Marketing is the process of disseminating pertinent information about a product or service to introduce them to potential customers. It plays a vital part in the growth and success of any business. In the traditional practice, businessmen maintain a push-or-pull perspective when it comes to marketing their products. In this perspective, the relationship between the seller and the customer is created, developed, and managed.
A more modern take on marketing now involves two approaches-the inbound marketing and the outbound marketing strategies. Both terms are popularly used by the online media. Outbound marketing refers to strategies that were introduced even before the Internet, while inbound marketing largely pertains to marketing that is done virtually. Between these two forms of marketing, which is more effective? Read on and decide for yourself.
Outbound marketing is traditional marketing. This strategy involves the process of reaching out to prospective customers through print media, television, radio, phone, billboards, post mail, and email, among other traditional mediums. The goal of this marketing approach is to directly sell services and products to an audience. While that can be a good strategy, this manner of advertising places the services and products in front of people, regardless of whether they like it or not. Typically, potential customers are repelled by this straightforward approach.
Repetition is vital in outbound marketing. Commercials and other advertisements need to be aired repeatedly, because this technique relies on brand retention. It aims to make the audience recall the product being sold, in the belief that they will eventually purchase the ones they remember. In the case of print ads and other related channels, repetition means making numerous copies of the material and plastering them wherever possible.
Due to its repetitive characteristics, outbound marketing costs more money. Another major problem with this method is that it is very difficult to track the success of the marketing strategies employed. There are also various ways to block outbound efforts today. Many potential customers simply choose to sign up in do-not-call lists, watch commercial-less television, and use email filters. These modern blockers render outbound marketing strategies useless. Despite these disadvantages, businesses still allot around 90 percent of their marketing budget on outbound marketing.
Unlike the alternative, inbound marketing is an approach where sellers let the customers come to them instead of them reaching out. This is possible through various modern platforms. Mostly, though, inbound marketing taps into the power of the Internet for its many advertising techniques.
Advertising through inbound marketing is done through blogs, social media, e-books, SEO, and content marketing, among other methods. This approach makes use of four major steps, which are all done through online means. The scheme begins with “lead generation,” or the process of attracting potential customers naturally. It then proceeds to conversion, where the audience is turned into actual customers. After this, marketers make sure that the customers stay loyal by keeping them interested and pleased.
Even if businesses allot a lot of funds for traditional marketing, many sellers complement their outbound marketing efforts with inbound marketing strategies. Virtual marketing costs less and takes less effort to maintain.