Inbound versus outbound marketing

Out with the Old, in with the New Marketing

Posted by Corky Roth on August 06, 2012

In inbound marketing, brain trumps wallet. Our boss or CFO may be reluctant to embrace non-traditional marketing approaches, but inbound marketing has proven to be more effective and efficient than traditional marketing.

However, if we ask a fellow marketer about generating leads and filling the top of their sales funnel, chances are we’ll get the same old answers: trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, and expensive mass advertising. These are all forms of outbound marketing, and the average person has already figured creative ways to block these messages. Not to mention how expensive attending seminars and trade shows can be.

So how do we convince the decision makers around us to embrace inbound marketing as a more innovative, intuitive, and efficient marketing approach? Try speaking their language.

Dollars and sense

In a depressed economy, room for experimenting is small; we have to justify every cent we spend. But how do we justify direct mail, television advertising, or outsourced telemarketing in a marketing mix when numbers and research speak against it?

We don’t.

  • Over 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list
  • 86 percent of people skip television ads
  • 44 percent of direct mail is never opened


Conversely, inbound marketing provides greater ROI and customer loyalty. It takes advantage of an audience’s intent and gives them something of value in exchange for their attention.

  • Inbound marketing costs 62 percent less per lead than traditional outbound marketing
  • 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels cost less than any other outbound channel
  • Inbound approaches are highly measurable


A smarter marketing mix

Many company leaders see inbound marketing as a long-term strategy for lead generation and tend to remain loyal to their outbound efforts because they generate leads more quickly.

But generating quick leads doesn’t always translate into revenue — and it certainly doesn’t address the fundamental shift we’re seeing in consumer behavior.

Inbound marketing generates leads, revenue, and addresses the consumer’s need to feel empowered and engaged.

  • 57 percent of companies report customer acquisition through their company blog and LinkedIn
  • 48 percent report acquisition through Facebook
  • 42 percent report acquisition through Twitter 


Review the numbers. There is a smarter marketing mix. A marketing mix not for the masses, but for buyers that speak your language and are more likely to develop a preference for your brand, turn into solid leads, and generate revenue.

[Image: Laineys Repertoire

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Submitted by Michael Broadway on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 1:24am

Another excellent article, Mr. Roth. Customers have become much more savvy as our marketing technology has evolved. It's no longer the world of the 50s or 60s where Madison Avenue executives could use the old tried and true advertising techniques of Thomas Ogilvy and send perfectly written messages out to the naive masses through the print and broadcast media mix that worked so well for so long.

It's obvious that we've had a paradigm shift, and it's a whole new ball game. It's also apparent that you're on the right track, and your statistics support it.

Submitted by Corky on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 10:19am

Mr. Broadway, thank you for your thoughtful response.

You bring up a very important point. That is, digital marketing provides mid-sized companies with an effective and efficient way to reach their target audience.

It's a beautiful thing!

Submitted by Bert Powers on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 10:21am

Out with the old, in with the new. Excellent article, Corky. Shared it around.

Submitted by Corky on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 10:23am

Bert, thanks for sharing. Have a great week.