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Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing for the Championship

Who would win in a fight between inbound marketing and outbound marketing? My money is on inbound marketing and I will tell you why?

Think of outbound marketing as the fighter who has held the championship for too long and is past his prime. He is getting older, out of shape, his training techniques are out of date, and his fans have gotten tired of him. Inbound marketing is a new, young, hungry for the title fighter. He is faster stronger and more agile, and is trained with the latest up to date training techniques. It doesn’t really sound like a fair fight does it? Yet people keep betting on outbound marketing to win the fight.

Traditional marketing or outbound marketing is becoming less and less effective especially for smaller companies that do not have multimillion dollar marketing budgets to compete with business giants like coke or Nike etc. A small company’s message gets lost in all that noise that consumers are being exposed to. The internet and the practice of inbound marketing has made it possible to level the playing field, so that small companies that may have an almost non-existent marketing budget can get back in the game.

So what exactly is inbound marketing? Inbound Marketing is a change in tactics by modern marketers. In traditional marketing (Outbound Marketing) marketers try to get their message to their customers and expose them with mostly unwanted advertisements in the form of mass media commercials, spam, cold calling etc. These methods are becoming less and less effective as the consumers get tired of being constantly bombarded with these messages. They are hit with so many messages a day that most messages get lost in all the “noise.” Technology is also giving consumers the ability to block out these messages through the use of spam blockers, DVR recorders etc. In contrast Inbound marketing focuses on trying to get customers to find the companies.

So how does Inbound marketing work? The basic principle of Inbound marketing is to harness the power of the internet to try to provide something of value to the potential customer. This could be in the form of something that is entertaining, helpful, intellectually stimulating or a combination of all of the above. An Inbound Marketer may start an informational blog that provides value to their customers and makes them want to find out more information from the company. Other ways may include creating viral YouTube videos, Social Media, and SEO.

To get back to my fighting analogy, Outbound marketing is like a fighter who swings wildly without aiming, and hoping to hit a target that can see the swing coming from a mile away. This fighter could get lucky and land a punch but is more likely to miss and waste a lot of energy. On the other hand Inbound marketing is like a fighter who lures his opponent in close and counter-attacks with carefully aimed, accurate combinations. This fighter is more likely going to hit his opponent and win.

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