Which is better: Inbound Marketing VS Outbound Marketing

What is the difference between Inbound VS Outbound Marketing?

What is the difference between Inbound VS Outbound Marketing?

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.

What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?

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 anymore.

If Facebook used outbound marketing tactics

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 sales letters 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 a 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 anymore. Technology has advanced and marketing strategies and tactics have also evolved to keep up with it.

What is Outbound Marketing

What is the difference between inbound and 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?

What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?

Definition of inbound marketing: Inbound marketing refers to marketing strategies that focus 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 a more effective way of reaching your target audiences.

Below is an illustration of the process of an inbound marketing campaign:

Some people think there is a difference between Inbound Marketing and Digital Marketing but is there really?

Online marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention. Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attract’s qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.

Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, online marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?


At its best, marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon — that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies and provides an excellent return on the investment required.

Though it’s not the easiest marketing initiative to execute on, marketing automation is certainly not impossible. Imagine you’re trying to grow a plant. First, you need fertile soil ripe for the growth of your plant. Next, you need seeds themselves to care for and last you need water and light in order to nurture those seeds into a lush, blooming plant.  It’s not foolproof, but it’s not impossible. In our story, effective marketing automation looks just like nurturing this plant does. At the end of the day, we hope we’ve nurtured our leads (the seedlings) well enough to produce actual paying customers (a lush, full-grown plant.)


However, the term “marketing automation” has become a buzz-word, where marketers seek out marketing automation software under the impression that all of the digital marketing tools necessary for growth, including those needed to generate new leads, roll up under the hood of marketing automation. This misconception leaves many marketers with sophisticated tools to automate the middle of their funnel, but no solution to generating new leads to nurture in the first place.

The consequence is that marketers begin buying lists of email addresses to nurture instead of generating inbound leads. While it seems like a quick fix, it’s not a long-term solution, nor does it create the fertile ground for a healthier, longer relationship with your future customers. In our plant analogy, it’s sort of like using artificial chemicals or enhancers to make your plant grow faster. Sure, it seems like a good, quick fix–but it doesn’t set you up for future, long-term success. While it’s definitely the easier route, it doesn’t set you up for long term success.

Discovering your unique business profile.

{company_name} assigns a team specifically for {client_name} needs. We get to know you – your strengths, challenges, history, and current needs – and we get to know your market. Together with your Marketing Account Leader and senior management team, we define the problem and create goals to solve it.

Assessing your current situation and establishing benchmarks for success.

In this phase, we compare your current state to your desired state – where are you now and where do you want to be? We identify specific gaps, set benchmarks for success, outline measurable targets, and select analytics tools.

Designing your customized Marketing Strategy.

Our team designs a customized solution and implementation plan to meet your objectives within the time frame required. Your Marketing Account Leader works closely with your management team to make sure the plan is a good fit with realistic objectives and outcomes.

Implementing your solution and managing change.

We stay with you every step of the way while your solution is rolling out, guiding implementation, tweaking elements of the plan as we get feedback from employees and customers, and measuring success using custom analytics.

Criteria for Target Market Selection, Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better and make it easier for us to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights {company_name} gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).


Focus on creating content that will bring knowledge and value to the people reading it. This is how we will attract a potential new customer.


Once you’ve attracted website visitors, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least, you’ll need their email addresses. Contact information is the most valuable currency there is to the online marketer.


You’re on the right track. You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this feat? Certain marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times.


The Inbound way is all about providing remarkable content to our users, whether they be visitors, leads, or existing customers. Just because someone has already written you a check doesn’t mean you can forget about them!

Inbound Marketing Techniques

Online marketing revolves around a set of key activities, these are important techniques for a successful inbound marketing campaign. Here are a few elements that you will need to master if you are going to promote your business with inbound marketing.

Search engine optimization: We can’t stress enough how important SEO is to inbound marketing. SEO is a set of tactics that make your website attractive to search engines. It takes advantage of what we know about how search engines rank sites to boost the chances that your content will rank for specific keyword searches.

Content creation: Content can come in many forms, but the basic forms are website pages and blog posts. Search engines like sites with a lot of current content. But the main target of content is human visitors who want valuable information about a problem they are experiencing. The key is to position your business as a trusted expert through this content. Content also includes images and videos. Ebooks, white paper, webinars and other similar content offer more extensive information that is used to collect contact information from visitors.

Calls-to-action: Content is not complete without inviting the reader to act in some way. The action could be downloading an ebook in exchange for an email address. But it could also be to make a purchase now based on a discount offer. A call-to-action requires a landing page to further entice visitors to respond to an offer.

Social media: These platforms are ways to promote content. They make it possible for your content to go viral and reach a lot of people.

Emails: Emails are still a very effective tool to nurture an ongoing relationship with people who have expressed an interest in your products and services. You can send out an email newsletter with industry tips and best practices as well as great offers on your products.

Benefits of Inbound Marketing

What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?

Inbound marketing works, here are some of the stats that demonstrate how well inbound marketing works.

According to Hubspot’s report in 2013:

  • 79% of companies that have a blog reported a positive ROI.
  • 57% of marketers who blog monthly acquired a customer directly from their blog.
  • 77% of businesses that market directly to consumers have acquired a customer with Facebook.

Inbound marketing is a proven way to generate leads, drive sales and grow your business.

The best news is that inbound marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing. Outbound marketing is expensive because they are usually broadcast to a mass audience even if they aren’t in your target demographics. You have to buy expensive media exposure and keep repeating your message for it to work.

The cost per lead drops significantly for inbound marketing because online resource is significantly less expensive than mass media. You focus on a target audience that is already interested in your products. Inbound marketing results in a significant decrease in cost associated with lead generation.

outbound inbound cost

A marketing strategy that works and is less expensive than the alternative: it seems like a no-brainer. Just look at the numbers below, according to a survey, 41% expressed that inbound marketing demonstrated positive ROI for their company.

inbound outbound roi

Why partner with SMS? We’re rated one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in Oklahoma and we’re transparent with you on all of our work.

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