What’s the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?

Marketing is marketing, isn’t it? Not anymore. The days of broadcasting the same message to a (hopefully) willing audience are long gone. Today it’s all about personalized, relevant communication. And that’s where inbound marketing and outbound marketing come into play. 

Outbound Marketing Still Exists

Although it’s on the decline, outbound marketing still exists. You can think of outbound marketing as the old-fashioned broadcast-style message. It’s often called “interruption marketing” because it interrupts prospects when they’re in the middle of something else – much like an unwanted telemarketer.

With outbound marketing, everyone gets the same message through the same medium. Everyone sees the same ad, clicks the same link, reads the same copy. But with the rise of Do Not Call registries, the CAN-SPAM act and its need for prospects to double opt-in, and many other whitelists and blacklists, it’s clear that people don’t want to be bothered by outbound marketing, and they’re making it known.

Advertisers Turn to Inbound Marketing

Advertisers who doggedly continue to push and push their message out to anyone who will listen are finding out that fewer and fewer users are willing to listen. With that in mind, smart advertisers have taken a step back to evaluate their marketing and determine the best way to proceed.

What they’ve learned is that you can’t throw ads at a wall and hope that something sticks. The term “inbound marketing” was coined in 2006 by the founders of HubSpot to describe content that pulls users to a website by way of offering information, tips, articles or other media that helps them learn or make a more informed decision.

Examples of inbound marketing include:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • White papers
  • Videos

In this way, content is shared across different social networks and consumed by users in your target market. Reach spreads, and this in turn affects search engine rankings. It’s a win for your customers, because they get valuable information (that would  be hard or impossible to find anywhere else). It’s a win for your company because your reach is amplified organically. And it’s a win for your advertising campaign because you increase the  chances of a conversion – that a user will want to know more and come to your website to make a purchase, subscribe or otherwise take the action you want them to take.

Now that You Know the Difference, What’s the Next Step?

Of course, just knowing the difference between inbound and outbound marketing is one thing. It’s another thing entirely to put that into practice. If you need help with your inbound marketing strategy, contact us at Workdom today and let’s talk about your business goals and ad performance!


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Disclaimer: This post is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investment and should not be used in the evaluation of the merits of making any investment decision. It should not be relied upon for accounting, legal or tax advice or investment recommendations. This post reflects the current opinions of the authors and is not made on behalf of Workdom or its affiliates and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Workdom, its affiliates or individuals associated with Workdom. The opinions reflected herein are subject to change without being updated.