Did you know that Traditional Marketing, also known as Outbound Marketing, is now considered "the old way of doing things?" This may surprise you, but the process of Inbound Marketing is the shiny new tool on the marketer's mind. There is a vast difference between Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing and you are probably asking yourself, what is Inbound Marketing? It's new, it is fresh and relieving for consumers, it also has a lot to offer for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. Not only is there a trend moving more towards Inbound Marketing, but soon our consumers will be tired from the disruptive traits of traditional marketing. But does that mean we get rid of traditional marketing entirely, or do we begin to adapt?
Let's learn differences: Outbound Marketing vs Inbound Marketing.
1) Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is pushing a message out to a wide range of people through traditional channels. It's the billboards you see as you drive down the highway, the TV commercials you hate that interrupt your show or the radio ads that come on when you are listening to your favorite station. Traditional marketing interrupts your life or activity to sell you something you may or may not care about. Think of it as the used car salesman. You go on the lot to find something you like but you get interrupted with a pushy salesman that just wants to make a dollar (or thousands).
Most of this type of marketing is based off impressions. You pay a higher price for more impressions that your ad will get. However, only a small part of who sees those ads is your target market. Why? Well think about a billboard. How many people drive past that? People of all demographics, behavioral patterns, and potentially geographical locations. So you are paying higher rates for more impressions with only a small percentage of them being their market. Outbound marketing is casting a wide net and hoping to catch the king salmon in a pool of minnows.
Does traditional outbound marketing have it's benefits? Sure. If older generations are your target market, newspapers, TV and billboards might work for you because those people are not as tech savvy or online as much. However, that too is changing as the younger generations get older. This generation segregation is why there is the battle of traditional marketing vs inbound marketing. Facebook is more popular among generation X and higher, than the up and coming generation of youth. The younger generations prefer Twitter and Instagram and other platforms like SnapChat. Also, if you are a national brand and have the money to spare like companies such as Macy's, JCPenny, or Nike and you have several target markets, it makes sense to keep those avenues around. However, it should become a part of the plan, not the only plan.
2) Inbound Marketing
So what is Inbound Marketing? Inbound Marketing is all done online. It is the exact opposite of traditional outbound marketing which is why it is called Inbound. It draws people into an experience with your brand, culture, community and allows them to become educated and knowledgeable about what they have questions about. Inbound strategy focuses on attracting potential customer to your website through content offers that answer the questions they are asking.
Here are some examples of Inbound Marketing in action, and how your consumer prefers it over the existing norm of traditional marketing.
- Your Inbound marketing campaign is based on research of your potential consumer base also known as your target market, but we call this your 'buyer personas'. The process takes a deeper look at which customers you the business owner focusing on trying to serve.
- You begin creating your buyer personas and you have created a persona and named him 'Small Business Owner Sam.' You begin to research where he hangs out online, what his company does, what problems he is having, and what questions he is asking.
- Based on that information, your business creates content that serves your buyer persona, speaking to the problem as well as the solution that Sam is facing. Your focus here is to be educational and be a thought leader with the content that you provide to Sam.
- When Sam begins searching to find out more about the problem that he is having or solution he is trying to find, your content is SEO ready and waiting for him on the first page of a search engine.
- When he reads on your non-biased informative blog on Visual Identity and Branding, he will see an offer for him to download for more information about his problem and potential solutions.
- Sam will begin to give you some information about him in exchange for the content you are offering.
- Now you can send him more information which would be consideration stage content to help him in what has shown he is needing assistance in. He now has the information he needs to make a good decision on a solution for his company.
- Now you have gained trust with Sam since he has already interacted with you, and you have a higher chance to win him over as a customer.
- This process doesn't stop there. Now you have a chance to "delight" him with more solutions and great content and turn him into a a brand evangelist for your company with great additional resources.
Instead of casting a wide net, like in traditional marketing, and screaming your message like a used car salesmen, Inbound marketing puts informative and educational information where your target marketing is. This process will allow your company to shine and begin answering the questions they are asking, which will improve what they feel about you as a company. When your content is rich and answers their problems, they will begin to trust you and see you as a thought leader. Your company through the information you provide, will be able to gain information from your target market as they continue viewing your inbound content. Now you become more educated on your target market because you have real, live information from your persona which in turn helps you market and serve them better.
When it comes to outbound marketing vs inbound marketing, outbound is generally more expensive and can be less effective but it can still be good to have it in the marketing mix. Some traditional channels are evolving as well For example, now that TV is online, you can advertise online with Inbound Marketing principles with a semi traditional outlet. Inbound Marketing is crucial to your business being successful with the vast majority of your consumer base being online. It should be the largest part of how you market and where you market.