So you want to know what is the difference between Outbound and Inbound marketing.
Whether you own a company, you are working for one as a marketing manager, or you are a self-employed that promotes affiliate products for a living, it’s essential to know the fundamentals of the Inbound marketing.
A proper Inbound strategy can reduce your customer acquisition cost, can increase the lifespan of a customer, can increase the average customer value, and overall, will help you to gain happier customers.
I made a quick comparison between the main characteristics of the traditional Outbound marketing and the newer concept called Inbound marketing.
Outbound is the traditional way of doing marketing.
The Outbound marketing utilizes a PUSH approach, which pushes the product in front of a potential customer.
This kind of selling is interruptive and disrupts the activity of a person with annoying ads, cold calling, spam emails, etc.
This marketing form is marketer-centric and focuses on the benefits of marketers.
Example of common Outbound tactics:
- Paid or rented email lists or leads
- Pop-ups and Pop-unders
- Cold sales calling
- Sending spam emails
- TV & Radio ads
- Interstitial pages
- Banner & display ads
- Video Ads
- Contextual Ads
The Outbound marketing finds customers by placing paid ads in the front of the people that might be interested in a particular product and attempts to find the category of people interested in buying the product by getting as much exposure as possible.
Inbound Marketing is a marketing concept focused on attracting customers by creating remarkable content.
The Inbound Marketing utilizes a PULL approach, throughout which the customer attracts the product.
Instead of interrupting the user activity, this marketing form focuses on attracting the customer by providing helpful content to his needs.
Inbound is customer-centric and focuses on pleasing the customers.
Example of common Inbound tactics:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Owned email lists
- Viral marketing
- Video content
- Social media content
- Influencer outreach
- Community building
The Inbound Marketing finds customers by letting the potential customers find the product they are looking for by educating the potential customers and helping them to identify their problems and solutions.
Inbound Marketing Methodology
The core principle of Inbound Marketing is based on four stages that form the marketing and sales process.
- ATTRACT the STRANGERS into VISITORS with the help of a blog, content, and social media.
- CONVERT the VISITORS into LEADS with the help of a forms, call-to-action, and landing pages.
- CLOSE the LEADS into CUSTOMERS with the help of a email, a customer relationship management platform (CRM), workflows.
- DELIGHT the CUSTOMERS and turn them into PROMOTERS of your business by smart content, surveys, and social monitoring.
The content strategy is based on actual data of an ideal customer (known as buyer persona) and targets three different customer stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. These stages are
This buyer persona is a semi-fictional character based on real data that represent the ideal customer.
Every piece of content of an Inbound marketing strategy is written based on the information known about the buyer persona (demographics, job title, challenges, motivation, goals, etc.). The more data you know about the buyer persona, the better your strategy will be.
Learn Inbound Marketing
You can find many free blog articles and YouTube videos about Inbound marketing.
However, the best and complete training course about Inbound Marketing I found is HubSpot’s Free Inbound Certification Course.
This course is free and laid out in such a great manner that anyone, regardless the marketing experience, should have no problem in understanding it.
The videos are up-to-date, have an excellent quality and the lessons are taught by HubSpot’s marketing specialists.
I have personally completed this course and I only have words of praise for it.
Once you create a free account, you will also gain access to several other free courses just as valuable as this one.
I haven’t gone through all the courses yet, but I’m sure I’ll do that very soon.
You can find complete video training courses about:
- Inbound Marketing
- HubSpot Marketing Software
- HubSpot Sales Software
- HubSpot Design
- Contextual Marketing
- Inbound Sales
- Growth-Driven Design
- Growth-Driven Design Agency
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Sales Enablement
Thank you, HubSpot™ for creating such valuable training courses and for making everything available for free. I’m sure some other companies are charging thousands of dollars for this type of courses.
Do not think about Outbound vs Inbound as a paid marketing tactic versus a free marketing technique.
While the Outbound Marketing only includes paid advertising, the Inbound can include both free and paid methods (for example Google Adwords search ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads, etc.).
The Outbound interrupts the user activity flow, while the Inbound attracts the potential customers with content that targets a specific stage of the buyer’s journey.
The Inbound approach has numerous benefits compared to the traditional Outbound marketing.
With Inbound marketing, you might experience lower customer acquisition costs, a longer customer lifespan, a stronger and lasting buyer-consumer relation, a larger reach, and so on.
Because the Inbound strategy educates the visitors before making a purchase, the sales team should also find it easier to close the leads into customers.
Even though there are many companies that still have good results with the traditional marketing approach, I believe that the Inbound marketing is the future of marketing. The consumers are becoming smarter year by year and many of them now research the available options before making a purchase.
If you haven’t transferred your marketing strategy to Inbound, I think now it’s the best time to consider that. I think that in 2018 it’s mandatory for any company to have a blog, social network profiles, and a content marketing strategy for attracting new customers.