Don’t Believe The “Inbound” vs. “Outbound” Propaganda

Recently, an inbound marketing company (of course) displayed the following headline on an e-mail inviting business owners to attend a FREE webinar:

Inbound vs. Outbound – Which One Makes The Most Sense For Your Business?

Can you guess what an inbound marketing company that sells inbound marketing services is going to preach to the business owners that attended the webinar?

Maybe this might be a more honest, transparent title for the webinar . . .  .

How Business Owners Can Integrate Inbound and Outbound Marketing Strategies into a Well-Balanced Marketing System

Boy, do I wish these inbound marketing guys had asked me to create the title for their webinar . . . well, maybe next time.

For those that are not even familiar with these two terms, let’s clarify what outbound marketing and inbound marketing is.

Outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. Tradeshows, TV commercials, print advertisements, cold calling, and even email blasting are considered examples of outbound marketing.

Inbound Marketing is the practice of bringing warm, qualified leads into your sales funnel or being “found” by your customers rather than reaching outward.  The goal of inbound marketing is to harness the three most important elements of internet marketing into a single, trackable process.  The first is to create high-quality content, such as articles, websites, video; optimize these for internet searches; and then finally to share this content via the social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Both approaches are very important in today’s marketplace.  But, here is where the inbound marketing companies are being ingenuous;  their propaganda always describes the more traditional approach, “outbound” marketing as businesses blasting out their messages to the masses, interrupting people that don’t want to hear these messages and wasting a ton of money in the process.  With this description, I don’t even like outbound marketing.

But, hear me clearly; both outbound and inbound marketing are critical in a well-developed marketing campaign.  But, in order for outbound marketing communications to be the most effective, they need to be accomplished with a specific strategy, including a message of value or differentiation directed to a specific group of people, or the business owner’s ideal target market.

The real point here is that as is the case with everything a business owner does, whether it is marketing, sales, or operations, unless it is done the “right” way, it will not be as effective as it would be if done properly.

So, for business owners, the message is that both inbound and outbound marketing strategies are important in a well-developed marketing strategy.  And for you inbound marketing companies that believe it should only be outbound marketing or bust, get real and stop trying to deceive and confuse business owners with information that is misleading and false.

To your marketing success,

Joe

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