Brands are becoming increasingly dependent on the internet. Consumers have changed the way they shop for the things they need and want, and savvy businesses have taken notice. Customers are now in control of the information they receive and the channels through which they get their information. This is why inbound marketing strategies are so effective.
Since the use of inbound marketing has flourished, a lot of marketers have been taking outbound marketing tactics out of the equation. As they say, out with the old, in with the new.
But contrary to what many believe, outbound marketing is not dead. The old school strategy of disrupting channels with marketing communications still works. To gain a better understanding why your business can still profit from outbound strategies, let’s take a quick look at the differences between inbound and outbound marketing:
Inbound Vs. Outbound Marketing
In 1999, Seth Godin coined the term Permission Marketing. This refers to when consumers volunteer to receive marketing materials and content. In 2005, HubSpot developed the concept of Inbound Marketing to provide a better understanding of the process and how it differs from traditional marketing methods (i.e., one-way broadcasting).
The inbound relationship between consumer and brand is built on trust, and the provision of value, which I’m sure sounds pretty good to most marketers. But the main issue with inbound marketing is that it takes a while to implement, and even longer to see positive results.
Outbound marketing, on the other hand, is a quick and proactive approach. With outbound, the message is broadcasted in a manner that’s hard to ignore. Everything we see around us that “interrupts” our daily routines and lives is under the outbound umbrella. TV advertisements, telemarketing, billboards, cold emails, direct mail, print ads, flyers, and just about any other advertising you can think of.
For some inbound marketing advocates, outbound is outdated and old-school. For others, these tactics still work. In fact, businesses were asked in a recent survey about which strategy is more effective in generating leads. 32% answered inbound marketing, and another 32% answered outbound marketing. This shows us that businesses can still rely on outbound marketing just as much as inbound marketing.
Let’s face it. Inbound marketing takes time, and many businesses can’t wait that long. That’s when outbound lead generation strategies are a must.
There are some specific ways how outbound lead generation differs from inbound:
Shortens Your Sales Cycle
Inbound marketing takes anywhere between 6 to 12 months before it starts paying off. If you want to generate leads quickly, pick up the phone or send cold emails to prospective clients. This can be accomplished in a matter of minutes and is especially effective for startups.
Cold calling and emailing can be tricky, but if you implement strict selectivity and use the right amount of charm, it can work wonders during slower months or if your inbound strategies haven’t quite taken off yet.
Builds Brand Awareness Rapidly
If outbound is dead, then why do we still see ads on the streets? Simple. Because they still work!
With outbound, you can get your brand out there as quickly as you want. You don’t need to wait for your website to rank or for your content to get shared. Yes, it’s more difficult to get exact data on your brand engagement rate, but rest assured that people notice ads.
A clever ad encourages brand recall. Check out this collection of 40 brilliantly designed billboards to see how upfront advertising can still grab the attention of consumers.
Attracts a New Market
With inbound, your marketing strategies revolve around getting a specific niche market to see your content. But what if there are those who need your product and don’t have the time or habit of reading online content? With outbound, you can attract a new market.
According to a recent survey conducted by Moz and Fractl, 53.5% of consumers claim that direct mail is an effective way of attracting customers. That’s just one strategy. Imagine all the people you can reach by combining both outbound and inbound strategies.
Nothing Beats a Personal Approach
A face-to-face conversation is priceless. You elicit spontaneous reactions from the other person and determine their mood from their body language alone. People crave real interactions, and many outbound tactics provide that.
Think about it this way: if you own a bakery, it’s probably a good idea to stand outside and offer free samples to passersby. You’ll likely find plenty of new customers who love your products and are happy to tell their friend and families about it. This is the nature of outbound. You’re not expecting customers to find you by chance; you’re actively building exposure.
Learn from Your Sales Team
Collaborating with your sales team is a key factor in the success of your outbound lead generation strategy. These are the people that put a face to your brand. They are the ones who personally interact with your clients. Ask them about your customers, what they like, how they behave, and anything else that can give you a better understanding of how to approach them.
Having your sales team conduct outbound prospecting activities means that they’ll have much more experience dealing with customers in earlier stages of the sales funnel. This, in turn, can help you develop a more optimized funnel in the future.
Inbound marketing may be the way to do marketing in the digital age, but that doesn’t mean that outbound strategies should be ignored. Combining inbound and outbound lead generation strategies will allow you to develop a more holistic plan that maximizes brand reach and exposure.
Outbound is not dead. It may no longer be the primary marketing technique, but it remains an effective way to reach people and generate leads. When you integrate both techniques, you leapfrog ahead of those who choose to focus on one or the other. So what are you waiting for? Use these tips to jumpstart your outbound techniques today!