Inbound and Outbound Marketing - Can't They Just Get Along?

The benefits of both inbound and outbound marketing

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Inbound and Outbound marketing can be used in unison

There have been numerous articles and blog posts over the past few years pitting Inbound and Outbound marketing against each other as if they were the worst of enemies. We’ve also been schooled into thinking that outbound marketing is dead and buried and that your entire marketing budget should revolve around inbound. In this post we differentiate between the two tactics and make a case for the use of each, but most importantly we demonstrate how they can be used together. 

So what’s the difference?

Firstly let’s differentiate between the two. Many people are still confused by the terms ‘Inbound’ and ‘Outbound’. Outbound is also known as traditional advertising. Examples of outbound marketing include television commercials, newspaper ads, direct mail and cold calling - tactics and media that essentially ‘interrupt’ the consumer as they go about their day. The consumer does not ask for these advertisements but the company pushes them out nonetheless in the hope of gaining some attention. Another example of outbound marketing would be the pop-ups on your screen desktop or mobile screen.

Inbound marketing is all about the customer coming to you of their own regard because the content you are creating is of interest to them. Inbound is all about attracting visitors through search engines, social media and blogging, it brings the customer to you, no gimmicks, no pop-ups, no cold calling. There are some incredible statistics surrounding inbound marketing, the following are courtesy of Hubspot; ‘companies that blog have 97% more inbound links’, ‘B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads’, ‘8 out of ten people identify themselves as blog readers’, the list goes on! 

Outbound Marketing is still relevant

Although we are aware of the major advantages of inbound marketing, outbound is still a force to be reckoned with. Even Hubspot, the creators of the term ‘Inbound Marketing’ use a mixture of both inbound and outbound marketing tactics. DiscoverOrg recently surveyed 1000 IT execs from a variety of different companies from Fortune 500 to SMEs and the results were startling, 60% said that outbound calls and emails led to an IT vendor being evaluated with 75% stating that they decided to attend an event or appointment after having received a cold call or an email. There has been such a force driving the inbound revolution that you would think it almost foolish to even consider using outbound methods but these stats prove otherwise. 

Inbound and Outbound marketing can work together in harmony

While content creation is key to a successful inbound strategy, there is an opportunity to use outbound marketing to push out your best blog pieces in an email campaign. We are all aware of the importance of blogging, it is one of the most important features of inbound marketing but you do need to have an audience for it to be a success so why not send around an email asking people to subscribe to your blog? Another example of inbound and outbound working hand-in-hand is the use of Twitter or Facebook ads promoting a great piece of content, you have the inbound part completed by creating the content but you need the help of outbound to push it out and ensure your audience sees it. Inbound can’t flourish without the support of outbound.