Once upon a time there was only outbound marketing where marketers pushed messages through channels like trade shows or print advertising and other traditional marketing methods in the hope that these messages would connect with a prospect and eventually engage them in a sale.

Something happened though, causing outbound marketing methods to become less and less effective, mainly for two reasons:

1) People are getting better at blocking out interruption-based marketing messages as they are mostly unwanted and irritating.

The average person is inundated with thousands of outbound marketing interruptions per day and is figuring out more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, and on-demand TV and radio.

2) Technology changed the rules and the Internet now represents a quick and easy ways for consumers to learn and shop as they choose.

Instead of flying to a trade show across the country, for example, a consumer can go the Internet to research and purchase products or services.

Today, consumers and business buyers are now going to the Internet to start their purchasing process.  Even if they don’t buy online, they will learn online before engaging in a potential buying discussion.

So if businesses want to remain competitive, they need to understand the need to adopt new marketing practises that are closely aligned with these new development in the way buyers now buy and ensure that they “get found” by the buyers searching for their products and services online.

The main differences between outbound marketing and inbound marketing.

outbound-marketing-interruptionOutbound marketing is an interruption based approach to marketing

It uses telemarketing, tradeshows, direct mail, email blasts, print ads, and tv/radio ads to drive your message right up to peoples front doors.

Inbound marketing is a permission based approach to marketing.

It uses search engine marketing (SEO & PPC), blogging, social media to get you found, engage your audience, generate leads and nurture them into sales by earning a prospects permission to communicate and nurture them.

The main strategies include

Content Marketing – Were content is created and distributed through numerous channels both on site and off site.

Search Engine Marketing – Where content is prioritised and served based on a searchers query using search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search marketing like Pay Per Click.

Social Media Marketing – Where content is shared and discussed within communities online.

The similarities between effective outbound marketing and inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing can still be effective if used correctly and sparingly.  In fact much of what was good in outbound marketing was focused on building relationships which is at the very core of inbound marketing.

Relationships are not all about selling so its a careful blend of actually helping your buyers get educated and then helping them buy when the time is right.

Where you can take your marketing to a new level is to reengineer strategies that don’t build relationships and trust and start adopting principles proven to win long term profitable business.

Why inbound marketing is more powerful than outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing helps you focus your activity on what generates results using laser targeted triggers like questions and phrases or requests for information that is actually related to a buyer who is entering the buying process.

These prospects want to buy and its just a question of when, and using your skills to help them make a decision with you which will determine your success.

Inbound marketing is mainly technology led so you can measure, track and improve what you are doing in real time without having to spend a lot of time figuring it all out.

Not only that but inbound marketing technology can be tightly integrated into your business so that you can close the loop with your sales operations and find pass leads and determine what activity generates sales.

Get the B2B Marketing cheat sheets and find out how to use inbound marketing to generate and nurture sales ready leads online.

Article written by eb2bleads.  A B2B Marketing specialist in online Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing.