There are 2 kinds of people in the world: first, who research and plan ahead of time when making difficult decisions and second, who wait for someone else to recommend them a product or service.

For example, you may have found this article after doing some research, and if so, you belong in the first group. Alternatively, did you find this blog post via a form of paid advertising like on social media? Yes? Then you belong to the second set of the group!

Regardless of how you got here, whether by going out of your way (inbound) to explore the article or someone else pointed you in this direction for a reason (outbound), what is most important is that you’re still here.

What does that tell us?

It means there’s a difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing when it boils down to two different types of people: those who go out of their way to find your brand and learn about its offerings, and those you as a brand go out of your way to bring your business’ products and services to their attention.

This inbound vs. outbound article will provide some perspective into each process and how they can be applied in different ways depending on your business needs.

Let’s get started with the basics! Let’s take a look at their definition of these two words!

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is when you suddenly make your product or messages known to other people who were not necessarily searching for those things.

Push marketing is the type of marketing that utilizes traditional forms of communication like television, radio, newspapers and billboards to get your name out there.

Brands still rely on the outbound marketing approach to reach a broad audience in this modern digital age. Whether via traditional or digital channels, the ultimate goal with outbound marketing is the same.

Brands use it hoping that a small section of the broad audience they’re targeting will get in touch, be interested in their product or message, and start the journey to becoming an advocate.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is not about chasing customers around but rather luring them with great content. It’s a “new and improved” version of marketing, and marketers found that it offered many benefits over outbound marketing. For example, inbound marketers create double the average website conversion rate.

Instead of wasting time trying to reach out and sell something aggressively, inbound marketers use a variety of techniques such as social media posts, articles, white papers and other similar techniques used online.

The best part about these mechanics is that you don’t need a big budget. These mechanics are free and will help you generate a huge amount of traffic from social media & search engines. The double average website conversion rate is another perk.

Inbound and outbound marketing are similar in that they both use marketing channels to reach prospects. However, they differ based on the following three core fundamentals:

#1 Pull vs. Push

If you create content that benefits and helps your ideal customers, which is found when your audience is searching for that exact type of information in search engines, then you’ve succeeded in pulling them in by creating something useful for them.

This is called inbound marketing at its finest.

One way to create this helpful content involves creating content that addresses questions or topics your audience has been looking for online. You can use keyword research or discussion forums to discover what they would like to read or find answers.

Outbound marketing means that you create content assuming that your target prospects will find it relevant and perhaps even useful based on current trends or past research.

Simply throwing random stuff out there with no real value will most likely irritate your prospects in the long run. So why bother at all? Well, good question. Especially because inbound marketing is often emphasized as the opposite approach to marketing products or services.

#2 Permissive vs. interruptive

People select their connections from those they have faith in and trust on social media. 

This permits connections to create content that can show up on everyone’s news feeds.

When someone signs up for your email newsletter, they have permitted you to send them relevant emails (e.g. ‘each week we will select three new blog posts that we think you should read’ or in another case, ‘we will periodically send out updates to inform you of any new features we’ve implemented or news that is worth knowing about).

People use search engines to find the solutions they need. By doing this, they consent for the search engine to show them the most relevant answers to their queries.

To ensure your business stays a respected source, you will need to create promoted content pieces that are worthy enough for the search engine’s algorithms in order for your company’s name and content to appear among its top results when prospects and followers perform searches.

The inbound methodology allows you to proceed in an organic, permissive manner that encourages change. The formula for creating inbound marketing opportunities is as follows:

Prospects permit your content to be delivered to them via their actions on social media platforms, email opt-ins, search engines, or when they download promotion from you.

On the other hand, interruptive outbound marketing uses digital communications to attract potential customers’ attention to your business.

For example, let’s say I were using social media and watched a video on YouTube that interested me. In that case, I could get promoted advertisements for products or services that aren’t even relevant to me just because some algorithms thought they matched the topics of my interests.

While this approach may not appeal to everyone, it can still be highly effective from time to time, provided you’re targeting a general audience and not focused on specific individuals.

As I previously mentioned, inbound marketing is usually something that works best.

However, there are times when the most creative ads will catch your eye and cause you to take action.

Sometimes it’s better to view this as a symbol of how powerful both inbound and outbound strategies can be when properly executed.

#3 Education & Persuading

Inbound marketing is the concept of marketers staying in “sync” with their audiences to understand the target audience’s needs and position a product or service in front of them based on their needs.

A strategy used during inbound marketing relies on creating educational or entertaining content pieces that solve problems related to a specific industry or product.

In this case, even though everyone may have the same problem, each company creates these educational/entertaining content pieces for a specific audience with problems it’s experiencing and knows for sure that your company intends to help address those issues.

This makes it easier for a business owner to find his target customers (because they’re searching for a solution) and helps create an environment where you spend more time marketing your product because people search for your content!

Outbound marketing is like standing on the corner with a megaphone shouting at people to check out what you’re selling. It can sometimes be quite forceful and aggressive.

Many brands rely mainly on outbound marketing tactics such as press releases or advertisements in newspapers or online platforms because their teams haven’t got enough time for anything more in-depth.

To reach more people and therefore improve the chances of having a message reach someone with interest, outbound marketing programs tend to come across as a little more generic than inbound.

When to use Inbound & Outbound Marketing

Outbound and inbound are both marketed differently. Both have their pluses and minuses.

Outbound can drive quicker results than inbound when executed within a strong strategy. Still, with outbound, you pay to play – this means that should you abruptly cease paying for your outbound activities, everything associated with these marketing methods will stop dead in its tracks.

Inbound marketing isn’t an instant solution to bringing traffic to your website, but it will almost certainly bring a steady stream of traffic over time if done right. It does, however, earn you rankings favorably with search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

However, inbound marketing is more cost-effective than outbound tactics in the long term. Once inbound sets into motion, you can drive evergreen organic traffic that pulls leads, customers, and visitors.

The best time to start with inbound marketing is now.

Once inbound takes hold, you can drive evergreen organic traffic and grow your company. Your marketing will keep on going – pulling visitors, leads, and customers.


We don’t believe there is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ methodology.

It’s hard to say what works best.

Every situation has its challenges, and every strategy will differ in some way, shape or form – so it helps to have different tools you can use in order to be able to choose the right one for the quick desired results.

Use outbound marketing to introduce your product/service to people who have not yet heard of you but could need it / are interested in it to secure more business for the short term.

At the same time, keep your inbound marketing engines going because you’re going to need them in the long term, especially as the algorithm catches on to the hard work that you’ve got into it.

If you need help developing one that combines outbound and inbound marketing to reach the right audience and drive business growth. We are at your service! Give us a call.

Write A Comment