What is Difference Between Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing? A Quick Primer

What is Outbound Marketing? Before discussing inbound marketing tips, it is important to first understand the difference between inbound and outbound marketing tactics. Outbound marketing consists of the familiar types of traditional advertising that have been used for years, such as billboards, ads in the Yellow Pages and other print mediums, and telemarketing.

All of these marketing efforts focus on the common goal of finding customers; but there is one problem here. Modern society no longer wants to be found. Instead, people prefer to determine for themselves which companies they want to do business with.

Today’s customers are savvier than ever. They don’t want to be bombarded by high-pressure sales tactics, irritating radio ads, or intrusive cold calls – nor do they want to be bothered by irrelevant marketing. Technology has adapted accordingly, helping customers avoid unwanted advertising through the use of features and devices like Caller ID or DVRs. This has made outbound marketing even more expensive – and increasingly ineffective – as it tries to keep up with changing technology.

While traditional marketing might be less effective, companies still have to find their audience or they won’t be able to sell their products or services. How can this be accomplished in the face of the increasing irrelevance of outbound marketing? Enter Inbound Marketing With inbound marketing, the customer is in charge. Potential clients now perform their own online research to find the company that best suits their needs, and ultimately choose a business based on their personal preferences and research rather than a flashy ad campaign. Those companies which utilize effective inbound marketing tips won’t have to search for clientele. Instead, they can invest their time back into the business because their clients come to them.

Before thinking that this sounds too good to be true, one must realize that it isn’t quite as easy as sitting back and relaxing while customers flock to the door. There are several web design techniques and inbound marketing tips that should be followed to attract a customer base. Although incorporating inbound marketing tips will require focus and effort on the part of a company’s web design and marketing departments, doing so will ultimately save the company time and money, while increasing both sales and customer loyalty.

Content is (and always will be) King

In outbound marketing, the goal was to outshine the competition through more creative ads: brighter, shinier, and funnier – whatever would catch the customer’s attention. With inbound marketing, these tips are geared instead toward facilitating the customer’s search efforts and making it easier for them to find a specific company. To that end, the best incentive for attracting customers is through fresh, engaging content. A company’s website design should include multiple elements that make its site attractive to new visitors while still offering a little something for repeat visitors.

These items include:

  • A company blog, to let customers get to know the corporate personality;
  • Multimedia elements, to keep visitors entertained and coming back for more;
  • A call to action, encouraging feedback or content sharing; and
  • Visitor incentives to enhance customer loyalty (such as downloadable e-books or white papers).

Some of these elements will be addressed as individual inbound marketing tips in our eBook (see below). However, they all work together toward a single goal: producing a site that is attractive to visitors, holds their attention, and encourages them not only to do business with the company, but to spread the word to their friends and families via word of mouth. If everything works correctly, loyal customers become unwitting marketing strategists who are not only satisfied with the company’s website, but they also want to share it with everyone. For this to happen, a company’s site needs content that stands out from the crowd.

Published May 13, 2013 by David Kaufer.
Categories: Inbound Marketing