Ever since companies began marketing, there have been two different categories. To briefly define them, they are as simple as putting your marketing in front of the the right target market or strategically targeting consumers and contacting them directly.
Just Some Examples
Outbound Marketing Tactics
- Cold Calling
- Trade Shows
Inbound Marketing Tactics
- Social Media
- TV Ads
The main difference between the two are the leads that are generated. Through outbound you have created interest while inbound they have already had the interest. But which is better?
No one complains that there are commercials on television because they have a set expectation that they will occur. Consumers have a visceral dislike of telemarketers and SPAM email. This can often turn into a natural dislike of the brands conducting these practices.
Follow up emails, opted in lists and calls on qualified leads are perfectly fine. It is the unwanted, unsolicited contact that gives outbound marketing a bad name.
The digital world we live in has drastically changed the consumers expectations. The public now knows that the answer to their problems are just a click away. If your product or service is placed strategically online, then there is no need of convincing them that they need a solution to their issue. They have already started their search. Now all a company needs to do is convince them that they are the right solution.
Inbound marketing overcomes that one critical factor – Intent.
If you call one hundred households tonight and ask them if they are considering the remodel of their kitchen or bathroom, the odds are very low you will get many affirmative responses. But if you target new home owners on Facebook and put your ad in front of them, then the odds are now in your favor comparatively speaking. If you run paid ads on Google for people conducting searches for home improvement companies in their area, the intent is even higher.
Spending less time on massive outreach, trying to convince people they have a need and instead providing solutions when people are more likely interested in what you offer is the key difference between inbound and outbound..
Over the years the cost effectiveness has shown that inbound marketing has a much higher rate of success and lower cost per acquisition.
It is not that outbound is bad, it is just that it should not be the first step in the process. Once a prospect is targeted, then that is the perfect time to initiate outbound techniques, but not before.