Internet marketing has been evolving with a neckbreak speed and so are the approaches, perceptions, audiences and technology. And it’s a marketer’s job not anyone else’s to keep up.
B2B marketers tend to be focused on Return on Investment(ROI) rather than lead conversion as is the case in the B2C market. But even then, many fail to lead to a conclusion that there calculation of ROI is correct across all the marketing channels, with only 53% thinking they are rightly doing it.
Having a short sighted strategy is all too common in the industry. Email marketing appears to be the most successful channel for a one-to-one communication, but often its success is generated with the help of other digital channels, but many fail to understand this.
So how do you pick between the two – Outbound or Inbound which one is performed better by the marketers over the past few years. Let’s find out on both sides.
The Outbound Way
The definition says that the outbound marketing is based on a hard sales approach where you convince your client that they need your products or services. Using traditional marketing tactics such as cold calling or BTL/ATL advertisements.
Pros: You’ll get as instant results as you want depending on your target audience. Brand visibility, and segmented targeting one of its features and let’s you be as aggressive or conservative based on your limit/budget.
Cons: People have become sceptical towards paid-for-advertising and most of the times paid-clicks don’t result into conversions. Your ad expires as your budget spend ends and the click costs can soar very quickly. You need a lot of time to understand PPC or you’ll hire an agency to do it so that’s another extra budget spend. What’s more is that unethical competitors can click on your ads until your budget has been depleted and your ad disappears. You’ll pay for accidental click costs too- very pricey.
It is a network based advertising via affiliate or co-operative platforms. It’s a cooperative effort between the publisher, the advertiser, and the prospective customer who clicks on the ad. The publisher advertises via the banner ads on his website and closes the sales in return for a commission from the advertiser.
Pros: It’s a win-win situation for both advertisers and publishers- like having a 24/7 salesman but only paid on performance. It’s easy to setup- just select your platform and program and signup.
Cons: This approach is not foolproof, and may not generate as many sales on a regular basis. It has also been known that link hijackers or spammers have taken commission from publishers.
The Inbound Way
Inbound marketing is comprised of many sub-categories of marketing channels- Content marketing, that relies on organic search traffic and attracts genuine leads, Search Engine Optimization, based on serving content according to the keywords in the search query, and Social Media Marketing, which we all know is popular for bringing traffic to websites by enticing customers with posts on social media business page.
The focus of this type of marketing relies on the principle of attracting potential customers by serving them with content about the products and services that can solve their needs. The focus here is on earning your client’s attention and not buying it. The leads that are generated are genuine and are more likely to convert. It is very gradual process and requires a lot of effort on the forefront of all the channels.
Pros: You’ll gain a better brand recognition by providing and the right content and solving the materialistic/information needs of your customers. You’ll also position yourself as the industry expert to consumers.
Cons: You need a website with specific functionality like blog page, email subscription signups, etc. but these are fairly simple and are very commonly used by businesses online. It takes a lot of patience and hardwork to make your web pages to rank on top in the search rankings. You’ll also need to establish a decent following on social media for your content to be shared widely. All of this takes time and effort.
Weighing It All Up
Outbound marketing campaigns are undeniably successful in the short period of time. But when you stop funding your outbound campaigns, you are likely to disappear from the hearts and minds of your potential customers very quickly. It has been shown and is fact that Outbound marketers spend 40-70% more than their counterparts in the inbound marketing segment, and has lower and harder to measure ROI. The reasons are logical: people are sick of clicking on bombarded adverts and messages and they right away move away from them- they would want to get engaged in conversations just like Inbound Marketers employ.
If you use outbound marketing then you must prepare yourself for facing ad blocking techniques, which by the way many people all over the world have enrolled for.
Inbound marketers prove their much worth while advertising for their firm and are better advertisers than Outbound Marketers.