Inbound Vs Outbound Marketing: Which is More Effective for Your Business?

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If you are a business owner, you will be aware that there are many different types of marketing strategies, from traditional marketing to digital marketing and organic marketing to paid marketing. All marketing techniques can be placed into two categories; inbound and outbound. It is important to know the difference and benefits of each to of marketing to understand which will work best for your business, based on your goals, target audience, and of course, your budget.

Inbound vs outbound marketing? What’s the difference?

The key difference between inbound and outbound marketing is that inbound marketing centers upon drawing your target audiences in, whereas outbound marketing is more focused on reaching out to your potential customers.

inbound v outbound marketing

Inbound marketing usually involves creating relevant content for your website or social platforms that your attracts visitors to your site and subtly convinces them to purchase your products or to get in touch with you to find out more about a service you are offering. Some examples of inbound marketing include:

Outbound marketing is also known as “push marketing” and is usually a more aggressive marketing tactic. It involves being proactive and “pushing” your goods or services into the view of a range of audiences. It is usually passive and although the aim is to reach a target audience, not always targeted solely at their specific audiences. Examples of outbound marketing include:

  • Cold calling
  • TV or radio advertising
  • Billboards
  • Paid social media advertising
  • Paid search may also be considered an outbound strategy
  • Display ads


Should you focus on inbound or outbound marketing?


There are many benefits of inbound marketing and outbound marketing efforts for generating sales and increasing brand recognition.

According to Guy Kawasaki;

“If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.”

Some of the main benefits of inbound marketing include the fact that it drives clients directly to you instead of you having to reach out to your clients. It is a more natural approach to marketing. If you have a good inbound marketing strategy, you will find it much easier to get clients into your sales funnel.

The results from an inbound marketing strategy such as search engine optimisation, tend to be more sustainable and long term.

Moreover, if you take an organic approach to inbound marketing, it will be a much cheaper option than paying out for expensive advertising which may or may not reach your target audiences.

Inbound marketing is usually described as a “slow burner.” Results for this type of marketing require time, effort and patience. An effective inbound marketing strategy also requires a lot of well written, informative content that will not only attract your customers to your site, but will also convert them into paying customers or clients – so it can of course be more difficult to implement than an outbound strategy

Outbound marketing can greatly increase awareness of your brand, resulting in an increase of leads. Some types of outbound marketing strategies, such as paid social media advertising and cold calling allow you to target your specific marketing and bring details of your brand, product or services directly to them.

Outbound marketing works much more quickly and often requires a lot less effort than inbound marketing.

The main disadvantage of outbound marketing is the fact that it can be so expensive and an effective campaign will usually require a large budget. Some potential customers may also find the aggressive approach of outbound marketing off putting. For campaigns which are not targeted, such as a TV advert, you may spend a huge amount of money and only reach a small portion of your target audience.

The choice of inbound vs outbound marketing usually comes down to budget and resources of the company. Some of the best marketing campaigns will usually involve a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.


How can Bark Street Digital assist?


Bark street digital provide digital marketing services to a diverse range of professional service businesses. Our client profile is made up of legal professionals, IT companies, insolvency, restructuring, and accountancy firms, as well as businesses working within the construction and development industries. 

We are experts in inbound and outbound marketing strategies with a focus on an organic marketing approach.

To find out how a marketing expert from our team could assist your business, get in touch using the contact details or the contact form below.




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