Marketers today often find themselves in one of two camps – outbound and inbound – when it comes to designing and executing their campaigns. Many in-house teams even find themselves debating the pros and cons of each, forming rifts within departments that should really be working together to coordinate efforts.
There’s good news, however: Marketers no longer need to take sides on the outbound and inbound argument. Both are viable, and it is highly recommended that marketers use a mix of each technique to ensure it builds a well-rounded program. Here’s a closer look at why inbound and outbound should not be viewed as rivals, but allies in today’s marketing mix.
Mapping the shift toward inbound
It makes sense, given recent trends that inbound marketing has gained such popularity, especially in a digital age that puts more choice in the hands of the consumer. Strategies such as search engine optimization, social media presence and content development have ushered in the era of inbound, with impressive results showcasing the impact of this approach.
“Inbound and outbound are allies in today’s marketing mix.”
Inbound has drastically increased in popularity, as well, affirming its influence in the marketing landscape. Demand Metric research revealed that 78 percent of CMOs see content marketing as an essential tactic for success, while 90 percent of organizations leverage some form of content whether they know it or not.
Furthermore, 86 percent of people skip TV ads and 44 percent ignore direct mail. To top it all off, inbound marketing techniques such as content creation are nearly two-third (62 percent) less expensive than traditional marketing programs, making it a wise choice from a financial standpoint.
The case for outbound marketing
It would appear that inbound marketing has taken over from this perspective, but smart marketers know that there’s more to the story. Outbound marketing strategies will always be an important piece of the puzzle necessary to fuel inbound goals. Using outbound tactics such as print ads, direct mailings and even phone calls is key for building brand awareness and expanding reach.
It’s also naive to think that traditional channels such as radio and television advertising are on their way out – these formats are simply morphing into new channels such as online subscription video (YouTube and Hulu) or podcasts and streaming music services. In other words, the tools of the trade have changed, but the core concepts remain the same through the years.
Outbound and inbound marketing in harmony
With these realities in mind, marketers should know not to put all of their eggs in one basket, and that a balanced approach to both inbound and outbound marketing is necessary for success. One would be surprised to find just how many similarities there are between the two.
“In the same way that you can conduct a detailed analysis of keywords, competitors, partners, and buy process to develop your inbound content strategy, you can also approach outbound with a strategic, process-oriented mindset,” stated Eric Boggs in a post for Convince and Convert.
Rather than debating which technique is best, marketers should take a more progressive stance on inbound and outbound, leveraging the best of both worlds.