Outbound vs. inbound; what Works Best for B2B Marketing?
When I talk with most marketers about how they fill the top of their sales funnel and generate leads, most say outbound marketing.
However, many innovative and successful companies embrace the art of inbound marketing.
What is the difference between inbound vs. outbound marketing?
We all want more leads, clients, and revenue in B2B sales and marketing, which is where these tactics come in. But which is better for generating B2B leads?
Inbound or outbound marketing?
Below, we discuss the answer and the definitions of inbound and outbound marketing in greater detail.
What is inbound marketing?
So, what is inbound marketing?
As the name implies, it is a lead generation strategy in which your prospects approach you – and if they remain engaged with your content, they will convert into customers.
These leads are attracted by B2B marketing campaigns, blog content, or your preferred lead generation channels. Social media marketing, SEO, and content marketing are the primary inbound channels for attracting targeted leads.
Because inbound marketing seeks to attract people, it is critical to ensure that
- Your content is both valuable and exciting.
- Your brand is easily found online.
Inbound marketing for lead generation focuses on assisting clients rather than selling to them. Therefore, you must help your prospects define, research, and solve a problem.
The Advantages of Inbound Marketing
There’s a reason why so many B2B companies and salespeople are focusing on inbound marketing.
According to a CRM Daily report, roughly half of all companies that use inbound marketing see a 25% higher return on investment (ROI) than companies that only use outbound marketing. Does this mean using inbound marketing will result in 25% more sales leads? Not always, but most B2B companies agree that it’s a good strategy for generating qualified leads.
According to the report, inbound marketing channels can provide up to 30 times the conversion rates of traditional outbound email campaigns.
Why should you prefer inbound over outbound?
Inbound prospecting is ‘reverse’ prospecting because the marketing lead initiates contact. This explains why, when it comes to inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, inbound comes out on top:
- Reduced costs (as both paid and organic marketing are used here).
- More credibility and trust between your leads and your company.
- Higher-quality leads and increased website traffic
- The ability to nurture leaders who are not yet ready to convert.
Types of inbound lead generation tactics
Activities inbound marketing includes, but is not limited to:
- Content marketing
- Lead nurturing in SEO
- live message /chat
Here are a few examples of how inbound marketing works in practice:
- Blog posts should be engaging, easy to read, and based on keywords your prospects will be searching for.
- Organic social media posts -Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.
- Paid search entails placing clever and engaging paid advertisements across your channels to capture more
- targeted leads’ attention.EBooks: are long-form resources that answer the burning questions your leads have.
- Video: you can create a YouTube channel for your company and create entertaining and informative videos.
- Repurpose content from your most successful blogs and eBooks. Some of them may go viral if you’re lucky!
- Webinars and podcasts -Invite influencers and thought leaders in your industry to participate in webinars and
- podcasts. Build that crucial trust and authority around your brand.
What is outbound?
Outbound marketing is more traditional than inbound marketing regarding lead generation. It is the stage at which a sales representative initiates contact with a prospect and delivers a sales pitch to them.
Outbound marketing is essential for growing SaaS sales teams. Most people will not have heard of your brand if you are a growth-stage SaaS company. Setting up an outbound sales strategy is the quickest way to generate new revenue.
Outbound marketing entails going directly to your target market and pitching your product. It’s the best option for companies looking to quickly generate more quick wins and expand their customer base.
The Advantages of Outbound Marketing
With so many businesses focusing on inbound these days, some wonder if an outbound strategy is worthwhile. The short answer is that investing your time and resources is worthwhile.
According to a DiscoveryOrg survey of 1,000 IT professionals, 60% said outbound calls and emails resulted in action, and 75% said they attended an event or scheduled an appointment due to an outbound call or email.
Outbound marketing still has advantages in terms of selling power. According to Moz, traditional outbound marketing influences 42 percent of respondents’ purchasing decisions. In addition, 35.8 percent of consumers are slightly more likely to buy after seeing a traditional outbound advertisement, and 6.2 percent are significantly more likely to buy.
Why should you prefer outbound marketing over inbound marketing?
- The main advantage is that outbound is quick!
- Outbound sales produce immediate results, allow for strategic messaging development, and, when done correctly, result in qualified leads. Outbound marketing allows for highly targeted outreach to your ideal customers.
- The sales team will contact people who are likely interested in your product or service but are not yet aware of it. It allows you to build a pipeline of sales leads when it takes you to pick up the phone!
- The primary difference between inbound and outbound lead generation is that outbound marketing is usually more expensive than inbound marketing because most of the tactics involved require paid delivery systems.
Types of Outbound lead generation tactics
Some of the tactics that can be considered typically outbound, at least in B2B marketing, depending on how they are used, include:
- Email blast
- Telephone cold calling
- Direct mailing
Most outbound tactics necessitate a paid delivery mechanism, which raises the overall cost. This increases the risk, and as a result, campaigns tend to focus on selling rather than helping or educating.
Here are a few examples of how inbound marketing works in practice:
- Cold calling If you’re going to make an unsolicited phone call to a prospect in the hopes of making a sale, make sure your scripts are top-notch to avoid being hung up on!
- Outbound email – Outbound email, like cold calling, is an email sent without prior permission to connect and book a meeting. It is less intrusive than cold calling. Automation software is required if you use this method.
- Social selling is the process of researching and engaging prospects on social media.
Related article: Best practices to follow while generating B2B leads
Which method is best for your company?
As can be seen, both inbound and outbound lead generation strategies have advantages.
You’re probably wondering now, “What’s best for me?” Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple!
The decision between outbound and inbound marketing is primarily determined by your customers, business model, and budget/ability to invest.
So, rather than debating whether to use outbound or inbound marketing, consider the following:
- How much time do I have to complete the task?
- Is this the right time for me to invest?
- Which customers do I want to reach out to?
- Which has the best chance of producing a higher ROI?
- Which method best reflects the trust and credibility I’m attempting to establish?
However, this is the last word.
You don’t even have to make a decision!
There’s no reason to pit inbound and outbound marketing against one another. They are two distinct approaches, each with its own set of advantages. Combining inbound and outbound marketing allows you to connect your entire sales and marketing funnel into a single, efficient machine that works to achieve your lead generation and sales goals.
According to 87 percent of sales and marketing leaders, collaboration between marketing and sales allows for business growth – so what are you waiting for?
If you’re an inbound marketer who isn’t getting the desired results, consider investing in outbound marketing to generate quick wins.
If an outbound salesperson isn’t getting quality leads at the top of the funnel, consider investing in inbound to attract your ideal audience.
Inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing? The answer is both. Yes, that’s right.
The best part about these methods is that they involve various departments within your sales and marketing department. We’ve noticed that marketing is more focused on the inbound side of lead generation, whereas sales are more focused on the outbound side.
Choosing the Best Marketing Strategy for You
Finally, your company’s most effective marketing strategy will be the one that works. Remember that audiences and markets change, so analyze your data regularly. What worked well last year may not work well this year. As a result, you can use both inbound and outbound marketing.
The essential marketing campaign aspect is measuring, optimizing, and repeating. Whether you prefer inbound or outbound marketing, make these three steps a priority wherever and whenever possible, and you’ll see better results.
Conclusion of Outbound vs. Inbound
When comparing inbound vs. outbound marketing, you’ll most likely discover that both inbound and outbound leads have distinct advantages.
Many entrepreneurs discover that a customized combination of the two techniques produces the best results, so it’s up to you to find the right balance of lead generation strategies for your company.