Digital Insights

Inbound or Outbound – What is the Best Marketing Strategy for New Businesses


Published: May 13, 2015

The debate over inbound versus outbound marketing is a tough call to referee. While outbound marketing has taken its fair share of hits in recent years, it remains a viable marketing option under certain circumstances.
What Exactly is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing is frequently referred to as interruption or intrusion marketing. An advertising message gets blasted out to prospects who happen to loosely fit the demographic profile of the marketer’s target audience. In this sense, outbound marketing interrupts their lives in the frequently vain hope that at least some members of the target group will happen to be in the market for the product or service being offered.

Typical outbound marketing channels include newspaper and magazine ads, television and radio commercials, direct mail, mass e-mailings, and telemarketing.

The biggest problem with outbound marketing is that there is no know of knowing whether the targeted recipient has any interest whatsoever in receiving the advertising message.

  • An estimated 45 percent of all direct mail offers never even get opened.
  • More than 200 million consumers have opted out of telemarketing calls by joining the “Do Not Call Registry.”
  • 85 percent of television viewers skip the commercials.
  • The majority of consumers in the 25 to 35 year-old demographic group are likely to click off a website that contains “excessive advertising.”

What About Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is also known as permission marketing because the consumer has given you permission to deliver marketing information about certain types of products or services. In essence, prospects seek you out rather than you trying to track them down. And because your prospects have indicated an interest in the type of products that you offer, your advertising message will be better received. What’s more, inbound marketing typically delivers a more qualified prospect at a much lower cost than traditional outbound marketing strategies.

Inbound marketing channels include your company website and blog, organic SEO, PPC advertising, video marketing, and social media.

Inbound Marketing is Less Expensive than Outbound
Compared to outbound marketing, an inbound marketing strategy is usually a much less expensive proposition. On average, the cost of acquiring a lead from inbound marketing is 62 percent less than with traditional outbound marketing methods. Even better, inbound drives 54 percent more qualified leads into your sales funnel compared to outbound.

Inbound Marketing Delivers More Momentum than Outbound Marketing
Once you stop investing in outbound marketing, the leads quickly dry up. There’s very little ongoing value in yesterday’s radio commercial or last week’s newspaper ad. No so with inbound marketing. The blog post or video you create today will continue to attract qualified prospects to your company long after outbound marketing has been forgotten.

Inbound Marketing Reaches a More Receptive Audience
Because inbound marketing delivers prospects that are actively searching for information about the type of products and services that your company provides, your marketing efforts are going to reach a highly motivated audience with a genuine interest in your message.

Why Inbound Marketing Might be the Best Option for a New Business
The one thing that most new businesses have in common is that they are typically strapped for cash, and simply may not have the funds necessary for outbound marketing. While inbound marketing is not a free option, the initial investment in a website and a few other basic digital marketing tools is generally much less than the cost of preparing and delivering a traditional advertising campaign through outbound marketing channels.

Unless your new business is marketing to a small rural community or to an older demographic that may not be comfortable with digital technology, you best bet might be to stick with inbound marketing until you can afford to supplement it with select outbound channels.


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