It might be tempting to dismiss the much-used marketing terms of inbound and outbound marketing as industry jargon and not entirely relevant for you to know, but the bottom line is that it does matter to understand what the terms mean and why they are considered integral to your marketing strategy.
Someone like the Chicago digital marketing agency will have no problem explaining the difference and understanding their place in marketing techniques but if you are a bit unsure yourself here are are some pointers to help you grasp the concept.
Outbound marketing explained
In general terms, outbound marketing is really a modern name for what used to be simply called marketing.
In other words, every marketing tactic that involves you putting your brand name and product in front of an audience, such as adverts, telemarketing calls, even the pop-up adverts that appear as you browse the internet.
The fact that ad blockers have proven to be so successful in bringing clickthrough rates down to well below less than 1% tells you all you need to know about how unpopular certain forms of outbound marketing are with consumers.
Telling people what they should be buying might have worked in the past but shoppers are much more streetwise and savvy, which is marketers have sought to find a viable solution that is more subtle in its approach.
A new marketing concept that is gaining traction
This is where inbound marketing gets to play a starring role.
Although it is still in its infancy in comparison to all that encompasses outbound marketing, the basic concept of inbound marketing is to find a way to draw customers into taking interest in your product or service in a much more subtle way.
These initiatives mainly involve creating interesting content, such as an informative infographic, or an entertaining blog post that an audience will be engaged with and more willing to interact with, such as sharing with others on social media.
When someone shares your content with their circle of friends on social media they are helping to do the marketing legwork for you without that same feeling of being coerced into making a purchasing decision that can be felt with outbound marketing tactics.
The line of thinking that encapsulates what inbound marketing is all about is finding indirect ways to persuade people to take an interest in what you have to offer without them thinking that they are being sold to.
Your aim is to gently guide someone toward making a purchasing decision rather than attempting to force them down that same sale funnel with a more direct approach like outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing tends to be broader in its approach and tries to sell to everyone that will listen or watch rather than focusing on a more targeted audience.
Inbound marketing content is designed to draw in readers who are specifically interested in what you have to say and what you are offering and there is then a greater amount of empathy and interaction once you have defined your target audience in such a gentle but persuasive way.
Inbound marketing is the clear preference for marketers these days and the added bonus is that this form of marketing tends to be more cost-effective than its outbound counterpart.