Marketing can be broadly divided into two types—inbound and outbound. In order to successfully market your business on digital platforms, it is crucial to understand the differences between the two. So, in order to help you with that, we have curated a list of key differences between inbound v/s outbound marketing. So, read on and find out.

In order to keep surviving and growing, a business needs to keep maintaining a certain amount of sales. And hence, there is a constant need to find new customers. However, for the same thing, there are two broad distinct strategies that different marketers use—inbound marketing and outbound marketing. While some hire digital marketing services, others pay ad publishers.

So, what is the difference between the two, and which strategy would be the best for your business? In order to understand this and make the right marketing decisions for your business, you need to understand the difference between the two. And that is just what we are going to list below.

Inbound v/s outbound marketing

Differences between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

#Definition

Inbound marketing

It consists of modern marketing methods that aim at attracting customers by creating valuable content and tailored experiences for them. Inbound marketing methods are developed in a way to lead the customers to the business.

Examples: SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, conversational marketing, etc.

Outbound marketing

It consists of traditional marketing methods that aim to promote a business to any and every consumer they can find. Outbound marketing channels usually aim to interrupt consumers with promotional content.

Examples: cold calling, advertisements, telemarketing, radio ads, trade shows, etc.

#Targeting

Inbound marketing

Businesses using inbound methods first define their target market and create buyer personas. Then based on different characteristics of the target market—demographics, pain-points, likes & dislikes, behaviors, and so on—marketers customize strategies to drive customers to the business. Thus, marketing methods aimed at leading customers to the business instead of the opposite are better targeted.

Outbound marketing

In outbound marketing methods, there is little to zero targeting. Such marketing channels are aimed at just about anyone and everyone they can find, be it outside of their target market.

#Communication

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing employs open channels like social media marketing, blogging, etc. to have their target market reach them. Thus, there is greater scope for two-way communication. Not only can businesses send their marketing messages to the customer but the customers too can also reach out to businesses easily. This paves way for smoother communication and leads to better relationship building.

Outbound marketing

When it comes to outbound marketing methods, communication is only one way as it employs mediums like TV ads, radio ads, print ads, etc. Hence, only businesses can send their message to the customer. There is hardly any scope for customers to do that.

#Personalization

Inbound marketing

This approach of marketing tries to give a personalized experience to the target customers by using invaluable customer data to tailor their marketing channels accordingly.

Outbound marketing

Since outbound marketing methods direct towards a general audience, there is no attempt at personalization as such.

#Cost

Inbound marketing

There is virtually no cost involved in inbound marketing. However, smart businesses do invest in the services of digital marketing agencies in Brisbane. But the marketing methods themselves hardly ever require a monetary investment. Such marketing channels rather focus on reaching the target audience with organic means. Thus, even small businesses with limited budgets can do inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing

The cost involved in outbound marketing is generally quite a lot as compared to inbound marketing methods. As you must be aware, mediums like television ads, radio ads, print ads, cold calling, etc. do require a considerable amount of monetary investment. Thus, this sort of marketing is usually difficult for small businesses.

#Returns on investment

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing aims to reach the target audience by creating content that they’d find useful and would feel encouraged to engage with it by themselves. So, since the audience is already interested in your content, they’d naturally respond better to your marketing channels. Thus, returns on investment are generally higher.

Outbound marketing

It totally depends on odds how the audience of your outbound marketing channels will receive it. If the advertisement happens to appear in front of the right people, only there is a little possibility of good returns on investment. However, due to lack of targeting, marketing resources are spent even on uninterested audiences, returns on outbound marketing investment generally don’t pan out well.

#Lead generation and conversion

Inbound marketing

Compared to traditional methods, inbound marketing is indeed better at lead generation and conversion. As a prospect is found, inbound marketing channels go on to warm up the leads and finally nurture them into customers.

Outbound marketing

This type of marketing doesn’t often have very positive lead generation and conversion outcomes. Apparently, as outbound marketing channels generally lead to lower ROI, it eventually turns up lesser leads and lesser conversions. You’d be lucky if you as much as just cover the marketing costs.

Final word

So here ends our list of key differences between inbound v/s outbound marketing. If we put it in comparison, inbound marketing is a clear winner. However, in reality, both inbound and outbound marketing methods go together. Businesses first find potential leads and warm them up with inbound marketing. Then they use a means of outbound marketing to convert the warm leads into buyers. For the best marketing outcomes, it is essential to strike the right balance between the two. And digital marketing agencies in Melbourne can help you do just that!

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Somya Sharma : Regardless of being a Delhi University graduate with a major in English Literature, Somya's interests are not limited to poetry and drama. As a person who loves researching, discussing and writing about topics rooted in various disciplines, the list of subjects that tickle her fancy is ever-growing. She finds the power of psychology in marketing particularly intriguing and has set out writing blogs with the aim of helping budding marketers polish-up.