Inbound marketing vs. Outbound marketing – what you need to know !!

I often find myself debating with my boss on what channels are good and what we could shelve for now. Thought I’d take a minute to summarise my thoughts on the biggest of debates – Inbound marketing vs Outbound marketing

Well it’s not a secret anymore that an average human engages (passively and actively) with up to 2000 interruptions a day (TV ads, Print ads, Radio, emails, SMS etc). In such a scenario when the spam filters and ad blockers are better than ever, most smart people skip TV and Radio ads – Do you really want to inundate the prospect’s day by bombarding some more ads from your end?

Let’s delve deeper into the battle of Inbound marketing vs. Outbound marketing.

What is better between the two ?

Allow me to shed some light on both and the differences between the two.


Also called “spray and pray” marketing, push marketing etc.

This is the cluster of traditional marketing techniques that marketers have been using for decades. Here businesses directly advertise their products and services through print ads, cold calling, direct mailers, email blasts and other old channels. It gives the information to the consumers even if the consumer is not looking for it. Because of this, outbound marketing is often called “interruptive marketing”. Only when prospects show interest in your advertisement, do they becomes leads.


It is a comparatively new, yet a more affordable and effective marketing strategy. Here your marketing strategy combines use of website content (articles, blog post, video, charts and etc) coupled with SEO and other social media tactics to attract traffic to your website and eventually convert them into qualified leads. The core idea is that you target your audience by providing meaningful and useful content and entice them to find more about you.

Inbound Marketing is a highly effective marketing strategy as instead of bombarding every consumer (relevant or irrelevant) with information, here the consumer is coming looking for you.

Content is key when it comes to Inbound marketing. Keep the following points in mind about Inbound content.


1. Take utmost care that the content you are posting in your articles has value. Provide useful information to the customers and not make it a company advertisement.

2. Ensure content is original

3. Content should be SEO optimised. Not only does this get your post better Google ranking but it also increases the chances of your pages being shared.

Differences between Inbound marketing and Outbound marketing

  • In Inbound marketing, the leads directly come to you. There is no cold calling involved. Whereas in outbound marketing, you need to talk to people and make them aware and create interest in your product and services.
  • Unlike outbound marketing which is one-way, Inbound marketing enables a two-way communication with your funnel and prospects. You get a platform to directly communicate with your customer. You should never leave any opportunity of taking feedback about your product and services.
  • Inbound marketing is way economical and budget friendly than outbound marketing. The leads are generated through SEO and Social media for which you do not require additional cost. Only prerequisite is good content. Outbound marketing requires considerable investment for effective results.
  • Inbound marketing is time consuming. In spite of having good content, Google takes time to index your pages and move you to top its ranking. It could take months to years. In case of outbound marketing, the results are much sooner.

The below info-graphic displays the differences between the two in a nutshell.


Remember – The real difference is Lead Quality!

Although the leads that we get through inbound marketing are the ones who have shown interest but not necessarily they fall under the bracket of desired lead profile. Whereas, in outbound marketing, we can build our contact list by pre-qualifying the list before we make a call or send an email to them. We just need to develop their interest in us.

Inbound marketing is analogous to having a fixed deposit in the bank. You know your slow constant efforts will fetch you good results in the long run. Outbound marketing is like dealing with the stock exchanges. You know you want to try and take a bet, but you can never be sure you will hit it right or not.

Well, my final advice to anyone who is deciding between Inbound marketing vs. Outbound marketing is this – If you’re looking for a long term organic growth – Invest in Inbound marketing. If you’re looking for a quick “bang for the buck” – go for the outbound program. If you’re smart and have the budget – Go for both!!

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