Before we decide to favor either inbound or outbound marketing, here’s a good definition of marketing in general:
“Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service.“
It encompasses a lot. Anyone who runs a business knows how important a good marketing strategy is, to ensure that it survives and prospers. The bottom line is that businesses need to provide what people are looking for, and potential customers need to know the business exists and what it offers. So what’s the best strategy for making that connection — inbound or outbound marketing?
Old School Tradition
Outbound — “Push” Marketing
Traditional old-school marketing involves advertising products and services to consumers even if they are not looking for them.
Television ads, cold calls, banner ads and popup ads that demand attention typically don’t typically provide enough useful information to convert contacts into customers.
Traditional marketing methods can be effective if used strategically, but the ROI is only 1/3 as good. A one-time ad blanketing a limited geographic area can be very expensive, and might not even reach your intended audience.
Reaching your ideal client by broadcasting ads is like finding a needle in a haystack. There is no guarantee that anyone will notice or respond.
Ads that get in your potential customer’s way can really be annoying, to the point that they may form a negative opinion of your company. Not the way to start a positive buyer relationship!
The New Sales Funnel
Inbound — “Pull” Marketing
Inbound marketing is more about reaching only your ideal consumer, by creating content specifically designed to attract qualified prospects and helping them find that they want.