Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing in 2021 (Including All Pros & Cons)


When you think of Return on Investment (ROI), most of what comes to mind is how much you will receive in terms of how much you invested. Most of what constituents progressive marketing plans comprise of dynamic processes to enhance any kind of investment plan in marketing or any other department within a business.

When it comes to extracting the most out of a business’s overall advertising and marketing plans/campaigns, what is seen as ROI is the effectiveness of them in terms of receiving the highest possible clicks, conversions, inquiries, purchases, or whatever else the objective may be.

When it comes to the concepts of Inbound & Outbound Marketing, what matters most – just like the objectives of any other idea/function to boost a business – is the rate of success.

But, as our market, methods/ways of conducting business, people, technologies, etc. continue to advance, the most successful ideas/concepts/functions are the ones that are most applicable and profitable in current times.

Over the last decade, several producers have realized a heavy amount of competition when it comes to receiving maximum benefits from conventional/traditional advertising and marketing methods.

There simply were too many products and services that resembled a lot of others that were also available in similar markets across the world. Additionally, other constraints like space, extra costs, logistics, etc. only contributed towards increasing overall expenditure in these methods.

Thus, to break through the stonewall, advertising and marketing experts/specialists were able to gradually transition towards methods that concentrated more on creating and adding value to individuals’ lives instead of simply talking directly about the products/services they sold.

The evolved/newer method is known as Inbound Marketing. The conventional/older method is known as Outbound Marketing. Inbound focuses on attracting new customers and retaining existing ones by consistently adding value to their lives through the creation/delivery of highly educational and relevant content. Outbound focuses on creating advertising and marketing campaigns/strategies directly around the product & services that the company creates.

What is Inbound Marketing?


Inbound Marketing is all about getting found. The spread of the internet and various technologies in mobile/web have accelerated the rate at which people now look online by themselves about literally anything they need information on.

Research and studies have further shown us that these actions of self-inquiry have then led to the creation of the strongest leads/customers. However, this may only happen when a person looking for something, they need help with online find a resource/website that gives them all the information they were looking for and more. The various forms in which this information was provided – blogs, images, infographics, videos, etc. – were simply gratuitous. This sort of journey that a potential customer would undertake – to take responsibility and their individual actions towards learning, understanding, then finally purchasing from a junction (business/resource/website) they fruitfully received everything they were looking for.

Thus, Inbound Marketing directly focuses on thoroughly learning and understanding their direct audience/customer base and then strategically and consistently creating content that adds value around specific subjects/topics that appropriately resonate with the business’s products and services.

  • A business that informs and educates earns credibility, goodwill, and trust
  • Higher quality of overall traffic and leads.
  • Higher chances for creating truly loyal customers for life.
  • Automate specific processes ROI can be tracked appropriately.
  • Dynamic, sustainable, and scalable process.
  • Process that requires a less investment – A specific example of ‘more with less’.
  • Consolidation of all advertising and marketing efforts in a single platform.
  • Beneficially complements any other advertising or marketing efforts undertaken by a business.
  • Value isn’t created overnight – all good things take time.
  • It requires businesses to take a step back, reassess, and know-how they can implement it best.

What is Outbound Marketing?


Quite obviously, Outbound Marketing is the opposite of Inbound Marketing. Thus, it includes methods/techniques of advertising, marketing, and sales that are focused directly on reaching out to newer audiences/customers, even if they may not be interested in the business’s products or services.

Most of Outbound Marketing’s philosophy believes that if audiences/customers are introduced to newer/existing products through advertisements’ bombardment, they will eventually purchase those products/services when they need them, or the time arises. Although this may work well with some products/services, it doesn’t work with any of those purchases that require potential customers to get educated and trust the businesses that provide them.

These methods/processes are carried out through email marketing campaigns, organizing exhibitions/shows/trade fairs, cold calling, organizing seminars/workshops, other forms of telemarketing, etc.

  • Works well with fast-moving products that generally don’t require much thought
  • Can reach a larger group of potential customers faster.
  • Effective for creating a quick buzz; especially for new products/services.
  • The right mix of outbound marketing with inbound marketing boosts the overall effectiveness of campaigns and strategies.
  • Requires more capital
  • Decentralized as the medium for several processes within it is different.
  • Much lower chances of attracting/reaching out to the most relevant audiences.
  • It is difficult for companies to learn and understand relevant data about their audiences.
  • Lower quality of overall leads and traffic that the business attracts.
  • A business may lose credibility, goodwill, and trust if they consistently target the wrong people with products they don’t exactly need.
  • Hard to track ROI because of the variety of channels used in advertising and marketing.
  • Today, customers have the power to completely block ads from creators whose products they do not wish to see or need.

Which one is the preferred option in the world today?

Just in case you haven’t fully grasped it yet, the Inbound style of marketing is most definitely the number one option in today’s highly digitalized world of business. However, there is also some precedent for an Outbound style of marketing, in the sense that some of its methods/strategies work well when applied in a strategic combination with the functions of Inbound Marketing.

So, our verdict is that any organization should most definitely (safely) experiment until they’ve found the perfect mix of Inbound & Outbound Marketing functions and techniques that give their overall business maximum benefits.

To Conclude

The methods and processes involved in attracting new customers through creating well-researched, educational, and relevant content make up for the most effective and well-known – natural and organic – way of doing it today.

Inbound Marketing allows a lot of dynamism, scalability, and stability in the overall advertising and marketing processes. Through it, businesses can continually learn and understand a lot more of what they need to focus on, create, and do. And, all of this in due time.

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