Inbound and Outbound Marketing: Natural Allies
If your company has buried its outbound marketing efforts, it’s time to dig them up – this class of outreach has been prematurely declared dead, but it remains relevant. In recent years, marketers have touted the effectiveness of inbound marketing strategies, emphasizing that it’s better to let customers discover your company that to constantly reach out to them.
While it’s true that inbound marketing is an effective way to reach an audience in today’s digitally connected marketplace, these strategies may show some blind spots without a matching dose of outbound marketing. No matter how powerful a single approach to outreach may be, strategies that are too narrow in their focus can end up missing swaths of potential customers.
Creating a winning strategy
Integrating classic outbound tactics such as email campaigns with inbound approaches that focus more on content creation can give your organization a wide-ranging portfolio of ways to reach and influence consumers. The following are a few important reasons to generate such a hybrid system instead of letting any one type of marketing stand alone:
- Repeat contact: Some of the logic behind adopting a singular marketing strategy focused entirely on inbound or outbound methods may reside in the fact that using both approaches will lead to the same prospects being contacted multiple times. According to Small Business Trends, however, this isn’t a bug – it’s a feature. The source noted that leadership expert Gino Wickman holds that companies need to speak to their prospects seven times to reliably get a response. Marketing strategies that target the same people in a few different ways may enhance chances of getting the message across.
- Situational excellence: In today’s competitive landscape, your organization can’t afford to use a non-optimized marketing strategy. That could be the end result, however, if you ditch outbound marketing entirely. Author Barry Silverstein explained that inbound lead generation thrives as an always-on approach to marketing, punctuated by a few highly targeted outbound campaigns. If either element is missing, the company will generate some leads but miss out on others. There’s no guarantee that pouring all the resources into beefing up a single element of the dichotomy would get an equal amount of traction.
- Gradual and immediate results: Further explaining the two-sided approach described above, IT Business Net pointed out that inbound marketing strategies, despite their extreme value in today’s market, tend to take a while to show results. Companies that switch to solely content-based or passive strategies could end up going through new business droughts. Avoiding these times of inactivity may come down to having outbound strategies ready to go when things quiet down. This can be especially reassuring to upper management, who want confirmation that they’ve made the right choice in selecting a new marketing method.
A new kind of effectiveness
The fact that inbound and outbound strategies gather leads in highly distinct ways is the main clue that they work better together than separately. Furthermore, the two distinct methods can fuel one another. A customer drawn in by an inbound campaign can give an email address and ask for more details – the actual messages that will convey that information will be part of a thought-out outbound marketing campaign.
Some of the technologies that have revolutionized marketing in recent years work well for both types of outreach, and are especially helpful when the two strategies are combined. For instance, databases that create a single source of truth for marketers’ efforts thrive off of taking content from as many channels as possible and can empower just about any kind of outreach.
The key for marketers is to never lose track of the target audience. The people who will visit the brand are the important ones in any outreach scenario. A plan that has been accurately formulated to get through to the people who will deliver value to the brand is infinitely more valuable than a hands-off edict to go all-inbound or all-outbound.
Chances are, the situationally appropriate strategy will naturally contain elements of both inbound promotion and outbound outreach. As long as a company commits itself to effective marketing, driven by data and taking all possible methods into account, it’ll be on the right track.
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