The goal is the same: Get your brand in front of on-point customers. There are, however, a couple ways to get there, namely inbound marketing and outbound marketing.
Coined in 2006 by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, inbound marketing, “…pulls customers to your company and creates lasting relationships. More than just a tactic, inbound is a philosophy. It’s fundamentally rooted in the principles that people value – personalized, relevant content and connections, not interruptive messages, and that marketing can and should be lovable.”
INBOUND MARKETING CREATES VALUE
It does this through access to quality content in the form of blogs, videos, newsletters, podcasts, eBooks etc. This content is available at your prospects’ convenience, is highly shareable and offers them something of value in your brand’s unique voice.
IF YOU CREATE IT, THEY WILL COME!
When you engage in inbound marketing, your prospects come to you! You create materials that serve to build trust and grow your brand by attracting, engaging and delighting your prospects. Inbound marketing is an easy way to grow your customer base and ultimately, grow your business. Customers who discover your brand through inbound marketing are quality, on-point leads who, in most cases, go on to become loyal customers.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF INBOUND MARKETING?
- Through the powerful use of automation, inbound marketing allows you to nurture your customers throughout their journey with your brand.
- As you learn more about your customers over time, you can create a personalized marketing experience that keeps them engaging with your content and your brand.
- Because customers engage with your brand on whatever timetable and channels they prefer, inbound marketing is a more holistic marketing approach.
So how is this different than outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is a traditional marketing strategy that can take many forms. From direct mail and radio ads to trade shows and telemarketing, you start with a general audience as opposed to an on-point audience and try to grab their attention. You go to them. They don’t come to you. You create promotional materials and put them in the public eye, hoping people engage. Also known as “interruption marketing,” outbound marketing can get a bad wrap. (Door-to-door salespeople, anyone?) Outbound marketing can be costly and on its own, typically generates a much lower ROI than its inbound counterpart.
SO SHOULD COMPANIES AVOID OUTBOUND MARKETING ALTOGETHER?
Absolutely not. The reality is, outbound marketing has its place. Think of outbound marketing as a megaphone you can use to send out a loud message to the masses. Outbound marketing is particularly effective when your company wants to mass-market a new product or service or when you want to enhance or change your brand image.
The reality is, outbound marketing has its place.
WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS
If you really want to hit the ball out of the park, consider an integration of the two marketing strategies. A well-thought-out outbound marketing strategy coupled with an equally effective inbound marketing strategy is a homerun for any business.
This integrated approach helps you…
- Create brand recognition: Your outbound strategy familiarizes people with your brand and over time, people begin to recognize your business as a trusted name in your industry. As trust increases, prospects engage with your valuable inbound content.
- Develop your brand’s unique voice: When you use your megaphone (outbound marketing) to advertise your brand, you choose your words carefully. As people become more and more familiar with your word choice, they search those words when they’re seeking a relevant business solution. This increases your search rankings and gives you the opportunity to nurture your prospects with your awesome inbound marketing content.