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Inbound marketing vs outbound marketing, what is the difference?

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Since the development of new technologies and the rise of the Internet, the traditional marketing methodology has changed and marketing has had to adapt to the new circumstances and embrace the technological revolution.

Inbound and outbound marketing are both marketing strategies that seek more or less the same thing but differ in the way they get results. Know the main differences and decide for the best methodology that actually leads you to meet your business objectives.

Definition of inbound and outbound

These two concepts were born at the same time, in 2005, to give name to the inbound marketing methodology and differentiate it from traditional marketing methods (outbound marketing). Inbound marketing and outbound are two opposing methodologies that share a great common goal: to generate traffic, leads and, ultimately, sales for your company.

the background is clear: they both aim to attract the attention of users with the objective of getting them to buy our products or services.

Inbound marketing tries to focus all its efforts on the contact with the user and the potential customer. It is about developing tactics to gain their interest, interact and delight in order to increase sales, provide a satisfactory digital experience and create solid relationships with customers.

Communication is interactive, two-way, which makes it possible to establish contact and learn first-hand about the needs and opinions of the potential customer, and interaction can be generated through various digital media such as blogs or social networks.

Through creativity, the aim is to inform and entertain a target audience. To do this, it is necessary to define our buyer persona and know how we can satisfy their needs with our content, product or service. This process provides added value to the user, as it not only shows the product, but also integrates relevant content that interests the consumer and is useful for their day-to-day life.

And finally, the inbound methodology uses digital tools that help us to quantify and analyse the results obtained, which makes it possible to check the performance of the actions established throughout the process and redirect the strategy if they do not meet the expectations set.

Outbound marketing is focused on the brand and product, on showing its features and benefits, but leaves aside the explanation of its usefulness for the user, and above all and most importantly, it does not take into account the user's needs, which can be annoying as it searches for and interrupts the customer when they have not requested information on any of the products or services, which turns it into a cold contact with the customer.

To attract the public and get their attention, they use traditional media such as radio or television, which does not generate any kind of interaction between the consumer and the brand.

Its main objective is to sell and this is shown directly with its commercial approach. It does not allow the user to research what is being offered, nor does it provide quality and useful content to solve their needs. It is impersonal, and therefore risky, as it may not have any effect on the user who, a priori, is not interested.

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The 4 keys to inbound vs outbound marketing

  • Bidirectional communication: advertising bombardment no longer exists, and communication between the brand and the users becomes a dialogue where both parties participate equally.

  • The consumer comes to us. Users no longer sit and wait for a brand to sell them its products, but they know where to look for what they need, how to compare one product with another and where to find opinions from other customers. In this sense, online presence is vital. What a company shows, what its customers and employees say about it and the relationship it has with the users who are interested in it. However, it is essential to define our buyer persona well in order to understand the discourse they are willing to receive.

  • It has added value: the content generated, although a priori it responds to an advertising purpose, provides useful information to users.

  • Itentertains and educates. In most cases, inbound marketing seeks to entertain users and solve their doubts. It is not only a brand, it is also a philosophy and an organisation that provides solutions and resources.

The conclusion we have reached is that both strategies are not mutually exclusive, outbound is based on traditional media and more intrusive advertising, but we should not rule it out in all cases. The ideal is to always use sales techniques that lead the customer to buy in a "natural" way, but these can be combined with more aggressive techniques if we know how to approach them in a meaningful way.


So Inbound or Outbound

By understanding each concept and knowing what each offers you, it seems clear that inbound marketing is the way of the future but... not so fast! These strategies do not have to be incompatible, and in fact they can be used to reinforce each other.

Outbound strategies have the power to attract a large number of users, a number that we can capitalise on through inbound actions integrated into the same process. For example, we launch an outbound campaign in traditional media in which we include information about our blog. It is not a question of completely renouncing outbound, but of using it intelligently and not indiscriminately.

In these times, when it is not easy to reach consumers, who expect offers to appear just when they need them and not when brands want them, who do not want to be interrupted, who demand quality content, and who have the technological means to block advertising, inbound marketing can be a good solution, without forgetting and taking advantage of traditional outbound marketing strategies to complete it.

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