Inbound vs. Outbound Campaign (Guide)

If you pay attention to marketing trends, you’ve heard people throwing around the terms “inbound campaign” and “outbound campaign,” but what do they really mean? Inbound and outbound marketing campaigns aren’t just jargon. These terms embody a kind of cultural shift in the entire concept of how marketing works, particularly across channels.

What Is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is what used to be known as “traditional marketing.” It’s interruptive and it pushes itself at an audience, whether the audience wants it or not. TV and radio ads, telemarketing, banner and display ads, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, cold calling, pop-ups and pop-unders, and contextual ads are all examples of outbound marketing.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a relatively new marketing concept where marketers attempt to “pull” in potential customers with interesting content. Also called content marketing, inbound marketing involves creating blog posts, social media, infographics, white papers, email newsletters, and other content that people actually want to read. Search engine optimization paid discovery, and paid search help people find marketers’ content. 

If it’s engaging enough, they interact with it, reading and sharing, and come away with a positive impression of the brand that influences later purchasing decisions. Inbound marketing is very hands-off and indirect: there’s never a noticeable sales pitch. Inbound marketing nudges customers down the sales funnel by increasing their engagement with the brand.

What’s More Effective, Inbound or Outbound Marketing campaigns?

According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2017, 71% of companies globally reported that they’re primarily focused on inbound. Certainly inbound campaigns provides a better ROI: inbound marketing campaigns are 62% less expensive than outbound. On the other hand, inbound’s effectiveness can be hard to measure. 

Since the inbound strategy relies on raising brand awareness, providing value, and not giving the hard sell, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how well your strategy is working. The biggest criticisms of outbound marketing traditionally have been that it’s expensive, it’s not responsive, and it isn’t targeted. You spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a TV ad, send it out into the world, and hope for the best.

In today’s marketing landscape, many companies employ a combination of a brilliant inbound strategy and re-targeting outbound display ads. Remarketing can work solely with inbound, too. Recent upgrades in audience targeting are breathing new life into display advertising.

Things like retargeting pixels, contextual ads, and Lookalike Audiences allow Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google display ads to be directed specifically to users based on what they are interested in. This is a kind of outbound marketing that shows untapped potential and gets around ad blockers. 

Unlike outbound marketing of the past, it incorporates inbound’s strategy of showing users things they specifically will find helpful or interesting. Of course, like anything in marketing, you’ll have to find a mix that works for your potential customers.


Inbound Campaign Methodology

A good inbound strategy involves creating content that appeals to your desired reader, then helping them find it through search, social, and discovery. To get started, you’ll need to create buyer personas: Who are the people you want to draw to this content? What are they looking for? What kinds of things do they like? After that, craft a solid SEO strategy.

  • How will this audience find you?
  • Will you optimize your content for Google keyword searches?
  • Will you push it to your social?
  • How often will you post?

Make sure you build in a way to assess the success of your efforts. Before you do anything, figure out a concrete idea of what success would look like for your content, and have a way of measuring that. Metrics will drive what you do going forward. Any successful marketing strategy is dynamic and changes based on the data you collect about how effective your content is. 

If that sounds too impersonal, think of this way: figure out what your people want, and give it to them.

Outbound Communication

For many businesses, proactive outbound customer communication is a key factor for success. Outbound Marketing communications includes advertising, promotions, sales, branding and online promotion. Successful branding involves targeting audiences who appreciate the organization's marketing campaigns.

Advertising is a small but important part of marketing communications; the marketing communications mix is a set of tools that can be used to deliver a clear and consistent message to target audiences. Crosier (1990) states that all terms have the same meaning in the context of the 4ps: Product, price, place and promotion.

Price can send a message to the target audience. For example, comparing a $500 bag to a $50 bag, the former may be view as a luxury or more durable item. Therefore, the marketing campaign plan must identify key opportunities and threats, set objectives and develops an action plan to achieve marketing campaign goals. 

Each section of the 4P's sets its own object; for instance, the pricing objective might be to increase sales in a certain geographical market by pricing their own product or service lower than their competitors. This creates a significant change in the market because more people of the target market would aim to do business with your organization than your competitors, because pricing is one of the most significant aspects of marketing that can change the whole market positively and or negatively.

Automated management of outbound calling campaigns provides a powerful tool for streamlining those critical, high volume business processes. With an advanced solution for outbound communications, organizations can grow and strengthen their customer relationships and uncover new sales opportunities – turning every customer conversation into a fruitful one.

A dynamic outbound management software such as Outbound Communicator, offers fully compliant predictive dialer technology delivering high performance, extraordinary flexibility and user-friendly operation for dynamic outbound campaigns. Businesses can design and configure their outbound communication processes more efficiently from day one with a solution that integrates seamlessly into their existing work environments. 

Intuitive and clearly structured, the software allows users to quickly set up and implement tailored outbound campaigns. If businesses can use technology to get their outbound strategy right, there are huge potential benefits to have in terms of time and cost savings and enhanced operational efficiencies.


Finding The Right Marketing Strategy For You

Ultimately, the best marketing strategy for your business will be the one that works. Always try new things while you continue to do the old things that are working. Analyze your data frequently, and be on top of any changes you see. Remember, audiences change, too. What worked last year might not work this year. People get tired of seeing the same thing. 

Your mix of inbound and outbound marketing campaigns will almost certainly change with time and as technology adds new features and ways of connecting with people. That said, the most important strategy will always be: experiment, measure, repeat. 

Moreover, campaigns are often recursive: one larger goal may be achieved through the deployment of several smaller campaigns, each with their own sub-objectives which contribute to the whole campaign.

A sales campaign with the goal of (A) sales may require a marketing campaign to achieve (B) social media followers alongside a PR campaign to gain (C) levels of brand recognition, and so forth. Each of these sub-campaigns would then have their own methodology and individual planned activities.

Careful oversight and management is needed to ensure each sub-campaign remains on-track and contributes to the larger goal.

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