The big and broad world of Marketing is an overwhelming place that can leave even the most experienced business owners feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. When faced with developing a marketing strategy, you will have to choose not only what you want to say but who you want to say it to, where you want to say it and how it’s going to reach them. While the who and what will come first, the where and how are crucial pieces of the puzzle that must be carefully considered.

Today we are going to talk about two types of marketing strategies that will help you determine the where and how when it comes to sales and lead generation: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing.

These two types of marketing have been a point of contention for marketers as they feel strongly for or against one type or another. Some argue one is money well spent while the other is a waste of resources. In truth, both inbound and outbound marketing serve specific purposes and have their pros and cons.

Today we are going to talk about:

  • What is Outbound Marketing
  • Pros and Cons of Outbound Marketing
  • What is Inbound Marketing
  • Pros & Cons of Inbound Marketing
  • What is right for your business

What is Outbound Marketing?

What is Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is the practice of reaching out directly to your target audience to generate interest in your product or service. With this practice, your business takes on an active role in sparking a relationship with the potential customer by initiating a connection through specific messaging strategically delivered straight to them. Again, this form of marketing has your business taking your bait and dropping it right at the customer’s front door rather than casting your net into open waters and simply waiting like Outbound Marketing’s counterpart: Inbound Marketing. Outbound Marketing is a direct sales approach leaving no space for organic connection.

Some examples of Outbound Marketing are cold calling, cold emailing, direct mail, TV ads, radio ads, and press releases.

Pros of Outbound Marketing

Pros of Outbound Marketing

  1. Quick Results: Unlike Inbound Marketing, the results of your Outbound Marketing efforts will be seen, measured, and reviewed without months and months of waiting and watching. Because you are actively reaching out to your potential customers, you can see how effective your strategy was by the immediate response they have to the content you shared with them.
  2. Boost to Brand Awareness: Even if your sales didn’t see an instant increase, your efforts will automatically make people you hadn’t previously connected with aware of your brand. This fact alone is one of the major bonuses of outbound marketing.  Because you dropped your brand at their feet, they had no choice but to become aware of it. Regardless of if your product or service is something they want or need at that moment, your brand may be the first one they remember when they DO! Not to mention, with things like cold calling and direct mailers, your business has the opportunity to expand your reach far beyond a narrow and exclusive target group of recipients ultimately increasing your leads.
  3. Ease of Implementation: The implementation of outbound marketing can occur quickly without months and months of planning going into long-game strategies. This is a major bonus for small businesses in particular who depend on the lead generation and conversion that will result from any given effort.

Cons of Outbound Marketing

Cons of Outbound Marketing

  1. Complications: When it comes to things like unsolicited calling and emailing, it can get more complicated than simply getting hung up on. From acquiring lists to ending up in spam folders, outbound marketing is not always smooth sailing. These efforts require persistence and attention to detail. The reality is, every human being on the planet is being inundated with the sales efforts of every business on the planet, and reaching them directly is getting more complicated.
  2. Costly: Remember those lists we just mentioned? They aren’t cheap. Purchasing mailing lists and the money it can cost to produce even a postcard-sized mailer and THEN having it mailed is not cheap. Neither is the cost of attending trade shows or the hourly wage to have multiple employees cold calling for hours on end. The unfortunate reality is that going the outbound route will cost you.
  3. Lack of Authenticity: The truth is, outbound marketing is obviously about the sale. There is no disguising it. Companies utilizing outbound marketing are not taking time to build relationships or add any goodwill components to these particular efforts. This can be extremely off-putting and while outbound marketing can still be extremely effective, it can also turn people off to your business.

What is Inbound Marketing?

What is Inbound Marketing

If Outbound Marketing takes an in-your-face, “You have no option but to see me and consider me” approach, Inbound Marketing takes a “Let me work on me, so when you come looking for me, you CAN’T look away” approach. The total opposite of Outbound Marketing, Inbound Marketing is the practice of attracting customers organically. Inbound Marketing achieves this by generating attractive and engaging content that will pique their target audience’s interest and lead to the spread of brand awareness. This type of marketing is a passive approach in contrast to Outbound Marketing’s assertive approach leaving the “first move” up to the customer.

Some examples of Inbound Marketing are social media content, SEO, blog posts, website, and white papers.

Pros of Inbound Marketing

Pros of Inbound Marketing

  1. Organic Connection: Because inbound marketing focuses on allowing the customer to come and experience your brand, there is none of the pressure or annoyance that can come with some outbound marketing efforts. Truth be told we have all been frustrated at one point or another with all the “junk” mail or the persistent sales calls. While some obviously find appreciation in the convenience of being presented with things they’re interested in from all angles, many become so inundated with sales materials that any brand adding to that noise will automatically become associated with annoyance. With inbound marketing, customers organically connect with your brand leaving the power in their hands without the pressure.
  2. Promotes Brand Loyalty: Because of the organic nature of the connection, the goodwill customers develop for your brand will result in increased brand loyalty as they continue watching and consuming your marketing efforts through mediums like social media, the opportunity for brand loyalty and advocacy continues to grow.
  3. Effective Targeting: Rather than knocking on 1000 doors and hoping for a small percent to answer, with inbound marketing you are able to narrow down your messaging and direct it specifically to your target market. This is important because your content is now reaching people who are already interested in the type of products and services you provide meaning that they are more likely to convert to sales than a person who was not already looking for businesses like yours.

Cons of Inbound Marketing

Cons of Inbound Marketing

  1. Long-game: Because inbound marketing provides the customer with time and space to build organic relationships, these efforts do not produce results overnight. Inbound marketing works toward an authentic connection with each individual customer that will result in brand loyalty and brand advocacy – this takes time to build. Businesses will not see real results from their inbound marketing for weeks or months after it has been implemented.
  2. Oversaturated: In 2022, inbound marketing efforts are taking the lead as businesses focus on relationships, reputation management, PR, and goodwill. Authentic marketing has never been more “on trend” and it has made the arena more competitive than ever before. Rather than just participating in this type of marketing, businesses have to find ways to set themselves apart.
  3. Wide Range of Skills: When it comes to social media, websites, blogs, and other virtual inbound marketing efforts, there is a broad scope of skills required to come together to implement all of those moving parts. From graphic designers to programmers and copywriters, gathering a team of people to fill these spaces and work harmoniously is no easy task, not to mention it is a costly one.

What Is Right for Your Business

What Is Right for Your Business

Both inbound and outbound marketing have a place in today’s world but what is right for your business will come down to your industry, your specific products and services, your budget, and all the things that make your business unique. Marketing standards and best practices are always evolving but there will NEVER be a one size fits all solution. At Vinci we believe planning, executing, measuring, evaluating and then OPTIMIZING! See what works and what doesn’t and don’t be afraid to evolve.

Are you ready to customize a marketing plan for your business but don’t know where to start? Connect with us today so we can learn how we can help!

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is the CEO of Vinci Digital with over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He partners with small to mid-size businesses as a small business consultant and strategic branding advisor as well as offering a full-suite of agency services. Gerald calls Carmel Valley, CA home with his wife Safira and three children. He has co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”

Leave a Reply