The field of marketing today has evolved with the advent of the internet. In this digital age, the integral parts and parcels of internet marketing need to be revitalized. If you are studying internet marketing strategies, or are in the field of online business, then you must be aware that there are two types of marketing channels; Inbound and Outbound Marketing. A better understanding of these two terms is very important for any anyone who wants to utilize these two types of prospecting.
Inbound marketing is an emerging marketing concept in the digital world. It means that, you are attracting your clients or customers by providing them with free information and content about things they are interested in, with the potential of ordering them. Inbound marketing is an interactive method of communicating your message on products or services to customers.
Outbound marketing on the other hand, is considered a traditional marketing approach in which the message is communicated to customers without their consent. Any activity outside the digital world is considered outbound marketing. There are a few activities such as banner advertising, TVC and Email marketing however, that are considered as outbound marketing. The following is a comparison of these two marketing prospects on some key points.
The strengths of Outbound Marketing Prospect
Even though inbound marketing is generally efficient than outbound marketing, the traditional prospect overpowers the weaknesses of the new prospect. Outbound marketing is referred to as interruption marketing at times. Today, it consists mainly of these types of marketing; cold calling, referrals, direct mailings and emails, and these are its strengths.
1. Cold calling
In our day to day activities, any uninvited interruption can come through a phone call, and we have no choice but to answer it. This approach is working for many sales organizations. They believe that, of any of their sales person can get you on the phone, then a sale will happen. The cold call solves the inbound weakness that it get your product or service known directly by even non-searching prospects.
2. Direct mails
Even in this digital world, direct mails can work effectively. While in inbound marketing your prospects can only view your brand online, meaning you have to do an exceptional job on optimizing for that category, with outbound marketing, you have an easy way to reach out to your prospects.
3. Outbound marketing can be very useful to any business organization or company. With inbound marketing, a prospect cannot easily find your business/company online. Probably you have a high competition on a keyword category, or the prospective buyer doesn’t search in a way that your search says. Outbound marketing however, catches your prospects directly, and it can work best when you have been referred to a certain specific prospect.
Outbound Marketing-The Weaknesses
1. Unwelcomed Cold Calls
One of the biggest issues with outbound prospecting is that cold calls are normally unprepared and nobody likes them. Additionally, they do not at times, get the point very quickly to the prospect. The prospect could be busy attending to other sensitive matters of their work, and not unless you have a very compelling point to make, you will likely do more of annoying than passing the message across.
Not unless your prospect acts on your ads; direct mails or emails, then you won’t really know if you have successfully passed the message. This way, it is difficult to interpret their buying signals. Additionally, you can miss out on prospective buyers who are looking for your brands because you are not aware of these potential buyers.
3. High Cost
The cost of unbound prospecting is always on the higher side compared to inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing- The strengths
1. It Creates Top of Mind Preference (TOMP)
Inbound marketing provides you with the path to generate top of mind preference away from top of mind awareness, a traditional approach to marketing. TOMP allows you to position your brand or service as the preferred choice. Therefore, you ahead of your competitors as prospects compare their options; your brand VS a subset of your competitor’s brands.
2. You Can Make Invisible Sales
This is one of the best strengths of inbound marketing. This prospecting allows you to attract buyers through search engines, social media and referrals. This way, you can make sales without even knowing when prospects read your content and get convinced to try your brand. Therefore, you have to produce online content that is educating to buyers and avoid risking invisible sales.
3. Less Expenses
Unlike outbound marketing where you have to spend on ads, inbound marketing is like an investment VS an expense. The value of traditional approaches is consumed once the ad is finished, making it an expensive tactic. Online content is there to stay, and it will stay forever. Search engines will never forget whatever you have posted on your blog or website, and they will constantly lead traffic into your site. Therefore, inbound marketing continues to drive awareness of your brands and leads prospects to buying them.
Inbound Marketing- The weakness
1. Inbound marketing requires high content volume, (about 3 to 5 per week ongoing), an extremely difficult task to put up with particularly for very busy webmasters.
2. It is difficult to make sales to prospects who don’t visit your site. This prospecting only works if your online visitors get to actively search for your brand. Therefore, if you have a new solution, it is not obvious that they will easily find it, unlike the traditional approach where you directly contact your prospects.
Inbound or Outbound Marketing?
Like just everything in marketing, there is no black or white paper. For any marketing strategy to succeed, the most important thing is to understand your customers through research so as to uncover the insights. Use these insights to craft the marketing mix for your company. Though most people these days target inbound marketing because it is desirable to most prospects and possess lower costs, it has its own limitations. Whichever marketing strategy you adopt, ensure that it is effective for your business or brand. There is no shortcut in marketing.
Written by Derek Fraser: Derek Fraser is an online manager for Maxwell Systems Software. He likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.