Inbound vs outbound marketing, these are two terms that are associated with every business. Many think these are just other categories of marketing or just buzzwords that marketers made up to sound cool.

In fact, these two terms are crucial for every business.

Let’s take a close look at these two terms.

What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing is just another name for the traditional advertising method.


This includes activities such as trade shows, seminars, cold callings, online advertising, print advertising, and much more.

The basic idea is that advertisers use mass media to push their message and product out to the public.

Unfortunately, the glory days of outbound marketing appear to be waning. Today’s consumer fasts forward through commercials, ignore pop-ups, and filter spam automatically.

 What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing refers to marketing strategies that focus on attracting audiences instead of going out to get prospect attention. Inbound marketing focuses on creating content.

Creating useful content and relying heavily on SEO and social network integration. 

Successful inbound marketers place their content in front of consumers that are looking to engage. 

Inbound marketing is also classified as permission-based marketing because it delivers relevant and customized content to the target audience.

Some examples of inbound marketing are

  • Blog posts
  • Product reviews and demos
  • Presentations 
  • Whiteboard 
  • Explaining videos

Inbound vs outbound marketing

The most basic form of outbound marketing uses push tactics while inbound marketing uses pull tactics.

Inbound marketing Outbound marketing
Pull tacticPush tactic
Two-way communicationOne way communication
Customers come to youCustomers are sought after
Source: Social media, Search engine, ReferralsSource: TV ads, Online ads, Print media

Outbound marketing relies on mass media where communication is only one way. Customers cant interact with the brand even if they want to.

Inbound marketing relies on social network and customer engagement, people can talk back and engage with the brand by commenting on blogs or sending requests.

The key to the success of inbound marketing is transparency, honesty, and engagement.

Tracking of inbound vs outbound marketing

Measuring outbound and inbound marketing efforts require different approaches. For outbound campaigns that are targeted, you can closely track your spending.

Spending on pay per clicks and online ads can be monitored.

Inbound campaign cost is typically incurred upfront during content creation.

Inbound marketing focuses on brand awareness, referral traffic, customer engagement, and loyalty.

Outbound marketing is more direct and doesn’t promise all these.

In general inbound marketing performs better than outbound when it comes to lead generation, sales, and overall ROI.

Inbound marketing techniques

Online marketing revolves around a set of key activities, these are important techniques for a successful inbound marketing campaign.

Here are a few elements that you will need to master if you are going to promote your business with inbound marketing.

Which approach to choose?

The numbers don’t lie. 3 out of 4 marketers will prioritize inbound marketing over outbound. On average, inbound marketing generates more leads, costs less per lead, and saves companies more money per year than the outbound equivalent. Inbound and outbound strategies pair well and give synchronicity to your lead nurturing campaign. 


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