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what is inbound and outbound marketing

Thinking about technological advances, currently, leads to the idea that more than 2 billion people around the world have the ability to connect to the internet.

This evolution, this new global moment, has gained its space and shows no intention of leaving, on the contrary: our behavior, attitudes and habits are entirely affected by connections, whether through a computer, cell phone or tablet.

What matters is that, although this advance is synonymous with practicality, business relationships and the very way of seeing, acting and organizing in society have changed. The question is: how to take advantage of the new advantages of the digital world, especially when thinking about marketing strategies?

How does a company need to act and what does it need to adopt to meet the new challenges of modern life for all its potential customers? Why is it important to know and understand what is inbound and outbound in marketing? That’s what we’re going to find out.

Understand what inbound and outbound marketing is

Before delving deeply into these concepts and definitively understanding what is inbound and outbound in marketing, it is important to contextualize this scenario more broadly, let’s start with digital marketing.

Digital marketing

It can be said that information technology and communication itself are essential to build and align organizations’ marketing and sales strategies.

These two areas (information and communication technology) previously did not work side by side in the same way. But with digital marketing, you can see the importance of dealing with both as if it were just one big “department”.

Known as the new marketing, digital marketing has caused many changes to accelerate, forcing companies to follow the new pace – losing confidence in previous business practices to continue their profitability and prosperity.

But what is digital marketing?

Digital marketing can be considered as a social process that works through a set of digital communication practices, in order to offer what a specific group of people needs and wants, through the negotiation and offer of valuable products and services.

Before thinking that digital marketing is totally different from the assumptions of traditional marketing, it is worth remembering that to reach consumers and the organization’s goals, managers still need to start from some assumptions that are already so well known:

  • Know your target audience, your persona ;
  • Possess knowledge of the brand’s strategy;
  • Understand the organization’s strategic planning, and of course, the organizational culture in which the planning will be cultivated.

Digital Marketing = Inbound Marketing?

The first thing we need to do to understand what is inbound and outbound in marketing is to dispel some myths.

This is because knowledge about digital marketing can bring many questions and confusion to new entrepreneurs and managers of small, medium and large companies. And one of the most popular questions is: is digital marketing the same thing as inbound marketing?

No, both have distinctions, even though it is difficult for many to notice them.

So how to understand inbound marketing? And what is outbound marketing?

Inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing

Having different focuses, inbound marketing and outbound marketing have different meanings and bring to light a very popular discussion: the struggle between the new versus the traditional.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is the market strategy that turns to the internet environment, social networks. Inbound marketing was created to meet the needs of online customers: reaching consumers even with changes in behavior and consumption habits created by technology.

Inbound marketing, also called permission marketing, has the idea of ​​getting the customer to come to the brand. And in what way? Through the brand’s relevance on the internet: bet on publications on websites and blogs, carry out actions on social networks, and other forms of an exhibition such as e-books, newsletters, videoconferences, podcasts, among many others.

Thus, it is believed that the customer will have a real interest in the company’s products and services, creating a relationship that can vary from medium to long term, that is, from capturing leads to the end of a purchase cycle.

It is said today that B2C (Business to Commerce) and B2B  (Business to Business) companies have conquered a significant rate of new customers through social networks.

Now, to fully understand what is inbound and outbound in marketing, let’s go to the second fact of this equation.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing, on the other hand, is the approach known as interrupt marketing – a way in which companies send their marketing message to as many people as possible through direct mail, prospecting emails, advertisements, telemarketing and other techniques that interrupt the daily routine of the public.

The idea of ​​outbound marketing is to continue to attract customers with models similar to those that have always existed, such as advertisements on television and radio.

North American market situation regarding inbound marketing

The US market is a good example to understand what is inbound and outbound in marketing.

The new reality of American consumer behavior confirms that more than 90% of purchase processes start with an online search, in addition to the need that is met through inbound marketing strategies to increase company sales through online information.

The North American market has taken advantage of inbound marketing as an excellent strategy. This is seen in at least 50% of companies there, who invest in this technique to spend less on each lead.

It is also interesting to know that the increase in investments is around 50%. In other words, the return is proven and safe.

Advantages of inbound marketing and outbound marketing

As understood, inbound marketing generates quality content to attract the prospect. With a customer who is more knowledgeable about the brand and the products, there will certainly be more chances that he will look for the organization to make a purchase.

Therefore, inbound marketing has the following advantages:

  • Lower cost: Inbound marketing is low-cost marketing – the value is related to the medium that will be used to present the product. Launching products and services on the internet has a much lower cost than traditional media;
  • Ease of developing and changing marketing according to the customer’s point of view (understanding) in relation to the brand: the way the consumer behaves is the key to selling in B2B businesses, with more complex sales;
  • Greater effectiveness in%: the qualification of leads coming via Inbound attract people who already know the brand and tend to rely more on it because they have taken a trust action in advance content. Therefore, in percentage, compared to the outbound model, the closing of Inbound sales is higher.

However, traditional marketing – outbound marketing – also has its strengths:

  • Efficient for companies that have more resources to be invested;
  • An impersonal approach is also an advantage: advertising techniques on television and radio, billboards and banners, for example, are valued in more traditional or B2C markets;
  • New customers are attracted more quickly than by inbound marketing, which is based on attracting the lead, stimulating conversions and only then approaching for the sale, generating a longer sales cycle;
  • Direct contact can be decisive for the purchase.

Now that you have more information about what is inbound and outbound in marketing, answer the following question: is there a correct model to adopt?

Now, this is a question that has no definitive answer. The truth is that both models can work effectively if they are applied in a complementary way. The best advice is to understand your company’s business and check which channels would be most effective and apply to your business.

This post was written by the team at Meantime, an inside sales software created to simplify the sales process and help your sales team to achieve better results.