Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Apr 28, 2016 | Inbound Marketing, Online Marketing, Outbound Marketing, Website Design

Inbound Marketing and Out-Bound Marketing

First let’s review the terms. Inbound Marketing is where the customer comes to you looking for a solution or a product – sounds ideal right? Well it is ideal but it’s also hard won. Nothing comes for free and neither does inbound traffic. You need to be active online, very active. You need to promote yourself, your brand and your business on an almost daily basis and you need to communicate with people and communities of people. In short, you need to hustle.

Think: Blogging, E-Mail Newsletters, Social Media, Customer Reviews & Content Marketing.

Outbound Marketing is where you pay someone else to hustle for you. Who you hire depends on allot of factors but it usually comes down to budget. If you want Don Draper then it’s going to cost. Outbound marketing can also be annoying to your customers, hard to track, expensive and well…it’s old school. Depending on who your target is it might never even make it on their radar.

Think: Cold Calls, Print and Online Advertising, Direct Mail, Television and Radio Advertising.


The medium is the message. Almost.

So you’ve got two options and lets face it – they’re both viable. Inbound or Outbound marketing. Millions have been made with both methods of promotion but one of them has a wide open future and one is getting smaller all the time. If you have something you want people to pay attention to, a new business, a new product or a new service or important social issue – then you need to choose a method that works for you and your message. Don’t forget the medium – how you deliver it is as important as what you have to say.

Some cold hard truths about marketing and advertising.

  • Nearly half of all direct mail is never opened. Almost Half. That’s a waste of time money and trees.
  • Only 15% percent of people watch TV Ads. The only people who don’t skip through TV commercials are the one who haven’t figured out how to use the remote.
  • The valuable 25-35 year old demographic is touchy about ads. Almost 85% of them have clicked out of a website because of pushy or intrusive ads.
  • The cost per lead thing is ugly when you start to run the numbers. How ugly? Well it depends on the industry and the tactic used but it’s safe to say – inbound marketing is much more cost effective and some would say, more valuable with leads coming to you at a more serious stage in the buying cycle.

Inbound or ‘New Marketing’


Communication is two way

Customers come to you

Marketers are adding value

Time consuming

Steep Learning Curve

A Lower cost per lead

Outbound or ‘Old Marketing’


Communication is one way only

Customers are sought out/Interuppeted

Marketers Add no value


You can hand it off

No big impact on your time

A higher cost per lead

The end of outbound marketing?

There’s no doubt that social media and our collective addiction to being online has changed the way people consume media and the advertising that goes with it. Google and Facebook have become incredibly smart at knowing your social and browsing habits. The ads they place and even the information they feed you is based not only on what you want to see but on what these Companies want you to see. Why? Because they get paid to. In fact they get paid billions of dollars to do this. They feed you ads based on your social habits, your browsing history, your friends and even your location. Yes they know where you are.

I still think it’s interruption or ‘outbound marketing’ but it’s so passive, so behind the scenes and yes even sneaky – that no one seems to mind.

I think there’s room for both.

Outbound marketing can still be very useful, very powerful and very effective. If you use it right. Understand who you are trying to reach and you will probably understand the way they would like to be contacted. Thank you cards or invitations in the mail? Who wouldn’t like that if it’s a service or product you value. Bus stop ads for teens and college students with geographic targeting? The numbers back it up as a valuable way to get the message out. Even print media in prestigious local magazines can carry cachet when trying to reach a certain type of customer. The only real danger is in throwing your money away at print or media advertising without knowing who your trying to reach.

Understand your customer first – the rest will follow.

Thanks for reading.


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