Until recently, I knew nothing about the concept of inbound sales and marketing.
Even now, I’m just getting a grasp on the power of inbound marketing compared to our old practice of outbound marketing. I’d like to explain to you the differences between the two and why inbound could be one of your most important tools.
To start: What is outbound marketing?
This is the traditional form of marketing; gritty, in your face tactics. When you picture the megaphone type of sales with billboards, advertising, commercials, mailers, etc. you’re thinking of outbound marketing. There is a method to outbound marketing where you have the ability to target a certain audience or certain group of people with your message, but essentially you’re still screaming your message out to the masses. What this ends up relying on is a game of percentages: how many people are actually going to pick up, listen to, and relate to your message?
Even after all those steps, how many people will actually end up as a sale? That conversion factor lets you know if your outbound sales campaign is successful or not. If you end up falling into the low percentage rate, where your dollars spent ends up being much higher than the people you bring in, the campaign was a failure.
However, this is not to say that outbound marketing does not have its own place in your market area. In fact, in the past there have been many successful outbound marketing campaigns. But, in comparison, Inbound Marketing is an entirely different way of generating leads which can be a much more efficient use of your time and resources. So let's jump in!
Are You Having Trouble Closing Your Sales?
Inbound Marketing is almost the opposite of outbound. For example: if you look at outbound as a type of megaphone, inbound would be a magnet. What I mean by this is that you are attracting an ‘ideal customer’. If you took a piece of paper and wrote down all the qualities that you would want in a prospective customer, what does that look like? Inbound Marketing is a strategy that aims to put your voice right in front of those kinds of people, so that you can talk to them directly. This allows you to appeal to the likes and desires of a particular subset of individuals, and not just shouting to the masses. You invite the customers on a journey to learn about, experience, and ultimately buy your product.
Inbound Marketing can be looked at as generally expensive. There is a much higher time requirement to utilizing inbound marketing compared to an outbound marketing campaign. For outbound, you can simply drop a postcard in the mail, or buy an ad in a magazine or newspaper and your campaign is done. However, Inbound requires you to take a few building steps before it really takes off. You have to build a following, you have to build content, you have to build an engaging website, and all of these things can add up to a large upfront cost for inbound.
But the difference is immense.
Outbound is a single use tool, it can really only be sent or read once and it has been used up.
But if you create quality content to use for Inbound, it’s there forever. It never comes down and anyone browsing your website or blog can easily click on it and read through or view your take on important topics.
While it takes longer to produce this foundation, when it exists, it provides much more stability to build further content from. Your company will benefit from the stability of this base and can grow their inbound strategy based on past success. I believe that when you have a strong following and base for your inbound campaigns, you can then start to look at using outbound to help amplify your growth and results.
The way Ultimate Cabinet Components uses inbound can be seen through the variety of articles and content we put up. I’m curious as to what you all think of these techniques and if you prefer inbound or outbound when scheduling your marketing campaigns. Let me know in the comments!