You're sitting at your desk, working hard on that project that you should've started yesterday. The only thing rising faster than your probability of imminent unemployment is your blood pressure. Your phone rings. You don't recognize the area code, but you answer it anyway. "Hello sir, I'm John Doe from XYZ solutions, do you have a minute to hear about my business?" That was the absolute last thing you needed on a stressful day on the job.
John Doe is sitting somewhere on the other side of the country with a seemingly endless list of numbers in front of him. As soon as he gets denied, he moves onto to the next number. He does this for eight hours a day. He couldn't care less if he interrupts your busy day at work, your family dinner, or your Florida vacation. When the end of the month comes, John and just can't figure out why he's not hitting any pay dirt. The answer is simple - many outbound marketing methods such as cold-calling are not effective. Even worse, they often tarnish the brand of the business they are trying to build.
So what is outbound marketing anyhow? Outbound marketing is most any kind of traditional marketing that interrupts the potential customer or client. It is usually illustrated as using a bullhorn to broadcast your business's message loudly in hopes that someone who is interested will hear or see and respond. Ads during your favorite TV show or radio top hit playlist qualify as outbound marketing. Numerous postcard ads and "junk mail" that fills your recycle bin are also outbound culprits. Ads that pop up on your screen while playing a game on your phone is outbound marketing. And yes, cold calling people during their busy day is outbound marketing.
What is wrong with outbound marketing? In all fairness, most business marketing strategies may want to try an element of outbound marketing in their over-all strategy, but not to the extent businesses would have used it even 10 years ago.
As technology advances, our patience diminishes. We have begun to see any and all inconveniences as avoidable via technology (and tech companies are noticing). Gmail recently expanded its spam control capabilities by making an option available that recognizes mass emails and gives you the options to reroute these out of your sight. DVRs give us the ability to fast-forward through commercials, subscription-based radio touts commercial-free listening. Netflix and many other services allow people to PAY NOT to see outbound marketing. Caller ID and apps for smart phones protect us from unwanted calls. Some business owners try to power through by pumping more and more money into their outbound marketing, while others adapt their strategy. Those who adapt, switch to inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is like a magnet. It draws new customers to you as you strategically put content online in places those who are searching for answers in relation to you and your business expertise will find it. Inbound seeks to inform, inspire and help potential clients thus drawing them toward you as a solution to their needs and problems.
When deciding between inbound and outbound marketing, the question you have to ask yourself as a business owner is, "Who's space am I renting?" Are you spending money to rent thirty seconds of other peoples' time? Or are you renting out your own time to those who are interested in what you have to say? Here is an illustration of inbound vs. outbound tactics. You decide what seems best for your business strategy.
Traditional outbound marketing is slowly dying. Oh, you'll experience it and even some times decide to use it, but there are better ways to do business and reach people in your market. If inbound marketing is a new idea to you or you don't know much about it, we invite you to learn more about it at the links below. We would love to have a conversation with you about how your business marketing strategy could utilize inbound marketing to more effectively and efficiently reach people who will come to you ready to purchase. Give us a call or shoot us an email. Let's talk soon.
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