'Inbound & Down'
Question of the Day

Published August 01, 2019

What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?

  1. Inbound Marketing is communicating with employees and people inside your organization (memos, Slack, intranet), while Outbound Marketing is focused on communicating with people outside your organization (blogging, advertising, cold calling).
  2. Inbound Marketing is producing content and resources to attract people when they are in need of your services, whereas Outbound Marketing is attempting to get in front of people you've identified as a good fit.
  3. Outbound Marketing is when your company, marketing department and employees promote and sell your products or services, versus Inbound Marketing, where customers and advocates promote your products or services through reviews and referral networks.

The Answer is B.

The primary objective of inbound marketing is to sell products or services, all the while keeping the best interest of the customer in mind, rather than the company. By publishing helpful content designed to rank well in search engines, inbound marketers answer potential customers' questions, educate them, and help them to reach an informed decision.

But wait... If the best interest of the customer is truly the highest priority, then why not just give your product away? Because serving the customer above all else does not mean compromising your pricing structure and the margins required to stay in business. Customers are happy to pay a fair price for a quality product or service. What they are not happy about is cold calls when they are working, commercials when they are watching, and having to look for information they cannot easily find.

Inbound, at its core, is centered around being helpful—providing value at each step along the way.

The term “outbound” really didn’t exist until “inbound” entered the lexicon, giving us a better way to describe traditional marketing. Old-school marketing methods were, indeed, effective before the internet changed everything. The seller had all the information, and the power—and the consumer had to ask for it. Now that customers are more readily able to identify problems and explore solutions on their own, it’s up to businesses to accommodate this "self-serve" buyer's journey.

Comparing inbound marketing to the traditional outbound approach can be described, simply, as attracting potential customers when they are ready for you, as opposed to trying to maneuver your way in front of them whether they are asking for assistance or not.

Think of Inbound as a Magnet and Outbound as a Megaphone.

Inbound and Down

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