Inbound Versus Outbound: The Marketing Mexican Standoff

By Ian Blake on 17 June 2015 at 12:50:00 BST


Good versus evil, Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader, inbound versus outbound…

Ok, perhaps it’s a bit of an exaggeration to equate outbound marketing with the ‘dark side’. Although if you’re running a business using only traditional outbound strategies, you might as well reserve a seat on the death star, because your days are numbered. 

Read on to find out why…

Outbound shouts ‘buy me’ from a self proclaimed pedestal, inbound seduces; outbound lectures, inbound empowers; outbound sprays like a cluster bomb, inbound targets with laser precision.

“Really?” you ask.

Well yeah, and for lot’s of reasons. Some obvious, others less so.

Old habits die hard. Your best employees are your busy bees, right? Salespeople who run up a head of steam with cold calls and meet & greets at networking events. Or busy marketing folk seeking instant gratification by plunging big budgets into ad campaigns…only to get lost in a sea of sameness.

But it’s what we were taught, what we always did, what gave us results in the past, so it’s best practice advice, right? 

Well, times have changed.

The digital revolution happened and consumer behaviour has evolved. People just don’t listen to the sales pitch, they ignore the ads, they’re not so easily persuaded. They prefer to educate and empower themselves. They ‘google’ what they don’t know, teach themselves and listen only to trusted social networks. If you want to earn that trust and get googled, listened to, and landed upon - then you need a strong content marketing inbound programme. 

You need to see the bigger picture, so let’s start by raising a few eyebrows - Micheal Reynolds at Spinweb compiled these compelling stats

Inbound Marketing vs Traditional Marketing:

  • 61% of global Internet users research products online. (Source: Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012)

  • Blog frequency impacts customer acquisition. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)

  • 46% of people read blogs more than once a day. (HubSpot Science of Blogging 2010)

  • Social Media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)

  • Companies with 30 or more landing pages generate 7x more leads than those with fewer than 10. (HubSpot)

  • Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Source: Gartner Research)

  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

  • Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate. (Source: CSO Insights)

  • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. (Source: SilverPop/DemandGen Report)

Inbound is here to stay. The digital revolution made sure of that. It will only build momentum over the coming years because the traditional marketing model is broken and buyers have revolted from pushy sales pitches. If your question is 'what are the best lead sources for B2B tech companies?' Inbound will come out on top. Inbound is here for the long haul and it is your most efficient choice for long term quality lead generation. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. The best inbound programmes see incremental lead generation increases over time.

Patience young Jedi, patience.

Or as Chewbacca might say, “Grrrwaaaaaarggggh.”