Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing: What Is The Difference Between Them

on Inbound Marketing June 15th, 2017

I’m sure that you’re familiar with the Taoist symbol of yin and yang?

That’s right, we’re starting off with ancient Chinese philosophy — that’s how you know it’s going to be an “Evan” post on the Fannit blog.

Yin and yang represent the divine principle that seemingly opposing forces may, in fact, be complementary to each other.

In fact, their balance may even be essential for maintaining proper order.

Inbound and outbound are the marketing parallels of these natural forces.

inbound marketing vs outbound marketingWhich Should I Do?

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked…

“Do I need inbound or outbound marketing?”
Okay, actually I can tell you. About 37 times. This year.

You have to love marketers. We all are just looking for the magic bullet that will solve all of our problems with the simple press of an “Install” button.

Good Strategies for Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing

The reality is, true marketing success can only be achieved through a well-rounded strategy that encompasses both inbound and outbound marketing.

There really is no ongoing battle between the two forces of marketing; they both complement each other in cultivating a healthy marketing strategy.

Outbound strategies can be instrumental in acquiring new contacts and following up on interested parties, while inbound strategies are helpful in continually delighting that audience until they’re ready to discuss doing business with you.

To help you better understand where both of these strategies fit into your overall goal, I’ll want to talk about some of the different inbound and outbound marketing merits that can get your business moving forward.

Marketing Inbound

I firmly believe that before you can start properly marketing to any audience, you must have something of value that you can share with them.

This “something” must be anything that you’ve estimated will be valuable to your audience. In an inbound marketing strategy, this goes by many names.

  • Content offer
  • Lead magnet
  • Downloadable

Inbound marketing as a methodology only works as well as the content that you have to support it.

If you’ve taken the time to research your audience, then you should have a good hunch of what would be valuable to them.

Here are some examples to get your content marketing going through inspiration:

  1. Providing real estate services? Give them a free buyer’s (or seller’s) guide
  2. Selling professional IT services? Let them see an infographic on the money your services can save them
  3. Own an ice cream company? Let them download a coupon for a free cone

outbound vs inbound marketing

In fact, as a leading SEO expert agency, one of our most popular downloadable items is our SEO cheat sheet for perfectly optimized pages. I highly recommend checking it out.

The golden rule of inbound marketing strategy is that you have to have something of value that your audience is willing to trade their information for.

Moving to Outbound

In my estimation, marketing outbound and inbound are the only one-two punch of marketing that has a consistent track record of success.

Inbound strategy always should come before your outbound strategy. This is contrary to the “old-fashioned” way marketing and sales worked, where it was merely a matter of calling and pestering enough people to purchase your product or service.

The reason being is that before you begin your outbound lead generation efforts, you have to have something that you can give the audience member.

Something other than just a free consultation.

Prospects (see how we define prospecting here) that you’re engaging with will have a much more meaningful experience with your brand if you’ve got something truly valuable that you can give them upfront.

So when talking about inbound and outbound marketing, it’s truly a matter of having your inbound system sorted out ahead of time, prior to storming the outbound field.

Coming Full Circle

Of course, there’s far more to having a properly configured inbound marketing strategy than just having a lead magnet.

In a perfect world, it involves having some (or all) of the following assets configured.

  • Short-term and long-term email workflows to nurture prospects over time
  • Multiple offers for different personas that you’re likely to do business with
  • Clear indicators of when you should reach out

On that last bullet, one of the biggest pieces that play a factor in each type of marketing strategy is the act of reaching out to the prospect who has expressed interest.

Seizing the Opportunity

Much like real life, it’s rare that opportunities just plop into your lap.

However, they do traipse through your front lawn almost every single day if you just open your eyes up to notice them.

This is one of the biggest issues that we run into as an inbound marketing agency.

It’s common to have inbound leads with no dedicated outbound sales developer to be following upon them.

Most prospects who engage with your brand will still need to have somebody follow up and see if they can help out. This is where inbound vs outbound sales really shine.

Having that dedicated team member to quickly follow up on your leads will be a driving force in increasing your sales.

If you are ready to take it on, you may want to look at our B2B Sales and Marketing Playbook

The Strategy Behind Marketing Outbound and Inbound

Above all else, having a true plan is essential to your success. I highly recommend checking out our marketing plan checklist to see which of these core elements you already have in place.

Fannit marketing Plan

And if you have specific questions about marketing inbound and marketing outbound, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to share everything that we know.