What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing also known as “Pull-Marketing” is a famous form of marketing strategy used these days. In this method, several types of content are used to engage the audience and target them without making them feel pushed.
Some of the major ways to do inbound marketing are blogs, social media content, influencer marketing, newsletters, etc. Furthermore, inbound marketing aims to nurture potential customers by pinpointing their demands & needs through the above marketing cycles.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Massive Potential Reach
Inbound Marketing’s main strategy is to increase customer engagement by dispersing interesting content. Making it more relatable and informative increases customer reach and brand visibility.
Increase Customer Value
Inbound Marketing keeps customer’s interests in mind. In this method, high-quality and engaging content is delivered to the audience. Through this, they can understand more about the products & services of the company.
Enhanced Customer Targeting
Inbound Marketing provides relevant content for specific demographics by focusing on their interests and will. With this, it becomes easy to target a specific audience in the long run.
Inbound Marketing is all about social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and websites to retain customers. Hence, inbound marketing is easier and more cost-effective than other marketing methods.
With inbound marketing, you can easily get what you wish for especially leads. The major concern for any business is to generate quality leads which inbound marketing makes it easy.
Challenges of Inbound Marketing
As market trends evolve and expand, inbound marketing needs to be modified in the same way. Building creative content and building potential relationships with customers takes a lot of time.
Since there are no boundaries in this strategy, it sometimes becomes difficult to focus on a specific group of customers. Moreover, it makes it harder to generate leads as there is less control over the audience.
Having more than one competitor, it becomes complex for the brands to stand out in the market. When the main focus is on a specific group of customers and demographics, market saturation occurs.
Dependency on Customers’ Demand
If there is no demand for the products by the customers. It becomes difficult to perform this type of marketing. And if the niche market doesn’t exist it is even more difficult.
What is Outbound Marketing?
Outbound Marketing refers to the most traditional forms of marketing strategy. This marketing is also known as “Push -Marketing” which means pushing the information to the audience.
Whether it is display and banner ads, cold calling, or email pop-ups it all comes under the category of outbound marketing. The main focus of outbound marketing is to generate leads and sales by actively promoting the products and services.
Benefits of Outbound Marketing
Rather than carefully focusing on the specific target audience, outbound marketing uses the tactics of television commercials and direct mail campaigns. Hence, this increases the reach for a larger audience which increases the sales.
There is a high chance of establishing trustworthy connections with customers as this marketing includes cold calling, direct email marketing, and direct face-to-face interaction.
It becomes easy to measure the results as you can track the leads generated, websites visited, and sales quantity. Outbound Marketing strategy can be easily adjusted and is an effective way to check how your techniques are working in the market.
Outbound marketing is a great way to grow your brand awareness. It reaches a wider range of audience and makes them familiar with the brand.
As outbound marketing increases lead generation through brand awareness it helps to convert that audience into a potential customer. With those leads, there is an enhancement in sales and also the establishment of trustworthy relationships.
Challenges of Outbound Marketing
Even though there is a high chance of an increment in sales this strategy might be costly. Campaigns & ads require investment in advertising, sales, and other resources. This can stand as a barrier for a small business or the ones whose budget is limited.
Some of the methods such as cold calling, emails, and pop-ups can be intrusive to some customers. They may find it a bit annoying when there is a constant approach by the brands. And this not only makes them disturbed but also impacts the brand’s reputation.
Difficult to Target
Outbound Marketing targets a huge mass of the audience through messages or emails. With that, it becomes difficult to target the exact set of customers and deliver the right message to the right customers. As a result, it is a waste of time and resources for the organization.
Since the specific audience is not targeted it becomes difficult to deliver the right information. It can lead to low conversion rates and a waste of investment.
Key Differences Between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing
Having some insights about outbound marketing and inbound marketing now we are able to extract the major differences between these topics. And, as we all know, there are always two sides to every coin. In the same way, these marketing strategies also have positive as well as negative impacts on the brand & the audience. So, let’s dig into the key differences between outbound marketing and inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing mainly focuses on engagement and attracting potential customers whereas outbound marketing mainly focuses on reaching out to potential customers.
Basically, inbound marketing provides the audience with informational and valuable content. In the case of outbound marketing, the main concern is the promotional content as we see in advertisements.
Inbound marketing uses channels such as social media, content marketing, and search engine optimization. Outbound marketing utilizes email marketing, sales calls, and advertisements to promote its products and services.
Depending upon the company’s size and needs the inbound marketing can be high or low cost. However, looking at outbound marketing requires a huge investment as ad boards, calls, and other resources are used in order to achieve the goals and targets of a company.
If you are doing inbound marketing then it is important to have patience as to achieve the desired results it takes time. And as outbound marketing is a proactive method the results can be seen quickly which is a great advantage sometimes.
With the help of leads, website traffic, and engagement rates the results are measured in inbound marketing. But in outbound marketing sales and conversion rates are the best way to measure the effectiveness of the marketing done by the brands.
By creating trustworthy sources of information, inbound marketing can help you improve your brand perception. Outbound marketing is less effective in improving brand perception because it is perceived as more spammy or intrusive.
Famous Brands gaining customers through Inbound and Outbound Marketing
Simply, when someone asks us about a cold drink name the first name that comes across our mind is “Coke”. This is a fair example of how brands have set their identity in people’s minds through inbound and outbound marketing these days. Similarly, there are other companies as well who have been doing a great job and gaining the maximum number of customers through these strategies.
Salesforce is an American cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, California. They design software that helps businesses to connect with their customers ie. customer relationship management software. Understanding the inbound marketing strategy Salesforce has done a great job in creating engaging and creative content for the audience. Through various social media outlets, webinars, and blog posts they are reaching out to a large number of people making them aware.
Generating content is an art. And when it comes to branding a product that is considered taboo it is even more challenging. But looking at the marketing strategy of Durex India, they are branding the product so well with their content marketing. By understanding its exact target audience which is 18-24 years, they are involved in creating creative content, humorous content along with bold campaigns. Through this, we can see that by being active on social media platforms Durex has ultimately chosen Inbound Marketing as their core strategy to reach the specific group of customers.
Another popular brand that uses outbound marketing is “Nike”. It does marketing using social media ads, sponsored athletes, and email marketing to reach customers. Nike has been consistently integrating the message across all of its channels and is able to maintain their uniform brand identity. Similarly, when we first visit Nike’s website there comes a registration pop-up which is also a part of outbound marketing. As a whole, we can say that Nike is perfectly using outbound marketing as their weapon to exist in the market.
To build strong brand recognition and promote its growing franchise business McDonald’s uses outbound marketing. McDonald’s spends its money on billboards and TV ads to make sustainability in the market. Also, it does in-store promotion along with running ad campaigns on Google, YouTube, and Facebook. In these ways, McDonald’s number of customers is increasing gradually day by day occupying the major portion of the “Audience”.
Well, there are some brands that use both outbound & inbound marketing to reach out to their customers and one of them is Netflix. Netflix has already specified its audience which is young, tech-savvy users and anyone with digital connectivity. Slowly it also focused on content expansion and personalization as the demographics of the audience increased. There are different sections for kids & adults on Netflix. Saying email marketing is dead would be wrong because Netflix also uses email marketing as its tool to gather more user data and preferences.
Which method is right for you?
A brand’s main objective is to create brand awareness among the audience. More than that it identifies its goals, defines the audience, creates a budget, market research, and analyzes its competitors. After doing the research and analyzing the market situation now they need to choose the right marketing strategy for themselves. Choosing a marketing strategy is quite a complex task. You need to consider your company’s values, goals, and size as well.
So, why not make it simple and effective?
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