What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?

Inbound Marketing:

Inbound marketing is aimed at pre-determined prospects to attract them to the company's products or services. Usually, inbound, also known as Pull Marketing, shows the following characteristics:

The customer comes to you:
The customer is actually looking to find a business with your products or services.

Targeted Content:
The campaigns are highly targeted to attract specific personas and audiences. This is now a lot easier with the strong filtering systems seen on Google Adwords and Facebook PPC ads.

The content appeals to a wide prospect range:
The content has more depth and breadth to encompass more of the information that a prospect might be after.

It is much easier for you to determine how a particular marketing channel is working for you. This then gives you more reaction time to tweak campaigns as they happen in real time.

The content is actionable:
The prospects are able to interact with the offer thereby providing a chance for fast-response conversations.

The content is not purely sales orientated:
The content is created in an informative and educational way that nutures a lead into a future customer by giving them something that they are interested in. This provides an earlier opportunity to perhaps acquire the prospect's trust which will make future lead conversion that much easier.

Content with longevity:
Your content continues to be held across the web delivering possible long-term attraction.

You may recognise these as inbound marketing strategies:

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – Attracting an audience through specific use of keywords and key phrases.
PPC (Pay per Click) ads – Attracting an audience via keywords, demographics and geographics. This can now be done on Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Display Advertising – When it is highly targeted towards the prospect.
Social Media Marketing – Whereby prospects will view your content and effectively subscribe to it.
Email marketing – only if it is opt-in, not a paid database of unsuspecting recipients
Blogs and Webinars. – A tried and trusted way to attract prospects to your offer.

Outbound Marketing:

Outbound marketing, also known as Push Marketing, is generic and often large 'splash' marketing that acts like a wide net to catch the prospects that you are looking for. The following are indicative of outbound marketing:

Non Specific
The net is so wide that the content will be pushed on people that will have no interest in it at all AT THAT TIME and therefore runs the risk of damaging the brand.

Targeting is very difficult:
It is nigh impossible to attract specific demographics or geographics.

Higher costs per lead (CPL):
As you will have to spend more on that wide net to attract the prospects that you truly wish to engage with.

Difficult to measure:
The prospect will be unlikely to recall how they heard about you.

Short term:
For example, direct mail is not kept. Even if looked at it is then thrown away..

Outbound marketing includes strategies such as: TV, direct mail, radio, billboards, offline print or even low quality email data.

Sometimes you get what you pay for!

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