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The terms inbound marketing and outbound marketing might come across as unnecessary jargon, but it is important to understand the difference between the two processes.

Marketing is the art of increasing your brand’s awareness to help make sales. Everyone has their ideas about effective marketing, but there are certain tried and tested methods that will get the job done.

What Is Outbound Marketing?

When people talk about marketing, they are normally thinking of outbound marketing. Outbound marketing methods use more traditional ‘in your face’ techniques with which people are familiar.

Outbound marketing methods work by putting your product in front of as many people as you can and hoping it sticks with some of them. It also goes by less flattering names like ‘push marketing’ or ‘interruption marketing,’ both of which put it in a different light.

Companies use outbound marketing to place messages in front of consumers, whether they’re interested or not.

outbound marketing graphic

Outbound marketing techniques create a one-way conversation between businesses and their customers with broad, generalized messages delivered by:

  • Television and radio ads
  • Cold calling
  • Press releases
  • Direct marketing

In one fell swoop, these methods put your product in front of as many people as possible. It is most effective with older demographics who are more used to reading newspaper ads, for example, and generally don’t subscribe to online content.

Inbound Marketing

While outbound marketing does have its uses, many people prefer a more subtle touch instead of the traditional ‘hard sell.’ Subtletly is a lot easier to accomplish with the omnipresent internet.

Also known as ‘content marketing,’ effective inbound marketing draws in customers. Whereas outbound marketing works by broadcasting less-specific messages, inbound marketing methods create content your customers want to read, like:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media content
  • Email newsletters
  • White papers

These all work as effective inbound marketing techniques. Inbound marketing is a more gradual method than outbound marketing—it works by slowly increasing your customers’ engagement in your brand.

graphic showing various forms of inbound marketing

How Does Inbound Marketing Work?

Inbound marketing works by slowly pushing potential customers down a ‘funnel’ with the eventual aim of making a sale.

  1. The buyer searches for a solution to their problem and finds your online platform.
  2. You engage them with your online content, offering ways to solve their problem.
  3. Next, they sign up to your newsletter or return to read your blogs on similar subjects.
  4. Once they trust your brand, they return to use you as a solution for similar future issues or buy your product to solve their problem.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

While outbound marketing methods are efficient at putting products in front of lots of people, they can be very easy to ignore. How many times have you hung up the phone on a cold caller or turned to another channel to avoid TV ads?

As subscription services increase in popularity, opportunities for more traditional advertising are becoming scarce. Many people pay for subscriptions simply to avoid intrusive adverts interrupting their content.

Inbound marketing is a much more cost-effective way of making a sale. On average, it costs 62% less than outbound marketing but generates three times as many leads.

With inbound marketing, your clients are actively looking for solutions to their problems. As long as the content you produce is of high quality and stays relevant to their interests, prospective clients start to trust your brand more. If you can show that you are consistently the solution they are looking for, it becomes much easier to make the sale you want.

The truth is that outbound marketing is becoming obsolete. Studies have shown that people spend 20% of their time browsing online content. They prefer to search for solutions to their problems rather than waiting for one to come along.

You can use both types of marketing in conjunction. Outbound marketing can be a great way to bring initial attention to your product, but it only works to serve as the first part of your sales funnel. With inbound marketing, you can spend less money and draw in customers who are more likely to return to your business.

Contact Gauge Digital Media

At Gauge Digital Media, we use carefully planned inbound marketing techniques to help you grow your business. We pay close attention to digital marketing and industry trends which allow us to create effective strategies custom to your company. To learn more about how inbound marketing can help your business, call us today at (410) 376-7709!