The terms “inbound” and “outbound” are thrown around a lot, but not everyone is really clear on the differences between the two. Since both may be included in your 2017 marketing strategy, it’s helpful to really understand the benefits and shortcomings of each. Since most businesses are contending with increasingly stiff competition and limited marketing budgets, strategic planning is more important than ever.
Outboard Marketing – An Oldie but Goodie
Outboard marketing is nothing new. The first newspaper advertisement in North America was published in 1704. Ben Franklin, Founding Father, diplomat and newspaper publisher, is credited as the first to charge others for printing their ads. Billboards and radio and TV ads eventually followed. Telemarketing was the latest to arrive but continues to be profitable. The media has changed over the years, but the concept of monetized ads is essentially unchanged.
Outboard marketing is pretty much a numbers game. Target the ads to the preferred demographic as much as possible and then throw it out and see what sticks. Whether it’s TV commercials, billboards, direct mail, print ads or spam email, the same message is directed at everyone. It is expensive and labor-intensive, costing 61% more than inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is still effective but must be considered relevant by 2017’s consumers.
Inbound Marketing – Targeted Permission Marketing
Inbound marketing is much more targeted and less aggressive than outboard marketing. Instead of interrupting all consumers with the message, inboard marketing is directed at people who have a real interest in the content. Social media, blogs and paid ads are all targeted at specific demographics as well as giving customers the opportunity to grant permission before receiving advertising. It’s a very soft sell. However, the dramatic rise of social media offers tremendous opportunities for a business to establish their brand and participate in real-time marketing.
SEO (search engine optimization) is very effective at generating inbound leads. Instead of pushing the message onto everyone, interested consumers are encouraged to visit the website. While the percentages differ between industries, in general inbound leads have a close rate of 14.6%, compared to a close rate of only 1.7% for outbound leads. The primary reason for this significant difference is that inbound leads are generated by people who are actively shopping and choose to visit a website or call. Customers who come to you are always more interested than people reached with a cold call.
You may not recognize Red Crow Marketing’s name but you’ve seen their work. Their goal is to provide exceptional service to each client. They provide a wide range of marketing services using a proven method including extensive research, a strategic game plan to achieve your marketing objectives, innovative and creative content and measurable results.
Outbound marketing is still useful, but inbound marketing will be increasingly cost-effective in 2017. Visit the website or call today to talk to the team about how they could help your business.