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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hudleston

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

The average person is exposed to around 5000 ads each day, from TV and radio ads, outdoor signage, and digital ads that pop up all over the internet. Competing for your audience’s attention is getting tough which is why it's important to explore a number of different marketing channels.

Two distinct ways a marketer can reach their target audience is through inbound and outbound marketing. We're going to explore the difference between the two methods and which works better.

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is considered ‘the old way of marketing’. Also known as ‘interruptive’ or ‘push’ marketing, it’s a tactic used to promote a particular product or service through continued advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales. Outbound marketing usefully pushes a message to a large group of people who may not even be interested in that particular product or service.

Examples of Outbound Marketing:

  • Print

  • TV and Radio Ads

  • Cold Calling

  • Direct Mail

  • Email Blasts (often considered spam)

  • Newspapers

  • Billboards

The Problem with Outbound Marketing

Diluted Message - Outbound marketing has become less popular over the last 10 years, especially since the introduction of social media. As these more traditional ways of marketing are targeted at a very large number of people, the branding message has to be very general. This means it’s impossible to be relevant to a variety of needs and challenges.

Avoidance - A key disadvantage of outbound marketing is that consumers often ignore or avoid these types of adverts, whether it’s by unsubscribing from email lists, blocking cold calls, activating ad blockers on the internet, fast-forwarding television ads or binning mail without reading it.

Expensive - Generally speaking, outbound marketing tends to be more expensive than inbound marketing. For a prime spot on day time TV, for example, can cost upwards of £3000 per advert. This is a lot of money to say the audience that it is being shown to might not be interested in your service or product.

It’s also hard to measure!

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is considered ‘the new way of marketing’. Instead of sending out general messages to an uninterested audience, inbound marketing allows you to attract a highly targeted audience who are specifically looking for your product or service. Customers are drawn in via content marketing, social media, search engine optimisation, and branding.

Good inbound marketing tactics involve creating content that directly relates to the thing your target audience is searching for. Content will often educate, entertain, or help solve a specific pain point.

The inbound marketing methodology is all about growing your business by building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers. People want to feel valued and empowered by brands and if you can do this, you’re more likely to acquire a customer for life rather than just a one time buyer.

Examples of Inbound Marketing:

  • Blogs

  • Social Media Campaigns

  • Educational guides. e.g Whitepapers

  • Webinars

  • Podcasts

  • SEO

Why You Should be Using Inbound Marketing

Generates Relevant Leads – By creating informational content, you’re pulling potential customers into your sales funnel on their own terms. You can direct them to your website, prompting them to take actions, get in touch or learn more about the products/services you provide. All the customers that enter your sales funnel will already be interested in your services or product which will make them easier to convert.

Enhances Brand Position – Inbound marketing is all about helping your prospects to solve a problem or answer a specific question. Helping and educating a prospect in this way enhances your brand's position as being more knowledgeable, experienced, and professional. This will not only give you an edge over your competitors but it will also help you built trust with your audience.

Cost-Effective – One of the biggest advantages of inbound marketing is how cost-effective it can be. Social media for example is a free tool that businesses can use to grow their brand awareness, reach a highly targeted audience, and showcase their expertise.


Thanks for reading my Avem blog! If you need any help with your social media or content marketing, get in touch! You can call us on 01423 714984 or drop us an email:

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