Seasoned interactive specialist with experience in new media and traditional marketing

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing. Can't we just all get along?

If I read another “outbound marketing is dead” blog post by an inbound ad agency I think I will scream.

Reports of the death of outbound marketing (a.k.a. interruption marketing) have been greatly exaggerated.  That’s right! Outbound marketing, which refers to messages sent out to an audience such as TV, cold-calling, email, direct mail, and paid search, is alive and well.  How is that possible, when outbound’s counterpart, inbound marketing, has grown by leaps and bounds and is hailed as the future of marketing?  In fact, many marketers now prioritize an inbound approach to marketing, which focuses on providing relevant, valuable online content to prospects through landing pages, SEO, and social media.  But, inbound and outbound marketing are perfect complements of each other! Without the two working in tandem, you won’t be able to establish the foothold in your market that would otherwise be possible.

Inbound and outbound tactics can support each other at every step. For example, a native ad on LinkedIn might link to a case study explaining how your product resolves a common industry obstacle. That case study in turn might have links to corporate sales pages. Or, you might host or contribute to a networking event where your brochures are distributed. Outbound tactics make your presence known, and the content behind those tactics motivates leads to invest in professional relationships.

For smaller firms that have yet to establish a strong market presence, outbound marketing might be the go-to marketing game plan, with a view towards inbound tactics later on.

Highly-targeted outbound marketing can also garner fast results, which can then be used to inform your inbound marketing campaigns. Native ads and PPC campaigns can reveal the type of content that gets prospects’ attention. Use the best of such content on your blog and your social media presence to make your brand’s story known to more and more of your audience.

In conclusion, inbound marketing alone is incomplete marketingDon’t limit yourself to just oneEmbrace both.