If you’re running a business or a marketer, you’ve probably heard of the terms “inbound marketing” and “outbound marketing”. You might think that these are just another categorization of marketing or just some buzzwords that marketers made up to sound cool.
While I won’t deny that having “Inbound Marketer” on my name card looks cooler than having “Normal Marketer” on it, we should really understand the distinction between these two marketing approaches and how they work in today’s digital age.
If you’re trying to expand the audience for your website, find new customers and grow your business, it’s likely that you’re going to have to invest in some sort of marketing campaigns in order to promote your brand or product or services.
Today, technology has changed how people obtain information and consequently, marketing has undergone a massive transformation. Outbound marketing tactics, like television and radio advertising, are not as effective as they once were. Now comes the age of inbound marketing, driven by the Internet and social media.
Think about it: today’s customers are really savvy. No one wants to sit through a sales pitch, and people today have become really good at avoiding them.
- People can skip TV ads by recording their favorite shows and fast-forwarding through the commercials and with so many online streaming services, TVs don’t even get that many viewers anymore.
- Digital music and satellite radio makes it easy for people to avoid radio advertising.
- People get their news from the Internet, so no one sees the print advertising in the newspapers any more.
- Online banner ads are blocked by ad blockers. Even if they don’t get blocked, they have very low visibility due to a symptom called banner blindness.
- Email salesletters mostly wind up in the spam folder or doesn’t even get opened.
- 44% of direct mail is never opened. So don’t bother wasting those paper and postage fees.
- And do young people even know what the yellow pages are any more? Nobody is going to flip through hundreds of pages when they can simply Google what they are looking for.
- With do-not-call lists, telemarketing is a thing of the past or just plain annoying.
- Outdoor billboards are even less effective. Pay a huge sum of money to display your message to people who are moving at 60 mph and has primary focus on the road. Worst still, there are other brands fighting for their limited attention at the same time.
The bottom line is: Traditional advertising channels are just not getting the job done any more. Technology has advanced and marketing strategies and tactics have also evolved to keep up with it.
What is Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is just another name for “traditional advertising methods”, it is devised to contrast with the newer “inbound marketing”. It includes television and radio advertising, print advertising, telemarketing, direct mail, and outdoor advertising.
The basic idea is that advertisers use mass media tools to push their message and products out to the public. The hope is that if enough people who are in your target audience hear the message, they will respond.
These marketing tactics used to be effective, but nowadays these ads are so saturated and so similar that people no longer pay attention to them.
Another problem with outbound marketing is that many people who are not in your target audience are also exposed to your message, which makes the cost of advertising on these mediums less effective.
Traditional marketing is interruptive. Commercials interrupt television shows. Door to door salesman and cold calls interrupt what people are doing to present a sales pitch. This push advertising worked in the mass media age, but modern communications technology has allowed people to escape and avoid these annoying interruptions.
What is Inbound Marketing
Definition of inbound marketing
- Inbound marketing refers to marketing strategies that
focuses on pulling audiences in
- instead of going out to get prospects’ attention.
Inbound marketing pulls visitors in, increase brand exposure, and creates brand authority through the creation of valuable content.
Question: If people are not responding to traditional marketing channels, then how are they getting information about the products and services that they need?
Answer: They are using the Internet. Let’s say a homeowner is interested in a lawn care service. How is he going to find such a service? In the past, he might have looked in the yellow pages, the newspaper or a direct mail piece. Today’s homeowner is going to get on his computer, go to his favorite search engine and type “lawn care near Chicago” and look for the best result.
This simple search will yield resources to begin vetting lawn care services. This search may lead him to some blog posts about lawn care in Chicago and he may even download a white paper for even more information.
If he needs further assistance, he may go to his Facebook or Twitter account and ask his connections for their recommendations. The lawn care service that can deploy online marketing assets that attract this homeowner will eventually win his business.
This new marketing strategy is called inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is slightly more complicated and indirect compared to outbound marketing, but it’s the more effective way of reaching your target audiences.
For more information about inbound marketing, kindly go to https://www.aarongoh.net/inbound-marketing/