searching for during their info gathering prior to purchase.
The trick is how you go about it. You do this by creating a blog. A blog is an ideal place to discuss and explain to your buyers all of the considerations that go into buying that fence. As they research they find you – and guess what, you’re the expert in their mind. They trust your experience and knowledge. A much better place to initiate a sale if you ask me.
Inbound vs outbound marketing distinctions are profound. In fact, they are diametrically opposed concepts. The evolution of inbound is a natural progression of the technology (search, social media) that has changed buyer behavior. Shouting from the rooftops that you have a great product to sell is lost on the modern purchaser. Quietly explaining what one needs to consider when buying your product or service is the new methodology. One that is ever more effective in fact.