Source: Business2Community  By

There has been a lot of online discussion regarding Outbound vs. Inbound marketing, with many people claiming the death or chiding the pointlessness of Outbound tactics. Well, there are probably already too many cooks in the kitchen on this, but here are a few notesfrom my recipe book.

First of all, let’s understand the ingredients. Outbound marketing, or traditional marketing includes broadcast forms of advertising (television, radio, newspapers and magazines), outdoor signage, direct mail, telemarketing, trade shows… in essence any form of marketing in which you are “pushing” information out to an audience that has not requested it, or is actively looking for it. By contrast, Inbound marketing nurtures relationships by attracting interest via strategic online content, social media, blogging, SEO, opt-in email… virtually “pulling” your target market to you with information they are interested in. We should also understand that these ingredients are not exclusive or absolute. For example, pay per click (PPC) and other forms of online advertising are often used as Inbound marketing tactics. Some may argue that, with user preferences and algorithms created by Google and Facebook, this qualifies as opt-in; others would argue it is merely an online broadcast and therefore “push” advertising.

We certainly are peppered with advertising and branding attempts throughout our day. Practically anywhere that can host some form of publicity is being used to do so, and flat screens are now a common component of the landscape, whether at the dentist, on an elevator, walking down a busy street or waiting for your take-out food. Marketing messages are ubiquitous and the general public has grown somewhat immune to their blaring and incessant call. All the while, your audience is researching most of their buying decisions online. Where they are less susceptible to traditional advertising. Where they control their experience and navigate through the information they feel is relevant. Where they are willing to place their faith in the referrals and opinions of virtual friends, and even strangers.

Inbound marketing provides a strategic opportunity to position your company and service/product as a solution by providing value-added content, enabling discussion, and facilitating your information being read by the right people. So does Inbound marketing make sense to promote your company in today’s environment? Yes. The battle for brand awareness, market share and retaining satisfied customers is going to be won online.

However, Inbound does not totally replace Outbound marketing menu (forgot I started this on a cooking theme). There is much to be gained by strategic use of broadcast advertising, direct mail and other ”push” tactics. In fact, in some cases, such as short timeline campaigns or companies with a small targeted geographic area, Outbound tactics can be far superior.

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