Unless you’ve been in the business for many, many years, or are just very hip with the goings-on of marketing, you probably hadn’t heard about Inbound until recently. A relatively “new” type of marketing, Inbound marketing puts the focus on bringing visitors in, not going out and begging them for attention. With Inbound, you create interesting, worthy content, and make it readily available to potential customers. It’s that simple (sort of). But really, we could go on and on about why Inbound marketing is superior to Outbound. But for starters, here are three main reasons that Inbound works, while Outbound seems to fall by the wayside.
- The new wins when put up against the old.
Inbound is new when compared to Outbound, and whether we like it or not, our culture is obsessed with the current, cool, and contrastive. Outbound is considered the "old" form of marketing within the business. At its core, Outbound is anything that pushes services or products onto a consumer (e.g. telemarketer phone calls, spam email, etc.). Meanwhile, Inbound, or “new” marketing, seeks to earn people's interest before it decides whether or not they're matched to work together. Instead of buying customers, Inbound tests the waters by matching services with needs. This can be done through the use of social media, blog content, white papers, ebooks, or even podcasts. We love anything new, and lucky for us, Inbound is it.
- Interruption vs. Permission
Outbound uses interruption-based marketing when interacting with a potential customer. Any commercial you see on TV, billboard you notice while driving down the highway, or ad you hear while listening to Pandora Radio is an example of Outbound marketing. Outbound is interrupting what people are doing and attempting to gain their attention. Outbound is often referred to as the "needle in the haystack" method, wherein agencies hope they'll eventually come across someone (the needle) in the greater pool of interactions they force upon the public (the haystack).
In contrast, Inbound utilizes permission-based marketing, making special use of SEO and keyword targeting in its efforts to find the best-fit potential customers. By using SEO, keywords and brilliant content, Inbound marketers make themselves and their product or service visible. Once found, Inbound marketers ask visitors if they want to move further in the process. This all happens before an agency even discusses their product or service. Whether or not the customer wants to find out more is left entirely up to them. And in today’s world, that’s a nice feeling, isn’t it?
- Return on Investment (ROI)
Inbound marketing tactics aren't just humanizing; they generate revenue, too. Our friends over at Hubspot provided us with some pretty impressive statistics regarding ROI when Inbound strategies are put into play: “companies that utilize inbound content platforms and offer buyer persona driven content see a 45% increase in the volume of Sales Accepted Leads; 44% of brands that use marketing automation software see ROI within 6 months, while 75% see ROI after one year; and companies who have prioritized business blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive Inbound Marketing ROI.”
That last one you’re experiencing right now as you read this blog! Pretty cool. As for Outbound’s ROI, it is much more difficult to measure and far more expensive. And the ROI is decreasing, especially today, with all the blocking techniques out there (we can block or ignore phone calls, send mail straight to spam, DVR and TiVo our shows on TV, etc.) If Outbound is your sole source of leads, you are missing out on a fantastic and efficient tool that could help you reach far and beyond your current audience pool.
Effective Inbound marketing is all about the experience—what we can do for you, not what we can offer you by shoving it in your face and hoping it sticks. It’s clear that Outbound wins the fight against Inbound, but if you need some more convincing, take a look at our piece on the 25 Best Digital Marketing Books, it’ll give you a better idea of what we’re all about as Inbound marketers.
Here at Can-Do we specialize in Inbound Marketing and Sale. We're a Digital Marketing agency run out of both CT and NYC.