Differences Between Outbound and Inbound Marketing

Differences Between Outbound and Inbound Marketing

In the old days…this is a compare and contrast blog post between the old days and the new days. Throughout this blog post, I’m going to compare and contrast ideas with … In days past you did it like this and in days future you would do it like this.

And when I speak of the past and the old school ways of doing things, I am talking about outbound marketing. When I am speaking about the new school ways and the things that are effective in today’s world, I am talking about inbound marketing.

What is Outbound vs Inbound Marketing?

Those names are a little bit confusing because in the old way, when you are doing outbound marketing, it means you are basically standing on a soapbox or you are shouting into the market place and you are talking to the market place in almost like a shotgun method. In this way, what are you doing…?

  • You are doing billboards
  • Maybe you’re doing TV ads
  • You are doing broadcast
  • You could be printing articles

These are the platforms where you are only in a couple of places. You are really shouting into the market place hoping someone will hear you and that’s what I mean by outbound.

What is Inbound Marketing?

The new school way or the way becoming much more effective is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is really about considering yourself to be a publisher, considering all of the things you publish including:

  • Blog post
  • A video
  • A webinar series
  • Training materials
  • A book

All of those things and text messages in fact are methods of publishing content into the marketplace. That is really about solving problems for your customers and solving the needs they are looking to have answered by effective use of content.

When you put that into the marketplace, what happens is:

  • Someone finds that content
  • Someone is attracted to it
  • And starts reading it

Then if it’s for instance a blog post, they will click through and actually come out and check your website or some more of your services. By publishing content and valuable information, you get leads and people to come inbound to you. That is the difference you know.

Outbound vs Inbound Marketing

The difference between outbound versus inbound marketing is really the direction. You, as the company, are going out with your message. In outbound messaging, you are hoping you reach them out there and then on inbound marketing your prospects are really coming to you.

Doing outbound marketing is expensive

In the old school way, it was really expensive. Doing outbound marketing is expensive because of just the way the tactics and tools and the way you put things together.

A lot of times, it is about volume and it is about how much you need to put into seven to ten different impressions as they used to say, to get someone to even notice your message on a billboard. Those things are expensive and it costs a lot of resources to do that.

Doing inbound marketing is pretty easy

Well, for the new school way, the inbound marketing way, I mean you can build a blog post, for instance what I’m doing right now. I am driving home from work and I am recording some blog content I will put up on my website.

It takes me ten to fifteen minutes to talk through this blog post, however I will use it for a blog post. I will put in a powerpoint presentation, I may turn this into a video, alternate it with all kinds of things. And it’s not very expensive to be consistent with you inbound marketing content publishing.

Another great difference between outbound vs inbound marketing

The old school way of outbound marketing was really interruption-based. You are interrupting the market place with your message and hoping they pay attention. With inbound marketing, it is all about permission.

You are asking their permission to give them valuable content and then they come towards you. So it is a bit of a different approach and it is really more effective to ask permission and have your prospects come into you. Rather than it is for you to interrupt them and you to go out to them. That’s a big part of this.

Tracking Is a Big Chunk of Marketing

Then the last thing is the real difference between outbound marketing versus inbound marketing is just the whole idea of tracking. Without marketing tracking, it is very difficult or it has been very difficult because technology has evolved over the last few years.

Tracking with outbound marketing

Outbound marketing is generally things may be or may not be, so connected digitally and are not integrated with website, social media and different things like that.

  • It is impossible to track sales from a billboard.
  • It’s difficult to track sales from a listing in the phonebook or potentially even a radio spot.
  • It is hard to track that kind of information effectively back to an ROI or effectively back to where you spent your marketing dollars.

Tracking was very difficult with outbound marketing.

Tracking with inbound marketing

While with inbound marketing, in the new school way of doing things, we call that closed loop marketing. And it means there is a closed loop all the way from:

  • Social media mentions
  • Twitter and Facebook
  • Print publications
  • A blog post
  • Website content
  • Email blasts

All of those now have tools and techniques where you can put tracking in place and use marketing platforms. Hubspot Is a marketing platform which is really a great tool for doing complete closed loop marketing.

You can tie all those bits and pieces together and really understand where exactly those leads are being generated and what the data to support marketing better is and more effective decisions in the long run.

Inbound Marketing Covers What Outbound Marketing Does Not

What this all boils down to is the old school way of doing marketing which is outbound marketing, was really full of holes. It is like Swiss cheese, one might say.

Well, now with inbound marketing, you can plug all those holes and you can bring together a whole system of different ways to publish content.

How To Turn Marketing Into A Profit Centre?

In essence, what I have been saying is you can actually turn marketing into a profit centre. Profit centre marketing is taking the idea that marketing now.

Because you are a publisher and you are producing great content – can actually be things you can charge for.

  • You can charge a little bit of money for an ebook
  • Also charge attendance costs for a training course
  • You can charge a little money for a seminar or group training

Along the way you are making a little bit of profit from each of those things that in the long run aggregates together and actually makes you more money than you are spending on marketing.

Marketing Is All About Making Money

Marketing becomes a profit centre or a revenue stream for your organisation and not just a lead generation engine.

That’s the big idea I have behind this and I just wanted to outline throughout this blog post some of the differences between outbound versus inbound marketing.

About author

Lauren Clarke is an Australian freelance blogger, who writes on small business marketing, human resources and business for a number of blogs. Outside of writing, she enjoys sampling Australian red wines, and live theatre. Follow Lauren on Twitter.