Like most things in life, inbound and outbound marketing are like black and white/good and evil. Even if we would try to find similarities between them, or at least something to create a bridge between the two, we couldn’t, because these two strategies are fundamentally different. But what do these to terms mean? Inbound marketing is a unique marketing strategy which focuses on earning customers, and also on organic visibility and traffic. In other words it is a complete new way of thinking which relies on content, connections and personal branding supported by social media. On the other hand, outbound marketing is an obtrusive strategy which does nothing but irritate people. It consists of billboard ads, commercials, and so on.
According to recent studies 44% of mails are never opened, 86% of people skip commercials, and 84% of young internet surfers close a website if they are disturbed by annoying ads. The conclusion of these numbers is that people don’t wish to have things thrown in front of them; they would rather discover them on their own. Inbound marketing is focused on this exact strategy. Rather than buying a person’s attention, inbound marketers make efforts to naturally attract potential customers with the help of engaging content, witty lines, photos and God knows what other types of techniques they come up with. Digitalnetagency.com also mentioned that the number of investments in inbound marketing has nearly doubled in the past year.
The key contenders of this showdown are also known as old marketing, which is characterized by the senseless pushing of content, and new marketing, which relies on earning the customer’s trust. Instead of creating a monologue (outbound marketer), the inbound marketer is always looking for ways to engage with his target audience, and this results in a two-way communication. In a way, old marketing strategies are valuable because they have made it possible for new marketing to appear. In other words, all the annoying practices employed by outbound marketers (seeking out clients, little to no value provided and lack of humor) are completely changed by the inbound marketer (customers come to them via search engines, social mediums, they provide value, and they try to entertain).
I believe that outbound marketing will soon become extinct because the world is simply not the same. Technology, and the world of the internet have significantly evolve, and it is impossible to assume that old marketing strategies will be able to have the same effect on people. Sure, they may have been interesting 20 years ago when TVs were still the next best thing, but not anymore.
It is time to stop looking at the past, and prepare newer, better strategies which can adapt to the social world that we live in today. Ebooks, podcasts, blogs, infographics, content visualizations and so on, are excellent marketing tools which will not annoy clients, and will also provide interesting information for your target audience. The importance of adding value is quite clear. Due to the rise of social media platforms, valuable content has the potential to go viral, because it will be shared multiple times by people, through different mediums.
All in all, inbound marketing strategies are a lot cheaper than outbound strategies, they have the potential to promote themselves, and they help create the backbone of your company.