Outbound Marketing vs Inbound Marketing – Which Is More Effective?


If you have been following marketing trends, you might have heard people throwing around terms such as “inbound marketing” and “outbou

nd marketing.” What do these terms really mean?

Marketing professionals are not strangers to making up words: if your job depended on convincing people to buy things using language. Inbound and outbound marketing are two terms embody a kind of cultural shift in the entire concept of hos marketing works across channels.

What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing used to be known as just “marketing.” It pushes itself at an audience, whether the audience wants it or not. Radio and TV ads, banner and display ads, telemarketing, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, cold calling, pop-ups, and contextual ads are all examples of outbound marketing. Outbound marketing has fallen out of favor in the last ten years.

Oversaturation of ads, especially on the internet, caused people to ignore display advertising.

Since the creation of the ad blocker, it has only gotten worse. Clickthrough rates for display ads are not at a dismal 0.05%, and according to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2017, marketers consider paid advertising like print, outdoor, and broadcast to be the most overrated marketing tactic.

What is Inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a relatively new marketing concept where marketers try to draw in potential customers with interesting content. It is also frequently called content marketing and other content that people actually want to read. Search engine optimization pad discovery and paid search help people find marketers’ content. If it is engaging enough, they interact with it, sharing and reading, and have a positive impression of the brand that influences later purchasing decisions.


Inbound marketing is very hands-off and indirect: there is never a noticeable sales pitch. Inbound marketing increases customers’ engagement with the brand by nudging them down the sales funnel. Inbound marketing is becoming more popular because it goes together well with internet marketing. According to the Addiction-Rep, a branding and lead generation agency, internet-based channels have become the preferred method of marketing for many companies across the U.S. – an beyond.

Inbound vs Outbound marketing

To review, here are the differences between inbound and outbound tactics.


•    Pulls in interested readers

•    Written for the customer’s needs

•    Draws in customers

•    Interactive and fluid

•    Is part of content consumption

•    Natural habitat: blogs, social media, opt-in

•    Email marketing campaigns

•    Search engine optimization

•    Influencer marketing


•    Pushes at everybody, regarding of interest

•    Written for the product’s needs

•    Iner, one-way

•    Seeks out customers

•    Disrupts content consumption

•    Natural habitat: display ads, billboard, telemarketers scripts, TV ads, magazines

What’s more effective, Inbound or Outbound marketing?

Inbound marketing seems to be the best fashionable marketing choice right now. According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2017, 71% of companies globally reported that they are primarily focused on inbound. Certainly inbound provides a better ROI: inbound marketing efforts are 62% less expensive than outbound.

On the down side, inbound’s effectiveness can be hard to measure. Since the inbound strategy depends on raising brand awareness, providing value, and not giving the hard sell, it is often difficult to quantify exactly how well your strategy is working. The biggest criticism of outbound marketing traditionally has been that it is expensive, not responsive and isn’t targeted at a specific audience. You end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a TV ad, send it out into the world and just hope for the best.


Things like retargeting pixels and contextual ads allow Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google display ads and target specific users based on what they are interested in. The outbound marketing nowday has untapped potential and gets around ad blockers. Unlike outbound marketing of the past, it incorporates inbound’s strategy of showing users things they specifically will find helpful or interesting.

Today, many companies apply a combination of smart inbound strategy and retargeting outbound display ads. Retargeting can work solely with inbound, too. Of course, like anything in marketing, you will have to find a mix that works for your potential customers.

What is the inbound methodology?

A good inbound strategy involves creating content that appeals to your desired reader and then helps them find it through search, social, and discovery. To get started, you will have to create buyer personas: who are the people you want to draw to this content? What are they looking for? What kind of things do they like? After that, craft a solid SEO strategy. How will this audience find you? What content management system will you use? Will you pay extra for a beautiful custom web design? Will you install the best free WordPress plugins? Will you promote your content on discovery networks such as Outbrain Amplify? Will you push it to your social? How often will you post? A lot of this stuff you will figure out as you experiment. After all, it is all about creating your content and putting in out into the world.

Make sure you build a way to asses the success of your efforts. Before you do anything, figure out a specific idea of what success would look like for your content, and have a way of measuring that. Metrics will drive what you do going forward. A successful marketing strategy involves dynamic changes based on the data you collect about your content. If that sounds too impersonal, think off of this way: figure out what your people want, and give it to them.



Finding the right marketing strategy for you

At the end of the day, the best marketing strategy for your business will be the one that works. Always try new things while you continue to do the world things that are working. You should analyze your data frequently and always be aware of any changes. Remember, audiences change, too. If a strategy worked last year, it might not work this year. Consumers quickly get tired of seeing the same thing, and marketers can bring few methods into the ground, robbing them of their usefulness. The mix of outbound and inbound marketing will most likely change with time as technology adds new features and ways of connecting with people. With this in mind, the most important strategy will always be: experiment, measure, repeat.



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[…] web content, etc.), paid search, and opt-in email marketing, is generally more straightforward and cost-effective than outbound. You’re pulling in people who are already looking for what you have to offer, and they’re […]

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